Sunny Exmouth is a thriving base for tourists flocking to the Coral Coast's Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park. Although there is little to do in the town other than swim or fish and enjoy close encounters with kangaroos, emus, and pink-chested galahs (they are birds, by the way), Exmouth is the ideal place for an intrepid visitor to set out on the adventure of a lifetime. Surf the cape, head deep into the national parks - it's up to you in Exmouth.
Swim with Sharks
Forget Jaws - this is the real thing. Ningaloo Reef is an incredibly rich environment for dugongs, turtles, and rays, but it is also the only place in Australia where you can swim with whale sharks. They breed in Exmouth from April to July, and you can swim next to them in complete safety with a guided tour. You'll start with a morning snorkel among the more placid marine wildlife, and then, while you're enjoying a refreshing tea break, spotter planes will locate the magnificent beasts that are the focus of this exercise. Dive masters lead you out to the appropriate spot, where you wait for the whale sharks to cruise slowly past.
4X Thrills in Cape Range National Park
The 510-sq-km Cape Range National Park is a pristine landscape teeming with kangaroos, emus, lizards, and other wildlife. Magnificent plunging canyons and rugged red limestone valleys mark the Cape Range, which eventually merges into the white sands bordering pristine Ningaloo Reef. Witness the dramatic contrast between Ningaloo's beach perfection and the craggy wilderness of Cape Range. From the east coast, the park is accessible via unsealed Charles Knife Road and Shothole Canyon Road, which in turn are accessed via the Minilya-Exmouth Road. Hire a 4-wheel-drive for an adventure that takes you to such celebrated attractions as Shothole and Charles Knife canyons. A five-kilometre bushwalking trail connects the two and offers some stunning outback scenery.
Kitesurfing in Ningaloo
The area around Ningaloo Reef could have been designed by a kitesurfer. Dry and warm all year round, its water temperature ranges between 18C and 28C. Wind conditions remain consistent between September and February, and you can access beaches on either the east or west side of the peninsula to suit the winds. Add to that, few crowds and 260 km of protected, shallow, sandy beaches and you have the perfect setting for even the first-time kitesurfer.
Abseiling & Rock Climbing
With its spectacular plunging canyons and rugged red limestone gorges, Cape Range National Park is a wonderland for abseiling and rock climbing enthusiasts. Test your strength to its limits with a qualified instructor for a safe shot of adrenaline. Abseiling and rock climbing programmes take place at the Wilyabrup sea cliffs 20 minutes north of Margaret River, in the Torndirrup National Park near Albany, in the Cape Range National Park, and in the magnificent gorges of Karijini National Park.