Coral Bay / Ningaloo - help with some basic questions!

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 16:38
ThreadID: 101877 Views:1733 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Hi all,

First time the wife and I are heading up from Perth to check out Ningaloo /Coral Bay for a few days to a week. Really excited about doing a bit of snorkeling. We've got a few newbie questions I'm struggling to find answers to, if anyone can help me out:

1. If flying, is it even necessary to hire a car? I'm wondering is everything generally walking distance from where people usually stay, thus the car would get no use? Or is hiring a car definitely the way to go?

2. Does where you choose to stay have a big impact on the experience? Where's the best snorkeling to be found? And is there accommodation within walking distance of it? Or does it not matter much as you need to drive to all the spots anyway?

3. How long do you suggest staying for? I know this is subjective and depends on what you want to see and do, but generally speaking is a few days usually amply sufficient to see and do the main attractions in Ningaloo? Or is this way too short?

Thanks!



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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:45

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:45
Hi James

I think Coral Bay is your only option for accommodation near the coast without camping out. Also it has black road access so suitable for a hire vehicle. You could spend a few days snorkelling in the bay, or take a glass bottomed boats for a different look. There is also a swimming with whale sharks tour operator there. You would need a dirt road authorised four wheel drive to tour the Ningaloo Coast south of Exmouth.

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Reply By: Member - Tom L (WA) - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:57

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:57
Hi James, I think that without transport you will not get to see much of the Cape Range NP.
You don't need a large car as all points of interest are within easy driving range. We stay in the NP so don't have much experience with caravan parks. We have stayed at the Yardie Homestead CP which we have found to be good and close to all the beaches but about a 15 mins. drive from town. The snorkelling is really very good. Lakeside, Turquoise Bay(be careful of rip tides there) and The Oyster Stacks are our favourite places. I would also suggest that if you and your wife are good swimmers then a swim with the whale sharks is a real buzz. It's quite expensive but we thought it a once in a lifetime experience.I reckon that you should plan at least a weeks stay.
Hope this helps and you enjoy your stay. We always enjoy our time up there.
Tom
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Reply By: jamesgill - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 19:22

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 19:22
I forgot to mention - we're also willing to camp it if there are some nice camping spots to be had. We won't have a 4WD drive though...unless we hire one (should we?)
AnswerID: 509775

Follow Up By: jacent - Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 22:08

Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 22:08
You don't need a fourby to get to all the snorkeling spots, backpackers were driving all sorts of beat up bombs, the roads are good!
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Reply By: fisho64 - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 21:37

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 21:37
mate if your only going "for a few days to a week", skip the hire car-fly up and get the transfer (Coral Bay Adventures?) to Coral Bay.
Everywhere is within a short walk of the beach, great snorkelling, charters of all sorts and food etc.
If you want to explore a bit of the coast go on a quadbike tour.
AnswerID: 509788

Reply By: Member - Tom V (WA) - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:19

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:19
Hi James. what, fisho64 says is right. if going for a few days, fly. u land @ the old airforce base @ exmouth. ring Doug @ coral bay adventures, he does the run to pick people up @ the airport. coralbay is approx a 1.5hrs drive south of exmouth.
there are 2 caravan parks there with cabin accomodation & a back packers, plus some private houses.
u can easily walk to the beach from coralbay, proabaly 500 meters, snorkel, swim,canoe etc. you can go on the charter veassels to fish, swim with the whale sharks etc.
if u are staying for more than a couple of days, drive. u can do it in a day, provided u are not towing anything. we have done this a few times. the u can use for car for trips around the area. good luck Tom
AnswerID: 509852

Reply By: jamesgill - Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:23

Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:23
Fantastic advice. Thanks all!
AnswerID: 509853

Reply By: WBS - Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 08:59

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 08:59
Coral Bay is only part of the story. I found that Ningaloo was best experienced from the northern end or coming from Exmouth and heading down towards Yardie Creek. We stayed at the Lighthouse Caravan park which was fine. They have potable water in tanks so you need a container to carry water for drinking and cooking. From here with a hire car you can investigate the Cape Range National Park and do plenty of snorkelling down the coast towards Yardie Creek, including Turquois Bay. Shothole Canyon, Charles Knife Road are also best accessed from Exmouth.

Coral Bay is a great spot but unless you've been to Exmouth end before you'd be missing out if you only went there.

WBS
AnswerID: 509876

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 00:36

Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 00:36
hes only got a couple of days, Coral Bay is much more accessable outside of school holidays and Exmouth township itself aint much to write home about.
In fact without a car in Exmouth your pretty much screwed.
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Reply By: jamesgill - Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 09:46

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 09:46
Hey WBS - would I need to hire a 4WD to do what you suggest? Or is a 2WD fine?
AnswerID: 509880

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 17:39

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 17:39
From our experience (not recent) definitely 4wd, and if hiring, they would need to know your off bitumen plans, if doing the Ningaloo Coast down from Exmouth through the National Park.

If camping, you need to book for the premium sites on line as they are under pressure.

Motherhen

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