If you are after some great reefs which are not as crowded as the most popular places in the world such as the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns in Australia, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia might just be the place for you. This reef is not on top of the list for many scuba divers, however, it should be. The reef here is just amazing and very diverse and it is one of the few places in the world to spot the infamous whale sharks.
You can easily access the Ningaloo Reef from a small town on the Western Australia coast called Coral Bay or Exmouth. To get there, you can fly to Perth and then rent a camper van like Britz . From Perth it is about 1100 km, but don’t drive it at once. If you have never been to Australia, on the way there, there are many bizzare and very unique sights you can check out. For example, just north of Perth, you can walk on Mars in the pinnacle dessert while spotting the ever wondering emu. Be sure to check out one of the national parks like Kalbarri National Park and definitely make a visit in the Denham and Monkey Mia penninsula to visit the local tame dolphin and see the oldest living organisms on the planet in the Hamelin pool, the Stromatolites. Finallly, before getting to Coral Bay, you can check out the spectacular blowholes by Carnarvon. Believe me, you will not regret it.
Back to Ningaloo reef though, right in Coral Bay, there is a campground in which you can park your campervan and right across the street you can book your diving trips with the local Ningaloo Reef Dive Shop. If you are up for seeing some cool marine life, then I suggest you also book a snorkel trip with your dive trip, because you are in for a treat. Coral Bay is home to many large manta rays which feed in the shallow waters there. So, if you have folks with your on the trip that do not dive, Manta Ray snorkelling is definitely a must for them. Manta Rays are just magnificent. For the non-divers out there, Coral Bay also offers Humpback whale watching, however, I would recommend getting over your fears and trying the deep blue as the experience you get down under is priceless and on the whale watching trips, all you really see is some big mammal blowing out air and going underwater for few minutes.
There are many dive sites around the Ningaloo reef. You will feel like the sea floor is just carpeted with coral and living organisms. The occasional shark just whizzes by and if you are lucky and happen to be in Coral Bay during the right time of the year (season runs from April and May), you might spot the scarce whale sharks. Which is an experience you will re-live over and over and over.
So, do not wait any longer and book your next trip. Do not postpone it with your everyday excuses like “just one more paycheck” or “I need to work now” etc. Just go, you will experience a trip of a lifetime.