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Why Coral Bay Australia
is a Town You Just Have to Visit
on the Ultimate Road Trip up the West Coast
Coral Bay, Australia is a tiny settlement half-way-up Australia's west coast, right on the doorstep of the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park.
The photo below shows the town of Coral Bay, Australia's main beach, which is just a minute or two's walk from any point in town. This should give you some idea of why Coral Bay in Western Australia is so special:
turquoise and electric blue ocean water, blindingly white sand the hot and dry outback grasslands behind the beaches create a vivid contrast
of colours beneath the hot desert sun.
Coral Bay beaches are simply stunning.
But swimming at these remote desert beaches is only half the story! Here's what you'll find beneath the surface of that beautiful clear warm water, only 100 metres off the beach:
Paradise Found at Coral Bay Australia
Coral Bay is a not the easiest place to get to. Public transport is limited, and if you're driving, it's a fair bit of a detour off the main road up the West Coast of Western Australia ... And this is the very reason why you should make the effort to visit!
Picture a place where you walk everywhere barefoot, where the sun shines hot year-round and the beach is never more than a 2-minute walk away. The seawater is cool and soothing, but never cold.
A lazy swim 50 metres across the shallows will find you floating over a coral garden, with tropical fish darting this way and that, and a walk away from town along the powdery white sand will lead you to yet more beautiful beaches, each wilder and more pristine than the last.
This is an area that has been saved from commercialisation and pollution by its remote location, miles from anywhere with no roads. The beaches and coral reef ecosystem are in a unspoilt, pristine wilderness state, and the wild life both on land and under the sea is prolific and awe-inspiring.
Coral Bay is one of those many places in Western Australia where you can experience a heightened connection with the natural world and a real sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of our planet.
But it's unique in that the wildlife and natural wonders of the surrounding land and sea are easily accessible for all travellers.
Lots of Perth people drive up to Coral Bay with a 4WD and a boat in tow so that they can get to the best fishing behind the reef, the most amazing snorkeling sites and the wildest remote Ningaloo beaches. But if you've arrived by public transport or in a 2WD car, you don't have to miss out on adventures into the wild from Coral Bay.
The town may be small and somewhat cut off from civilisation, but it has an excellent range of tours, excursions and charters to choose from that can take you to the best snorkeling spots, fishing grounds and other special places in the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Coral Bay Australia is the perfect combination of a wild, awe-inspiring natural environment, and accessibility for travellers.
Ningaloo Reef Wildlife Encounters at Coral Bay
Coral Bay is the perfect jumping off point for boat trips to the deeper waters of the Ningaloo Reef lagoon and beyond, where you can:
- swim with the whale sharks that call Ningaloo home for four months every year;
- Snorkel with huge manta rays that fly gracefully through the water;
- Watch whales frolicking;
- Spot a rare dugong over the seagrass beds in the calm Ningaloo lagoon
Even without going on a boat trip, you can snorkel from the beaches and see a huge number of fish and other marine life including sea turtles (and sometimes even manta rays - see Coral Bay Beaches to find out more!).
Walking about 15-20 minutes from town along the shoreline of the bay, you'll get to Skeleton Beach. Every spring, the shallow water off this beach provides a sheltered nursery for a huge school of baby reef sharks. (Don't worry - they're inquisitive, but not aggressive!)
The distant point at the very end of Skeleton Beach is Point Maud. It is here that swimmers and snorkellers sometimes encounter a majestic manta ray gliding through the water only 100 metres or so off the beach - possibly, the single most amazing and uncontrived wildlife experience to be had at Coral Bay.
Coral Bay Western Australia for Travellers
Holidays in Coral Bay are all about experiencing simplicity and the awesomeness of the wild, pristine desert and ocean environment.
It's a rough and ready sort town that feels as close to nature as you can get without camping out, so don't go there expecting luxury and entertainment like you'd get in a resort.
At the same time, tourism is the reason for the town's existence. Every business in town is geared towards getting YOU right up close to whale sharks and manta rays, transporting you to magical pristine wild places both on land and beneath the surface of the sparkling blue Indian Ocean.
A fair bit of building and development has gone into Coral Bay over the last 5 - 10 years, making it more comfortable and convenient for travellers than it once was. The big youth hostel, the main shopping area and the Monk's Head boat ramps are all recent additions to the town - as are the wind turbines you'll see on the way out to Monk's Head. Before 2007, the town's electicity came from diesel generators and boats were launched by 4WD or tractor from the town beach. Hopefully Coral Bay doesn't change too much more!
Want to find out more about travelling to Coral Bay Australia?
As you can probably tell, Coral Bay is one of my favourite places in the world and I go there as often as I can. I share with you here on this section of the site everything I know that will help you have the easiest and most memorable time possible at Coral Bay.
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Coral Bay Pages
About Coral Bay
Things to Do
- Coral Bay Boating Guide
- Monks Head and Merv