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Exmouth

 

AlbanyHave you ever wanted to swim with some of nature’s giants – humpback whales and the graceful whale sharks?

On Australia’s Coral Coast at the northern end of the Ningaloo Coast you can experience both with tours from Exmouth and nearby Coral Bay.

Exmouth, 1,270km north of Perth, lies at the northern edge of the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Coast – a 300km stretch of pristine coral reefs, many tantalising close to the shores, that are home to beautiful coral gardens, tropical fish and annual visits by the gentle giants of the sea – whale sharks. Tours offering the chance to swim with these magnificent marine creatures operate between mid-March to August from Exmouth while tours to swim with humpbacks operate between July and August.

Exmouth is a relatively young community, established in 1967 for the Harold E. Holt US Naval Communication Station North West Cape. A cluster of towers including one reaching a staggering 387m high, provide a VLF radio transmissions for US Navy and Royal Australian Navy submarines, echoing the time when this region was a refuelling base for Allied submarines during World War II.

Exmouth’s visitor attractions include Indigenous, European and military history. The name ‘Ningaloo’ means ‘land jutting out to sea’ from the local Yinigudura people. Midden heaps, ancient campfires and a beaded necklace dating back 32,000 years discovered at Mandu Mandu Gorge Rock Shelter are some of the local Indigenous artefacts.20th century history includes Vlamingh Head Lighthouse and the military memorials to the Krait and Potshot operations.

The Cape Range National Park on the North West Cape includes deep canyons carved by the constant action of water and stark, rugged limestone cliffs. Sunrise is best for stunning views of Charles Knife and Shothole Canyon from Charles Knife Gorge Road, while walking tracks lead through the canyons. Other sights include the wreck of the SS Mildura, Vlamingh Head Lighthouse lookout and boat tours on Yardie Creek gorge to the southwest of Exmouth containing the only permanent water in the Cape Range.

Exmouth and Coral Bay to the south, are the two holiday locations with accommodation and services for visitors and the embarkation points for a range of tours, diving charters, encounter experiences, fishing charters, glass bottom boat tours and more.

Video by: Tourism Western Australia

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