| The Coral Coast
|Population: Area- 28,500 |
Total Area: 11,000 sq. km.
Location: North of Perth 1,100km along the coast between Cervantes and Onslow
Highway: North West Coastal Hwy
Nearest Major Town: Area north of Perth
Nearest Airport: Carnarvon
Touring Area: WA - Coral Coast
An area of northern Western Australia|
Hand feed dolphins at Monkey Mia
Swim with Whale Sharks on Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth
Colourful coral at Coral Bay
Copyright Peter W. Wilkins
THE CORAL COAST REGION IN THE MID NORTH OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
EXMOUTH AND NINGALOO REEF: Swimming with whale sharks.
Ningaloo Reef is located off the north west coast of Western Australia, approximately 1,200 km
north of Perth and around 260 km long. It is Australia's largest fringing coral reef and the only large reef
positioned very close to a landmass, being less than half a kilometre offshore in some areas, such as Coral Bay.
Although most famed for its whale sharks which feed there during March to June, it is also rich in coral
and other marine life and part of the migratory routes for dolphins, dugongs,
manta rays and humpback whales.
The sandy beaches are an important breeding ground of the loggerhead,
green and hawksbill turtles which depend on the reef for nesting and food. The Ningaloo supports an abundance
of fish (500 species), corals (300 species), molluscs (600 species) and many other marine invertebrates.
The reef and surrounding waters were designated as the Ningaloo Marine Park in 1987 due to its unique properties and in 2011
was world heritage listed by the United Nations.
Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus)
This fish, the largest of the shark family and the largest fish in the world, is a harmless plankton eater. Reported
to reach 18 metres (60ft) but averaging 12 metres (40ft) in length, it is easily identified by its huge
size, wide mouth and is monitored by its distinctive skin patterns of white spots.
Thought to mainly inhabit worldwide temperate and tropical seas, it is rarely seen in shallow coastal waters, but
is a daily visitor to the Ningaloo Reef every year between late March to July when up to 30 have been spotted close
to the reef feeding on the plankton in the nutrient rich waters.
You can experience an unique ocean experience from late March to July each year by swimming with the largest fish in
The Exmouth Diving Centre
can take you on a sensational day of adventure that you will never forget.
If you can swim and snorkel, you can safely experience the excitement and wonder of swimming with the world's
largest fish. If you can't snorkel, the staff can teach you.
Tours operate daily from late March to July. (Prices at 7/3/14) Go to website for current prices.
Snorkellers only: $385, Children under 16: $245 , Observer: $240 , Family 2 adults-2 children : $1,200
MONKEY MIA and SHARK BAY: Interact with Dolphins.
Monkey Mia is one of the famous places in Australia and renowned for the friendly dolphins
which have come to shore to interact with visitors for over 40 years. It is also the
most reliable open sea venue to see these playful mammals and there have anly been
4 days in the past 5 years when the dolphins have not appeared. The experience is free.
Opposite Denham in the mid north coastal region of Western Australia, there is resort
accommodation, a caravan park and camping facilities.
The name comes from the schooner Monkey which visited Shark Bay in 1834 the 'Mia'
is from the aboriginal for .home'. Hence, Home of the Monkey.
The whole area is fascinating and Shark Bay is a World Heritage area.
See Shark Bay World Heritage Area
It is one of the world's premier natural dolphin sighting areas; a destination
of magical encounters, recognised natural beauty, a World Heritage Landmark and a
Gold Winner of the 2006 Western Australian Tourism 'Major Tourist Attraction' Award,
In addition to the dolphin experience Monkey Mia also offers cruising, sailing, snorkelling
4 Wheel Driving and beach camel rides.
Crystal clear waters and flawless blue skies with sunshine 320 days of the year make Monkey Mia
an ideal and untouched. Mediterranean-style, holiday region for a leisurely getaway, romantic escape
or an outback adventure.
Monkey Mia is located 830km north of Perth off the North Coastal Hwy (1) on the West Australian
Coastline in the heart of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
The Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the only accommodation at Monkey Mia and has been a proud
supporter of the Monkey Mia Dolphin research for more than a decade. The Resort offers
accommodation to travellers of all budgets.
Other hotels, motels and caravan parks are located in Denham, 25km west.
With its untouched natural surroundings both onshore and off, Monkey Mia is the
leading behaviour research site in the world for bottlenose dolphins, tiger-sharks and
dugongs (sea mermaids). This support of animal behaviour research helps maintain
up-to-date with the latest information on the mammals and fish that dwell in