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Exmouth And The Coral Coast
exmouth waExmouth and the Coral Coast of Western Australia, encompasses some of the bluest, most stunning national parks in the world. However, the wonder and beauty doesn't just stop on land, it stretches across the waters creating an aquatic under water world drawing visitors that fascinates visitors from all corners of the globe.

The beautiful coral coast is home to some of the most colourful and diverse wildlife in the world. Popular creatures include the giant whale sharks, friendly dolphins, turtles, whales and manta rays. This amazing variety of wildlife continues on land, making this a great destination for an adventure. There are plenty of camping spots and ideal hideaways to stop and enjoy the views and to soak up the wonder and majesty of this incredible place.

Exmouth is extremely popular with marine lovers and even for those not so familiar with the under water world. There is fantastic snorkelling and diving on offer here, with brilliant coral colours, and every type of fish imaginable. Essentially, it is the crystal clear waters that attract so many visitors. The region is also incredibly remote, which makes it free of the crowds that the Great Barrier Reef attracts.

The actual town of Exmouth offers an abundance of attractions and activities. Take a drive to the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse to experience some incredible views. The Muiron Islands are also fantastic for a day trip with plenty of birdlife and diving spots. If you head south from town you will find the Charles Knife Canyon, which rewards you with amazing views of the Exmouth Gulf and surrounding gorges. The Thomas Carter Lookout is another great place to check out because you can see the endless stretches of the great marine park. Further down is brilliant Turquoise Bay, an ideal destination for a day trip and picnic lunch with the family.

The Cape Range National Park is only thirty minutes drive inland, with amazing gorges, an abundance of wildflowers and incredible scenery. This would have to be one of the most unique parts of the state and the best way to enjoy it is to journey along once of the bush walking trails or to take a guided tour. There are wilderness tours that leave from Exmouth, which will take you to places only accessible by four wheel drive. This area is home to some of the most incredible landscapes you could see in Australia, and being so close to the coast it is an ideal holiday spot.

The most notable attraction of the area would have to be the Ningaloo Reef which basically is right in front of you as you step off the beach. There are glass bottom boat tours for those who want to see the reef in style. And for those more adventurous you can’t miss the chance to scuba dive, or why not join a special tour swimming with the local whale shark? Although this is the world’s biggest fish it is still safe enough to get up close and personal. This reef is a fisherman’s paradise, with plenty of game fishing available, or enough isolated spots along the coastline to cast a line for the day.

With all the activity it is nice to return to civilization for some comfort, and there are plenty of restaurants, shops and cafés to choose from in the heart of Exmouth. You will also want somewhere to park your campervan for the night, and the Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort a popular choice. It has a massive pool, play gym, and even an aquarium, all ensuring your stay here is pleasant and memorable.

Monkey Mia is located just a little further down the coast and is known for its friendly bottle nosed dolphins, which swim to the shallows of Shark Bay to play with the families that come to visit. This is truly an experience you could never forget. This is a pristine, beautiful part of world heritage coastline, with so much wildlife, picnic spots and bays to visit and enjoy.

The Blue Dolphin Caravan Park and The Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort are both fantastic places to base yourself for exploring the surrounding natural attractions. Be sure to pay a visit to the nearby town of Denham, which offers some great fishing and boating opportunities, as well as beach activities and water skiing.

Geraldton is one of the last main stops along the coast. It also acts as an excellent base to see attractions such as the Abrolhos Islands, Chapman Valley and the Live Lobster Factory. With panoramic ocean views, miles of beach, wineries and delicate wildflowers at your doorstep it is definitely worth a longer stay.

This entire region is simply magnificent, with the shimmering blue waters of the Ningaloo Reef a wonderful contrast to the neighbouring national parks. To experience this region at its best, you should opt for driving from Perth to Exmouth, as you will be enriched by the incredible coastlines, friendly locals and stunning scenery. This is an ideal location for a holiday, with everything you need right at your doorstep, and nothing but open space and natural beauty before you.

Christine Barton

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