Coral Bay is a small settlement with a population of around 250 located 12 hours north of Perth in Western Australia. It lies protected from the Indian Ocean by Ningaloo Reef, Australia's only fringing reef and one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world. In contrast to the east coast’s Great Barrier Reef, the coral grows seaward, directly from the shore making the coral and reef fish directly accessible from the water’s edge. This quiet beachside town offers the perfect place to snorkel above the colourful coral or stay dry aboard a glass-bottom boat and view the natural wonders below. A little further offshore you can have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming with the majestic whale sharks (between March and June) and graceful manta rays. You can see turtles nesting on local beaches between November and February or witness the Humpback whale migration from June to October.
The heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast spans 604,500 hectares and includes Ningaloo Reef. Located at the heart of the coast is Coral Bay, the ideal location for exploring the coral gardens of Ningaloo Marine Park.
The magnificent whale sharks gather in the area every year between March and June. Growing up to 14 metres in length, whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They are filter feeders that live off plankton and krill so are no threat to humans. Experienced tour operators take visitors to swim with these gentle giants, which is a life-changing experience for those who do.
Named Coral Bay for the glorious coral reef gardens, just metres from the beach, this tiny, laidback, seaside town is one of Western Australia’s favourite holiday destinations. Protected by the outer reef, Coral Bay’s beaches are soft and white and its waters calm and clear.
The waters boast a large population of magnificent sea turtles including green, loggerhead and hawkesville, which are often spotted in the shallow waters or near the reef on a Coral Bay tour. You can watch the awe-inspiring turtle nesting on Coral Bay beaches between November and February and from June to October, witness the migration of humpback whales just off the coast.
The thriving sanctuary of Coral Bay is home to whale sharks, manta rays, humpback wales, a wealth of sea turtles, and over 500 species of diverse reef fish.
Visitors flock to Coral Bay tours throughout the year including whale shark and manta ray tours, sailing, diving, fishing, 4WD and quad bike tours. You can hire kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, or swim or snorkel straight from shore in the sheltered waters of Paradise Beach and Bill's Bay.
Take an aquatic adventure to Coral Bay on one of our West Australian tours.
The traditional occupants of the Coral Bay region are the Baiyungu people who have inhabited the area for over 35,000 years. The Ningaloo (meaning deep water) Coast is part of the Baiyungu, Yinikurtira, and Thalanyji peoples’ traditional land and sea country and contains significant aboriginal sites such as burial grounds, middens, and fish traps.
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