Western Australia: Ningaloo Station, Exmouth and Whale Shark Swim Tour

(21/6/2018 – 30/6/2018)

WOW!!!  Ningaloo Station – another awesome beach camping spot!!!  The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area covers more than 600,000 hectares.    Ningaloo Reef, home to 300  species of coral and 500 species of fish, is just a few metres from the shore in some places and is great for snorkelling.

From the main road it was about 40 km or so dirt road to the homestead to check in.   We arrived at Ningaloo Station early afternoon and we had booked in to Winderabandi Point for 7 nights.     From the homestead it was another slow and bumpy 50km drive onto the beach.   Bloody hell it was pretty rough actually.    Once we got on to the beach, we stopped, Oh No!!! the sand was too soft.  Oh no, please don’t let us get bogged now!!! We’ve only got about 20 metres to go!! Andrew had to let the tyres down even more.  Phew, all was good and we got moving again.  Thankful we have a V8 Cruiser!!!   We set up next to Daniel and Stacey.   This was another perfect setting, similar to Tamala Station.

Winderabandi Point is a very popular spot for camping, fishing, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.    The beaches are pristine here and perfect for swimming.   I wonder if they call this area Winderabandi because of the wind!!!    Andrew and Daniel drove into Exmouth to pick up Simon (Stacey’s brother) and the boat they had hired for the week.   Even though it was hot and sunny every day which was great, it was also windy which didn’t help with the guys and their fishing.    Most days the wind would be up in the morning but tended to die down later in the afternoon or early evening.

Poor Daniel got bogged a couple of times trying to get the boat out of the water, fortunately Andrew had all the appropriate towing stuff so with our Cruiser was able to pull Daniel out.

Various shots of our beach camp from the Drone

We had a fantastic week here at Ningaloo.     On Thursday, the guys left in the morning to return the boat,  Stacey and I packed up as much as we could so when they came back at lunchtime we basically hooked up and left.    We headed up to Exmouth, which was about 3 or so hours drive.   We arrived at RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park very late in the afternoon and set up here for 3 nights.

We had booked in to do the whale shark swim tour through Ocean Eco Adventures.    We managed to get the last 5 spots for Friday (Andrew, Mitchell, Simon, Stacey and myself), which was perfect and we also received a 10% discount by staying at RAC.   Daniel stayed back at the park with Summer and Harlem.

I have to say this was very much a highlight for us on our lap.

Wow, and what an Epic day out with Ocean Eco Adventures on Latitude 22!!!

We got to swim with 7 different whale sharks ranging from under 3 metres to over 7 metres!!! Our group even got a visit from a grey reef shark!!!! Eek!!!

Whale Sharks are the biggest and one of the rarest fish in the world’s oceans!!  They have been around for about 16 million years and while they are a shark that grows as big as a whale, they are one of the most gentle animals in the ocean, feeding off some of the world’s smallest animals in the form of plankton.  Whale Sharks are fully protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Mitchell was just awesome snorkelling in the ocean (considering he’s only done it once before in a pool last year!!!!)

After we were kitted up with our snorkelling gear, stinger and wet suits we had a morning snorkel at a spot called Saharas where we could practice and get comfortable snorkelling in the ocean.    We saw lots of beautiful fish and coral.  We then headed out to the Reef.   Ocean Eco had their own microlight aircraft which spots the whale sharks to swim with.  All up we swam for over an hour and half with the whale sharks!!!  The water so clear and warm.  The feeling of swimming along side these giant gentle creatures is absolutely amazing.  Afterwards we headed back inside the reef for a beautiful buffet lunch.  We also went for another snorkel at spot called Mangrove Bombie for at least 45 minutes.   After our snorkel there we cruised through the lagoon enjoying a visit from humpback dolphins, and we also spotted huge squid and turtles swimming around us.

The crew were fantastic and our group leader, Sarah, was just brilliant with assisting Mitchell in the water.

We finished off the day with champagne, beer and afternoon tea as we headed back to the boat ramp.

This was a big tick off our bucket list!!!!!✔️✔️✔️

After spending a few days in Exmouth (wish we had more time here too!!!!), we said our goodbyes to Daniel and Stacey as we were now heading to Karijini National Park and they were staying in Exmouth a little while longer.

(21/6/2018 – 30/6/2018)

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