Coral Bay is a small town on the coast of Western Australia, 1200 km north of Perth. It exists primarily for tourism, with a side industry of fishing.
The Ningaloo Reef is a popular diving and snorkelling site with a large variety of coral and fish life and is one of the best places to see whale sharks and manta rays.
Coral Bay is a small settlement that lies protected from the Indian ocean by the Ningaloo reef. It is Australia’s only fringing reef. In contrast to other locations the coral starts right at the water’s edge. The fish and the coral are very accessible to all including small children. Fish and coral can be experienced either snorkelling or on one of the Coral viewing boats. It is about 50 km to the North of the tropic of Capricorn, some 120 km south of Exmouth in Western Australia. The weather is mild, without the humidity that is often associated with tropical climates. It comprises a resort hotel, two caravan parks and about 20 houses. It is a holiday destination for Western Australians together with some overseas backpackers. Some houses are available for short term holiday rentals. and are booked well ahead for the school holidays.
Whale sharks come to the area between March and June. The largest fish in the world, they can grow to 14 meters in length They are filter feeders that live off plankton and Krill and thus are entirely safe to swim with.
From the months of June to October this area of the coast sees the migration of the Humpback Whales. There are several operators who organise tours both above and below the waterline. Turtle nesting occurs on local beaches between November and February. The Green, Loggerhead and Hawkesville turtles are often seen in the shallows and by the reef as part of one of the many tours operated locally.