Ningaloo area trip 2017

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 01, 2016 at 21:06
ThreadID: 133705 Views:4054 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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We're starting to plan our trip for June next year (possibly cutting it close for booking some things?) and I'm after some general information and suggestions. I will do further research, of course, and probably ask more questions later.. At this point I'd like to start here and get some reliable opinions from the forum. Hope you don't mind.

We are going to fly in, spend three weeks and have the following activities in mind (told you it was general!)...

Fly fishing for bonefish (got this one sorted, Brett Wolfe keeps emailing me bloody brilliant pictures which predicated the trip in the first place), hire a boat for a couple of days, go snorkeling , do a whale-shark trip, camping for at least half the time (we can either bring our lightweight camping gear over or hire a camper) and any bird watching available in the area.

Any tips, suggestions and/or "don't do's" will be appreciated. As mentioned, just starting, so just after general opinions at this point. Any suggestions of books/guides would also be welcome.


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Reply By: gerard m2 - Tuesday, Nov 01, 2016 at 22:45

Tuesday, Nov 01, 2016 at 22:45
I'll be following this topic closely as we are planning a similar trip for April. I would love to know more about the fly fishing.
AnswerID: 605623

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016 at 10:34

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016 at 10:34
Re the camping aspect of your trip ........we've been to Exmouth and Cape Range National Park (NP) a few times....a brilliant region for sure ! Ours is a pretty simple, low key formula though....we stock up at Exmouth and then cruise round to Yardie Homestead which is just outside the north boundary* of the NP....camping rates are quite reasonable, given the location (the need to advance book online for sites withing the NP is a restrictive pain to me :-). We then buy a day pass when we decide to go into the NP for day trips. The main attraction for us is snorkelling in quite shallow water along the inside edge of the Ningaloo reef....hoards of beautiful fish to see. My pick is South Mandu beach - the reef is closest to shore at that some instances, only a few metres from dry sand, at lower tides. Re the environment.....just about every landform up there has recognisable aspects of the time that the whole area was covered by the sea...a lot of the small gorges have marine structures on their some spots you can even see several, ancient, progressive shore lines in hillside views of the range.
The Milyering Visitor Centre inside the park is well worth a visit...lots of info in there.
Whatever you do, you'll be mightily impressed with the place.
*not to be confused with Yardie Creek....way down at the south end of the park.
AnswerID: 605629

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016 at 21:08

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016 at 21:08
Thanks Darian, much appreciated.

Gerard, the best fishing is apparently just out of wading depth. The best known guide is Brett Wolfe (True Blue Bones).

AnswerID: 605640

Reply By: BTLC - Friday, Nov 04, 2016 at 08:32

Friday, Nov 04, 2016 at 08:32
Are you flying into Exmouth?
It's really a small town. We were there Late May this year. Don't think there was a boat hire facility - were very few along the WA coast line. Also don't think you will find a camper hire facility. Probably best to come fully prepared with your own camping gear.
We travelled the whole WA coast, never needing to book a site as we were just on the cusp of their busy season. Stayed as RAC, in Exmouth.
The Nat Park is beautiful, there are many campsites close/on waters edge. Think you would need to supply your own water.
We did the whale shark tour and got to swim with 4 whale sharks. Also scuba diving & snorkelling. The drift snorkel in the Nat park also great.
Coral Bay was also lovely, but much smaller than Exmouth.
AnswerID: 605657

Reply By: Dean K3 - Friday, Nov 04, 2016 at 12:55

Friday, Nov 04, 2016 at 12:55
camping at cape range NP is a pot luck approach, starters need to be self sufficient ie have own portaloo, without it no camping permitted.

Many people arrive and then stay for months on end, bit like 40 mile and 80 miles beaches further up coast. Relative has been in a queue to find a spot arriving in line at 4am in morning to get that illusive spot, due to the "long term" campers

From last visit there (2010) was a camper van hire mob in exmouth but not sure of current status.

Fishing really need to go on charter hire which isn't cheap or BYO some beach fishing permitted but need to confirm regulations as the place is inside a marine park.

best suggestion would get a parks pass allowing 4 weeks entry into many NP as possible there are some restrictions like monkey mia -might seem silly but if you add up sums for a adult x 2 for day visit and then do it again following day gets close to value of parks pass, and if you do decide to upgrade they will deduct cost of day pass to parks pass.

Birding, ospreys wedgies magpie larks possibly zebra finches and later on once seeds emerge budgies -emus most probably as well
AnswerID: 605671

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Nov 04, 2016 at 15:56

Friday, Nov 04, 2016 at 15:56
There have been changes to camping in the NP so check out the new arrangements on the web.
FollowupID: 875425

Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Nov 05, 2016 at 11:18

Saturday, Nov 05, 2016 at 11:18
There are now trips to allow you to swim with the humpbacks. Could be awesome.

In June we did a reef/whaleshark swim and by chance caught a manta ray cruising past which then looped showing his belly. Fantastic.

By the way, most of the coral is brown.
AnswerID: 605685

Follow Up By: BTLC - Sunday, Nov 06, 2016 at 18:54

Sunday, Nov 06, 2016 at 18:54
Ningaloo reef is made up of hard coral, not anywhere as colourful as the soft coral found in the Barrier reef, so you won't find Nemo. However the the colours of the fish really pop.

Humpback whale swims are also seasonal - more Aug/sept.
FollowupID: 875455

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