The caravan guide to Exmouth and Ningaloo

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 17:41
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The caravaners guide to Exmouth and Ninnagloo Reef National Park

So we all know that Exmouth is the base town for Ningaloo Reef national park but if you are heading there towing a caravan, some other things it might be helpful to know. .

Exmouth seems to know where its bread is buttered and for this reason, free camping there is as rare as a kangaroo on the moon. The camps book lists the closest spot as being 5 kilometers south of Learmonth but this is little more than a pull in beside the road.

There are 4 caravan parks here. 2 are in town, the Big 4 and one other. The other two are on the way to the entrance to the National Park. The lighthouse and Yardie Homestead.

The town has an overflow area that is operated, very strictly by the council at the sports ground. It is $39 a night (same as the parks in town) and only opens when every single site is taken at ALL of the 4 caravan parks. That means if you are looking for a powered site but there are unpowered sites available in one of the parks, it is closed.

Heading toward the National Park, Lighthouse CP is the first one you will come across. This is about 15 kilometers out of town. It is a large park that was built when caravans were smaller so most sites are fairly small.

The final caravan park is Yardie Homestead and is the closest to the entrance of the national park. This is perhaps the least popular because it does not have cell phone coverage and is furthest from town. It is however perhaps the best if you want to join the line up for the park camping in the morning. You can get internet with a high mast antenna, say 30 feet.

The national park has 8 camp grounds that allow caravans. So here is a run down on them.

The best in my opinion is Mesa. It is second from the NP gate and 50 kilometers from Exmouth. It has 12 sites that form a large square. On the northern side, there is shade for 6 vans but this almost certainly drops out solar receiving and sat TV. The southern 6 sites are also flat and although have good sat / solar still have a level of protection from the northern prevailing breeze. There are some park benches with picnic tables and it has access to the beach for launching a boat. There is also a smaller wading pool for children. There is no views of the beach. It also has the best in/out road as well. Graded smooth. Most other camps have very rocky entrance roads. Visitors do not drive through the camp either as is the case in most other camps.

This is the closest to the NP gate and comes off the same in road as Mesa. Smaller than Mesa with 8 sites. 4 of which have excellent shade and wind protection. The others line the road to the day area, which has traffic coming and going all day. It has a good boat ramp. Solar is about half the receiving time of Mesa. Sites are level.

The only water point I saw in the park is next to these two camps. There is also limited water taking capacity at this water point as well.

Closest to the Visitors centre, it has 8 sites and a nice wading pool for children. It has a boat ramp and good protection from the northerly breeze. Some have limited sat TV and solar ability. There is a flushing toilet at the visitor’s centre which is a short drive away. The only flushing toilets in the park.

This has 9 sites and a boat ramp down a rocky track. 2 drop toilets and the sites form a ring road. The sites are good size but some are unlevel. No wind protection but solar and sat TV are excellent.

This site is now 71 kilometers from Exmouth and hidden in a sand dune valley from both the road and ocean. So no views. Sites and generally smaller. No trees or shade but sat TV and solar are good.

One of the smaller camps with just 8 sites but they are level and have excellent ocean views. There is a boat ramp over some soft sand. The sites and entrance road form a circle so passing visitors are right past your front door.

Generators are allowed on all sites here except numbers 1-4. It has great ocean views but this means open to the northern wind. Quite a large camp, sites with something like 17 sites. No shade with all the things this brings.

This is the last camp site and 86 kilometers from Exmouth. Some people say 95 kilometers from Exmouth. It has brand new hybrid (the handle type) unisex toilets. It has excellent walks along Yardie Creek as well as boat ramp and canoe access to the creek. More like a river than a creek. Visitors do not enter the campground so traffic is small. Only a short walk from the campground to the toilets. A long haul however to get water at the visitors centre in Exmouth. There are 8 sites about half have shade and the other half are good for solar/sat TV. All have some protection from the wind.

To book a site you line up at the gate entrance. The ranger gets there at 8am and the first in line, get whatever sites are available. If you in the park already however, you have the option of changing sites from 0730 hrs. So take a spot and the following day try and change to the one that you really want. (Currently Mid Aug 2010 about 12 people are leaving per day).

Fees are $11 per day entry or $40 for your holiday. Camping is $7 per person per day.

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Reply By: Ray - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 17:57

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 17:57
It would appear that Exmouth is a ggod place to avoid
AnswerID: 424912

Follow Up By: carlsp - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 18:03

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 18:03
Do not be put off. Worth going to see but be like the diary cow entering the barn. It is milking time.
FollowupID: 695363

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 18:10

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 18:10
Not as bad as some.

You can even get discount fuel there ($1.58) ATM and I got some really nice new T shirts at the OP shop for $17 Same thing in Perth was over $35

Try this 1 Caravan tyre fitted etc at Hedland $110 two days later needed same tyre in Newman $130 for exactly the same.

Exmouth shops werent too bad and nice meat across from the supermarket.
Also is a very nice place
Great Prawns and views from across the road opposite the Prawn shop, up the Charles Knife Gorge

Would sooner go there than Coral Bay. There you do get milked Hard.

FollowupID: 695364

Reply By: Member - Neil W (VIC) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 21:26

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010 at 21:26
We have just spent 17 nights at Yardie Homestead, and had a great time, the powered sites have limited power, fridge and lights etc... no fry pans or air conditioners.

We stayed in a generator site which was fine and $20.00 per night, it was busy but it was school holidays and I think everywhere would have been busy. The roast is well worth it if you are there on a Sunday night.

You can get mobile phone coverage out at the caravan park turn off, or at the lighthouse. We spent most of our time at the National park so Yardie Homestead worked out best anyway.

AnswerID: 424936

Follow Up By: madcow - Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 07:42

Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 07:42
I would have to agree! We stayed there last year for 5 nights and for us daytripping into the park was a better option. We had to give some backpackers in Exmouth a "Tune up" after putting up with the noise for 2 nights in a row and that sealed the deal for us to move on. We also watched a fella towing a jayco across Yardie creek with an incoming tide over mid wheel depth in salt water and got bogged halfway over. He was pulled out in quick time but he did not get out of his car to assist the recovering vehicle BUT he did chuck him 50 bucks! Still not a lot of places to wash the salt water off around there.
FollowupID: 695417

Follow Up By: carlsp - Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 09:26

Friday, Jul 23, 2010 at 09:26
Even though I wrote the above guide, we stayed at Yardie Homestead for 3 nights. $40 park entry plus $14 a night was $82 but staying at Yardie was $22 a night, giving $66.

We only spent one day in the park but could have spent 2 and it was still cheaper at Yardie Homestead. Then you have to think about all the facilities as well that are not in the park.

It is certainly a personal choice however.
FollowupID: 695430

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