Exmouth is a seaside town with plenty of hotels, hostels, shops, bars and restaurants. It's further from Ningaloo Reef so you'll need to jump on a snorkelling or diving boat tour to get there, but it's also close to the stunning Cape Range National Park which might suit you more depending on your interests.
Coral Bay is a small town and there are fewer accommodation options and restaurants, but it’s super close to Ningaloo Reef — as in you can swim to it from the shore.
There are several ways to get to Exmouth and Coral Bay including air, self-driving and coach travel.
Learmonth is the nearest airport to Ningaloo Reef. It’s 36 kilometres from Exmouth and 116 kilometres from Coral Bay. Qantas operate daily flights to Learmonth from Perth.
From Learmonth, you can hire a car, jump in a taxi or use the Exmouth Bus Charter (the cost is $40 one way or $75 return) to the town. If you’re travelling to Coral Bay, transfers can be arranged with Coral Bay Airport Transfers.
The drive from Exmouth to Perth takes 12-13 hours via the North West Coastal Highway and Minilya Exmouth Road.
Always check the road conditions with Main Roads and take extra caution driving at dawn and dusk when wildlife is most active. Service stations are dotted along the route, but it's best to stock up on water and supplies as there are often long distances between amenities.
Getting around Exmouth and Coral Bay
Exmouth and Coral Bay are compact towns and it’s easy to get around on foot or by bicycle. However, if you want to venture outside the main townships you'll need to hire a car or join a tour. This region is vast and remote, and public transport is limited.
Join a Ningaloo Reef tour
If you'd rather leave the planning to us and benefit from the expertise of a local leader, you could join us on a Ningaloo Reef tour. Our Ningaloo trips begin in Perth or Paraburdoo.