Why Exmouth is paradise for ocean lovers
Cover photo: Ningaloo Marine Park. Photo credit: Tourism Western Australia
There’s no two ways about it. If you love life on and under the water, you will feel right at home here in Exmouth, Western Australia. Thanks to the pristine crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean and a near-perfect all-year-round climate, it’s an ocean lover’s paradise.
Located in the north-west of Western Australia, Exmouth is probably most famous for being home to the incredible World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, the largest fringing reef in the world. With magnificent multi-coloured coral reefs and spectacular marine life, it’s easy to see why it’s the jewel in Western Australia’s crown. So, let’s dive straight into what makes Exmouth a haven for marine lovers.
Exmouth is the gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park and Ningaloo Reef
Protecting the beautiful turquoise waters of the Ningaloo Reef, Ningaloo Marine Park is massive. The reef itself is home to over 500 types of fish and more than 250 species of coral. In total, we’re talking about 600,000 hectares of natural beauty. And it is a lot more accessible than its more famous Queensland cousin, the Great Barrier Reef. Ningaloo Reef is accessible by a short swim – in some areas along the coast, it’s located a mere 5 – 10 metres offshore.
So, the good news is you don’t need to take a boat or a seaplane to get to it – unlike the Great Barrier Reef. Yes, it’s not as big. But Ningaloo is just as spectacular. Whether you’re into snorkelling, diving, or swimming, Ningaloo is one of the best places on the planet for lovers of all things aquatic.
The weather is amazing most of the year
Exmouth is an idyllic part of Western Australia and a must-visit destination if you’re keen to explore more of WA. The area enjoys what’s known as a semi-arid climate and boasts bountiful days of sunshine and blue skies. With just 26 days of rain on average each year, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination.
In Exmouth, it’s warm all year round. The summer months can be a little unbearable because it can be hot and dry. Daytime temperatures average around 37°C and often reach 40°C in December and January. Even in the winter, daytime temperatures average around 25°C.
If you’re keen to hit the water and explore the underwater world, the good news is the water temperature is excellent all year round. Expect around 26°C during the summer and around 22°C in the winter.
The water is an incredible shade of blue
The waters of the UNESCO-listed Ningaloo Reef are crystal clear and warm. Home to an abundance of fish and other marine life, Exmouth is a magical place for tourists keen to experience the best of Western Australia. Prepare to be in awe of its natural beauty.
It’s hard to put into words just how picture perfect the waters of Ningaloo Marine Park are. Even photographs don’t always manage to do it justice compared to seeing it up close in real life. Swimming in the intensely turquoise water is an unforgettable experience and as dreamy as it sounds.
The Ningaloo Coast is home to some of the world’s best beaches
There is no need to fly to the Caribbean if you are looking for the best beaches in the world. We have some of the most mesmerising beaches right here on our doorstep. Western Australia is known for its pristine white sandy beaches that lead to sparkling blue water teeming with tropical fish. Here along the Ningaloo Coast, you will find some of the best beaches in the world. Most of which rarely get crowded.
Take Turquoise Bay, for example. In February of this year, Turquoise Bay was voted the best beach in Australia in Tripadvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards. It also achieved third place in a list of the best beaches in the world.
Cape Range National Park – some 60 km south of the Exmouth township – is where you’ll find this world-class beach. Read more about idyllic beaches in Cape Range National Park.
Some of the best dive spots in the world are in Exmouth
Like the world-renowned Navy Pier on the east tip of Exmouth’s North West Cape. Navy Pier is one of the best pier dives in the world. Home to a vast array of marine life, it’s like diving in a glassless aquarium. Best of all, it’s easy to navigate, so it’s an ideal diving spot, whatever your level of diving experience.
The Labyrinth at Lighthouse Bay is another must-do dive site in Exmouth. Located to the north of Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, like the Navy Pier, its accessibility makes it a favourite spot for locals and visitors. If you want to see sea turtles in their natural habitat, The Labyrinth is the go-to dive spot for this. Watch as turtles glide up to the established turtle cleaning station for a turtle spa. Read more about the best dive sites in Ningaloo.
Did someone mention whale sharks?
There is one thing that makes Exmouth a ‘bucket-list’ destination. It’s the chance to swim with whale sharks in their natural habitat. Swimming with the world’s largest fish is an eye-opening experience, and Exmouth is the only place to do it in Australia.
Exmouth tour operators run tours from mid-March to August. It’s a popular tourist activity, so we advise booking a spot on one of the whale shark swimming tours as early as possible. If you’re an ocean lover, there’s little doubt swimming with whale sharks should be top of your Australia bucket list! Read more about swimming with whale sharks in Ningaloo.
Exmouth is a haven for water-based activities
So many adventures are just waiting for you out on the open water in Exmouth – and underneath it! Life in Exmouth revolves around the ocean, so just about every water-based activity you can imagine is available for your enjoyment. Hire a paddleboard or kayak and experience the magnificent Ningaloo Reef without getting (too) wet. To explore the incredible underwater world below the waves, you’ll find some of Exmouth’s best snorkelling spots in Cape Range National Park.
If surfing is more your thing, you will find some stellar surf breaks along the Ningaloo Coast. Spots like Hunters, Dunes (Surfers Beach) and Wobiri are some of the best in Exmouth. Located around 20 km north of town, Dunes is safe and easy to access. Hunters is another popular local surfing spot, not far from Vlamingh Head Lighthouse. If you’re keen to learn how to surf, the waves at Wobiri (approximately 25 km from Exmouth township) make it one of the best locations for beginners.
Make every moment of your time in Exmouth count. Hire a jet ski, go flyboarding, tubing and try kite surfing. From the more leisurely SUPing to the adrenaline rush of wakeboarding and water skiing, there is so much fun to be had out on the ocean – whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced water sports enthusiast.
Your next coastal adventure and vitamin-sea fix await you in Exmouth, WA. Whether you’re here for just a few days or hanging around our beautiful backyard for a few weeks, read more about the amazing and fabulous things to see and do in Exmouth and Ningaloo.