Reef is a great destination in Western Australia.
Ningaloo Reef stretches 260km along Western Australian coast
between Coral Bay and Exmouth. Much smaller than the Great Barrier Reef
Queensland, Ningaloo is closer to the coast and quicker reached from
Most people come here to swim with
whale sharks, but there are a lot of other coral reef animals like
manta rays, colourful corals and
fish to discover.
Ningaloo. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
What Are Corals?
There are about 220 species of coral in Ningaloo Reef. Corals always
mainly small fish that can get protection from predators when hiding
amongst corals, but also larger fish that come to feed or mate in
corals. While many world’s coral
reefs are degraded by human
impact, Ningaloo is relatively pristine because there
isn’t much land development in the area, and there will not be either,
because the coast along Ningaloo Reef is protected by Cape Range
Coral. Poster by AllPosters.
Click on thumbnail
Fish in the Coral Reefs
Because corals are colourful, coral reef fish are too - to be able to
camouflage in corals. Coral reef fish are very territorial and spend
their entire lives in and around the same coral, which they
aggressively protect from other fish. Our Hollywood star Nemo - Clown
Fish (Amphiprion bicinctus) has a very special
relationship to its territory – sea anemones - which contain stinging
cells similar to those of Box Jellyfish.
Clown Fish is the only
fish that has adapted to these cells and doesn’t get stung. All other
fish keep themselves away from those stinging anemones so clown fish
have the sea anemones all for themselves. You can always see these fish
in sea anemones where they are perfectly protected from predators.
Clown fish and sea anemones. Poster by AllPosters.
Other Coral Reef Creatures in Ningaloo Reef
There are other interesting creatures in the coral reef, such as sea
urchins and sea cucumbers, sponges, sea shells and crustaceans, but
also some less known groups such as hydrozoans, sea slugs and
nudibranchs, and the more obvious ones: octopus, sea snakes, sea turtles,
large fish such as
groupers and sharks,
and large mammals such as
dugongs and whales.
Sea turtle. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
Dangerous Coral Reef Creatures in Ningaloo Reef
There are also some dangerous
creatures in coral reef.
You don’t want to step on sea urchins, but they are not as bad as
stonefish that are not only painful to step on, but also poisonous.
Other poisonous coral reef creatures include fire fish, sea snakes,
shells, blue ringed octopus, Irukandji jellyfish, and the world’s most
poisonous animal – Box Jellyfish. Don’t let this discourage you but
care and don’t ignore warning signs, particularly those of Box
Stonefish. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
Whale Shark Facts - Killer Whale vs Shark
Whale sharks are not whales
which means they are fish,
not mammals. Whale sharks are the world’s
largest fish weighing up to 21 tonnes and growing up to 18m in length.
But the good news is that the world’s largest sharks are totally
harmless – they are filter feeders that eat plankton and would not be
interested in or able to kill humans.
Whale Shark. Poster by AllPosters.
Swimming and Scuba Diving with Whale Shark
It so happens that the bottom depth in the Ningaloo Reef’s northern end
drops suddenly to 100m only 6km off the coast. Ningaloo Reef is
therefore one of the very few places in the world where you can see
large fish that don’t like shallow waters, so close to the coast, and
Ningaloo Reef is the only place in the world where whale
shark migration happens this close to the coast every
year. Tour operators will take you for a swim with whale sharks,
and occasionally you can see
a baby whale shark. Outside the whale shark season, you can swim with
Swimming with whale shark. Poster by AllPosters.
on thumbnail to
Coral Bay Accommodation and Tours in Ningaloo Reef
Coral Bay is a small one-street town south of Exmouth with a few small
and internet access, and in addition to the whale shark and manta ray
tour operators there are snorkelling tours, glass bottom boats, scenic
flights and reef cruises, and even trips to Cape Range
stay in Coral Bay are Bayview Hotel,
and Peoples Park Caravan Village.
Turquoise Bay. Poster by AllPosters. Click
Tours and Accommodation in Exmouth Australia
Exmouth in the northern end of Ningaloo Reef is a bit bigger, has a
shopping centre and an airport, internet access and lots of tour
operator offices in the town centre.
Places to stay include Best Western Sea
Breeze Resort, Blue Bones Holiday
Reef Backpackers Village, Exmouth
Cape Holiday Park Cabins, Exmouth
Escape Resort, Ningaloo
Lodge, Ningaloo Retreat
Ningaloo Resort, Potshot
Salis Hotel and Sea
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to
Here's a map of Ningaloo Reef Western Australia,
where I have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You
can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click
anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the
map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with
Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.
This site uses
British English, which is the English we use in Australia. You will
find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all
correct in the language used in Australia.
best efforts have been made to ensure
that all the information on this site is correct,
gondwananet.com is not to be blamed should there be a mistake.
All contents of this website are strictly protected
by the Law of Copyright. What
does that mean?