Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exmouth and Ningaloo Marine Park

How many of you can say that you have driven across the Tropic of Capicorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude?  Not to brag, but we have!

Exmouth is 1450 kms directly north of Harvey, so arriving at this resort community we were welcomed by warmer temperatures and sunshine.

Exmouth used to be known for it's U.S. Naval Communication Base, but nowadays it is better known for it's fishing, close proximately to Ningaloo Reef, warmer/ desert climate, and holiday destination.  Not a room was vacant (booked months in advance) during the school holidays and we even saw campers set up in the parking lot of the visitor centre.  We could of spent more time here as 3 days just wasn't enough.

What to do in Ningaloo?
1. How about snorkel?  The coral reef is one of THE BEST in the world!  Just walk off the beach 5 - 10 metres and there you go - coral reef with an abundance of marine life.  Much easier than the east side Great Barrier Reef were you ride in a boat for 2-3 hours before hitting the reef.  At Turquoise Bay we just went out the required 5-10 metres and floated along over the coral with the current until we reached a sand spit, then swam ashore, walked back to the starting point 200 or so metres back down the beach and did it all over again.  Caleb went several times along side Collin and Jackson also went once.  Life jackets made it easier for them to float along and see the amazing sea life below the surface.

2. How about a glass bottom boat tour?  Again a quick 10 minutes boat ride and you are over top great big coral bombies hundreds of years old.  We saw numerous colourful tropical fish of various sizes - one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish - and also giant clams, school of barracuda, a reef shark, a green sea turtle, a dugong (type of mantatee), and many types of coral, coral, coral just below our feet.  We even got to go snorkelling for a bit.  Note: We did not see the 9 foot shark while in the water! Ningaloo Reef was most definately a top highlight of our trip!

Collin and Caleb jumping into nature's aquarium.

So many fish, that we couldn't remember all of their names.

Under glass - a 3 metre reef shark.

A green sea turtle was an awesome sight.

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