ningaloo reef

Ningaloo Reef

A world heritage site

Ningaloo Reef is located in the north west coastal region of Western Australia. It extends from the top of North West Cape along the coast for 260km , past Coral Bay.  It is situated between tropical and temperate waters in the Indo Pacific region which is renowned for the highest biodiversity in the world’s oceans.

Ningaloo Reef is one of the longest fringing coral reef in the world.  A fringing reef is distinguished from the other types of reef (barrier, platform and atolls) by the fact that it is separated from the shore by narrow, shallow lagoons. These lagoons are the perfect location for you to explore the reefs 250 species of coral and over 500 species of reef fish.

Ningaloo Reef is home to the Whale shark, Humpback Whales, Manta Rays, Dugongs and much more. We are even lucky enough to have six of the world’s seven sea turtles swim in our waters and three of these species nesting on our beaches.

World Heritage Area

The Ningaloo Coast was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list on 29 June 2011. World Heritage listing recognizes the outstanding universal value of the area’s diverse and abundant marine life, its amazing cave fauna and the spectacular contrast between the colourful underwater scenery and the arid and rugged land of the Cape Range.

Australia’s Coral Coast region can boast not one but two World Heritage areas with Ningaloo Reef in the north and Shark Bay World Heritage area to the south. These listings are testament to the unique features in this part of Australia.

Why do Whale sharks visit Ningaloo Reef ?

Every year from March/April to July/August following the mass spawning of coral, the world’s biggest fish congregates in the Ningaloo Marine Park. Visitors from all over the world now head to the Ningaloo Reef during whale shark season to experience the exhilaration of snorkelling with them.

The coral spawning at Ningaloo Reef provides whale sharks with an abundant supply of plankton and tropical krill, with unique current systems off WA helping to keep this food supply close to the coast, where the sharks are easily accessible to observers. This makes it one of the most predictable and accessible places in the world to encounter a Whale shark.

Whale Shark swim

Tour available from April – July

Humpback whale swim

Tour available from August – September