Active adventures and ocean-based pursuits are the drawcard at Ningaloo Reef.

Swimming with whale sharks is available from April to July. Snorkelling over pristine coral with hundreds of tropical fish just offshore at World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef can be enjoyed throughout the year. Many sections of the reef are easy to reach from the beach or you can hire a kayak, paddle out and dive into the water to go snorkelling. Glass bottom boat tours are also available at Ningaloo Reef. Whales can be spotted from July to October each year. If you want to get up close to them, small group humpback whale swim tours allow you to join these gentle creatures in the water. Back on dry land, Cape Range National Park has spectacular canyons, walking trails and lookouts to explore.

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Highlights of Ningaloo Reef

Go whale watching

Exmouth near Ningaloo Reef is the perfect place to jump onboard a whale watching cruise or join a swim tour from July to October each year. Seeing these incredible animals leaping into the air as they breach and spraying water into the air is an experience not to be missed.

See Cape Range National Park

Cape Range National Park covers more than 50,000 hectares and is filled with rugged cliffs, canyons and untouched beaches. Keep an eye out for animals such as emus and echidnas as you stroll along walking trails and marvel at the dramatic contrast created by the red dirt and sparkling blue sea.

Snorkel Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef stretches along the coast for more than 230kms and offers superb snorkeling opportunities, many of them easy to reach from the shore. Top choices include Turquoise Bay, Oyster Stacks, Five Fingers Reef, Pursy Point and Paradise Beach.

Swim with whale sharks

Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef with tours departing daily from mid-March to the end of July. Snorkel beautiful Ningaloo Reef before the spotter plane takes off to search for whale sharks during a full day whale shark tour.

Explore in a kayak

Jump in your sea kayak and get ready to get up close and personal with Ningaloo Reef and the many sea creatures which call this reef home. Keep an eye out for turtles, stingrays and schools of colourful fish in the waters below or grab your snorkel and dive in.

Marvel at Charles Knife Canyon

Drive to the top of Charles Knife Canyon Road and enjoy spectacular views of Charles Knife Canyon, Exmouth Gulf and the gorge which stretches into the distance. Stop at some of the scenic lookouts along the road to admire the view from different angles.

Ningaloo Reef Reviews

Ningaloo Reef FAQs

Flights depart from Perth to Learmonth Airport which is the closest airport to Ningaloo Reef. When you land at Learmonth Airport, bus transfers are available to take you to your accommodation or you can hire a car and self-drive. It takes around 13 hours to drive from Perth to Ningaloo Reef. 

The best and easiest way to get around at Ningaloo Reef is to self-drive or take a tour. 

The best time to visit Ningaloo Reef is from April to October as the weather tends to be stable during these months. If you are not fond of high temperatures, the months of January, February and March are best avoided. 

Ningaloo Reef is all about action and adventure so there is no need to bring any fancy clothes. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, even in winter, as the sun reflects off the water and the white sand. Bring a good pair of walking shoes if you are planning on exploring the national park. A light jumper is useful if you are going to be out on the water. 

Ningaloo Reef is a casual place so there is no need to dress up. If you're going out for dinner at one of the better restaurants in Exmouth, smart casual clothes are fine. 

An internet signal is available at Exmouth and Coral Bay for Telstra customers. Outside these towns, internet coverage can be unreliable. If you are with a carrier other than Telstra, it is likely you will not have internet access in most areas in and around Ningaloo Reef. 

Mobile phone coverage is available at Exmouth and Coral Bay for Telstra customers. Outside these towns, mobile phone coverage can be unreliable. If you are with a carrier other than Telstra, it is likely you will not have a mobile phone signal in most areas in and around Ningaloo Reef. 

If you would like to do a particular tour at Ningaloo Reef such as swimming with whale sharks, you should book sooner rather than later as popular tours frequently book out. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. The sandy beaches fringing Ningaloo Reef can make walking difficult for travellers who are less mobile on foot. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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