Hire a 4WD Camper and explore the breathtaking Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia
The Ningaloo Coast, located on the beautiful shores of Western Australia, showcases the magnificence of nature through its turquoise waters, vivid coral reefs, and breathtaking landscapes.
Picture yourself strolling along pristine beaches and snorkelling through vibrant coral reefs. This coastal paradise is a haven for adventure seekers and nature lovers, offering a range of experiences that will leave you in awe.
We are passionate about showcasing the beauty of Australia with others and have compiled the top 10 places that make the Ningaloo Coast an absolute must on your travel itinerary.
Please note, we have arranged the top 10 in order from south to north, taking into account you can’t cross Yardie Creek when driving a RedSands vehicle. This way, you can easily incorporate these amazing spots into your itinerary.
1. Point Quobba Blowholes
The Blowholes, an incredible natural wonder, can be found 75 kilometres north of Carnarvon on a well-paved road. Strong ocean waves push water through caves and small openings in the rocks, causing powerful jets of water to shoot up into the air, sometimes reaching heights of 20 meters. This creates a truly breathtaking sight.
Located just one kilometre south of the Blowholes, there is a tranquil lagoon filled with coral that the locals call the ‘Aquarium’. This lagoon is abundant with fish and shells and boasts a beautiful white sandy beach, making it an ideal spot for families and a beach picnic. If you’re not the most confident swimmer, don’t worry, the Aquarium is perfect for snorkelling, even for beginners.
Tip! The Blowholes perform best when the tide is coming in, just before the high tide reaches its peak. During high tide, the water actually covers the narrow holes in the rocks, from where the jets of water erupt.
The Blowholes Campground is a great low-cost camp, right on the beach. Please note that the campsite offers unpowered sites only. If you’re in search of a campsite that provides additional amenities, we suggest checking out Quobba Station. This operational pastoral station is situated about 10 kilometres north of the Blowholes and offers facilities such as toilets, hot showers, a camp kitchen, and a washing machine.
2. Warroora Coast
Warroora Coast is a stretch of coastline offering absolute beachfront, self-sufficient camping for those who are seeking to go off the beaten track. The 11 campgrounds along the Warroora Coast were previously managed by Warroora Station but are now managed by Parks and Wildlife. Warroora Station continues to offer camping and accommodation at the Homestead at Warroora Station which is just 1500 metres from the beach.
There are no toilets at any of the beachfront campgrounds and visitors must bring a portable chemical cassette toilet. The Warroora Coast is a perfect place to unwind for a few days and to give yourself permission to sit back and relax.
Campsites include: 14 Mile, Black Moon Cliff, Nicks Camp, Lagoon, Stevens Camp, Elles Beach, Maggies, Sandy Point, Amherst Point, The Ridge and Stans Camp (Overflow). Click here for more information and bookings.
Tip! Bookings must be made prior to arrival. Most campgrounds offer a selection of sites directly in front of the ocean or nestled behind the dunes. The oceanfront campsites book out quickly, but if you haven’t managed to secure an ocean spot it is always worth having a friendly chat with one of the campground hosts. They manage any cancellations or no-shows, and therefore might be able to swap your booking for an ocean-view site if one becomes available.
It is worth keeping an eye on the Parks and Wildlife website as they often release any campsites that were cancelled last minute. This means that your preferred site may become available.
3. Coral Bay
Coral Bay is a tiny oasis where the reef touches the beach, with its coral gardens only metres away from the white sandy beaches. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit on your road trip. Whilst Coral Bay receives many visitors, especially during peak travel times, it remains a popular destination for all the right reasons.
The town is home to a mesmerising array of marine life, including playful dolphins, majestic manta rays, and the gentle giants of the sea, whale sharks. The sheltered waters of Bill’s Bay make for an ideal swimming and fantastic snorkelling beach.
Most places in Coral Bay are easily accessible by foot. The coral gardens are just a short swim away from the beach, making it an ideal destination for families with young children.
Experience in Coral Bay:
- Mantay Ray Tour – Manta rays live year-round at Coral Bay
- Whale-watching tours
- Bill’s Bar – open 7 days a week
- Interested in learning the art of freediving? Ningaloo Coral Bay offers a 3-day course that takes you through all the essentials. The last day even includes a Manta Ray interaction.
- Quad bike adventure to Five Fingers Reef
4. South Lefroy Bay & Winderabandi Point
South Lefroy Bay and Winderabandi Point are both campsites part of Ningaloo Station, located between Exmouth and Coral Bay. These remote campsites are perfect for those in search of a true adventure, as the 4WD tracks leading to the campsites can get a bit bumpy.
Once you arrive, it becomes clear that the journey was well worth it, as turquoise waters, views over Cape Range National Park, and endless opportunities for swimming, snorkelling, and fishing await.
Please note, no toilets or bins are provided. Taking a portable toilet is mandatory and any rubbish needs to be taken out of the park for disposal in an authorised dump point.
5. Charles Knife Canyon Gorge
The Charles Knife Road in Cape Range National Park takes you to the top of the magnificent ranges, providing breathtaking views of the Charles Knife Canyon and Exmouth Gulf. If possible, try to reach the top of the road at dawn, as the sunrise views are incredible.
Once you’ve enjoyed the breathtaking views of Exmouth Gulf from Thomas Carter Lookout, follow the bush trail that winds through the canyon. Along the way, you’ll come across several spots that offer great photo opportunities.
Shothole Canyon is situated near Charles Knife Canyon Gorge. You can drive around the canyon and enjoy the stunning scenery while taking the chance to stop and examine the vibrant layers on the rock surface. By joining the walking trail at the canyon’s bottom, you can explore a vast portion of the national park and watch out for some of the native marsupials.’
Tip: All our vehicles include a Personal Locator Beacon, and we recommend putting this in your backpack when you go for a hike. Always carry and drink adequate water (minimum of 4L per person), and wear sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat. There is no water and very little shade in the park. Before you head out on a hike, always tell someone where you plan to walk and when you expect to return. Some locations have a trail register; a logbook where you can simply leave your contact details and the time you commenced your hike.
6. Exmouth Town
Exmouth town is more than just your gateway to the Ningaloo Reef. The charming coastal town exudes a friendly atmosphere that welcomes travellers with open arms. In the heart of the town, you will find local shops, cosy cafes and lively markets. Exmouth is a popular town, but even in peak season, the town manages to maintain a relaxed and peaceful holiday vibe.
Town Beach is the most accessible and closest beach to the town centre. The beach is a safe place to swim, especially at high tide even with children. You can drive your 4WD straight onto the beach and set up for the day. Town Beach has a fantastic atmosphere with many travellers gathering here in their vans to enjoy the scenic views, meet other travellers, or simply have a relaxing picnic.
Experience in Exmouth:
- Town Beach
- Ningaloo Visitor Centre – the Ningaloo Visitor Centre is more than just a visitor centre. The staff are very knowledgeable and gladly offer a range of suggestions to improve your experience. Inside the visitor centre, you also find the Ningaloo Aquarium and Discovery Centre, a café and a shop with a range of beautiful gifts and souvenirs.
- Ningaloo Bakehouse and Café
- Froth Craft Brewery & Restaurant (a great place for live music)
- Rent a kayak or book a half-day sea kayak and snorkel tour to Explore the Bundegi Sanctuary Zone in the Exmouth Gulf.
Exmouth Boat & Kayak Hire rent out kayaks and offer a delivery service to bring the kayak to you and pick them back up when you are finished.
If you prefer to go on a guided tour, Exmouth Adventure Co offers a range of sea kayak and snorkel tours. They also offer turtle-watching tours and full-day snorkel and hike tours.
7. The Exmouth Navy Pier
Dive into a vibrant underwater world at the Exmouth Navy Pier, renowned as one of Australia’s top shore dive sites.
The world-famous Exmouth Navy Pier has consistently been voted as not just one of the best dive spots in Australia, but in the world. Encounters with diverse marine life, from colourful nudibranchs to elusive frogfish, await just beneath the surface.
The Navy Pier is a paradise for photographers as it offers a vast range of marine life to please every type of diver, whether you admire grandiose views or prefer to focus on the tiniest details.
Dive Ningaloo currently holds the only licence for operating scuba diving tours at the Navy Pier. They provide diving opportunities for both certified and non-certified divers.
8. Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
The Vlamingh Head Lighthouse Scenic Drive offers breathtaking views of the North West Cape as you drive up to Vlamingh Head. Meander up the hill to see the grand Vlamingh Lighthouse for spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Ningaloo Reef. Be sure to keep a lookout for migrating humpback whales during the migration season.
Check out the interpretive displays and learn about the 100-plus-year-old lighthouse and the fascinating history of North West Cape. Then, continue to the edge of the lookout to see the site of a World War II radar station and anti-aircraft positions.
The Vlamingh Head Lighthouse Scenic Drive is located approximately 17 kilometres from Exmouth.
9. Oyster Stacks & Turquoise Bay
Oyster Stacks & Turquoise Bay are two of the incredible Ningaloo Reef snorkelling locations. At Turquoise Bay you can do a drift snorkel or snorkel within the bay itself. The drift snorkel is the main attraction where you can enter the water as far South as possible and let the gentle current take along lush coral gardens teeming with vibrant reef fish just a few meters from the shore. This is a unique snorkelling experience that you definitely don’t want to miss!
Snorkelling within Turquoise Bay itself is a perfect spot for beginners to practice their skills! Enter from the beach and snorkel out over sand and scattered coral bommies. Currents do not normally affect the bay area, but always check conditions to be sure.
Oyster Stacks is a great site for families as the coral reef and its diverse fish life can be viewed just steps from the shore in calm, shallow water. Take care entering the water as the shoreline here is rocky with some sharp oyster shelled areas. Enter the water at the end of the walking track and snorkel either north or south.
It’s important to keep in mind that the area is quite shallow, therefore, it’s recommended to go snorkelling only during high tide of 1.2m or above to prevent harming the delicate corals.
10. Yardie Creek: Gorge-ous Views
The historic gorge of Yardie Creek offers a breathtaking sight of deep blue water, red limestone cliffs, and a variety of birds and wildlife. Among them are the rare black-flanked rock wallaby, euros and red kangaroos.
The calm waters of Yardie Creek lend itself perfectly to a relaxing kayak adventure. Witnessing the huge red cliffs whilst kayaking through the gorge is a magical experience.
You can rent kayaks from Exmouth Boat Hire. They also offer a delivery service and can arrange to have a kayak ready for you at Yardie Creek.
Make new memories, one road trip at a time
Our passion is to help you create memories that stay with you forever and we would love to be a part of your next adventure. Click here to request a quote. If you have any questions or are seeking guidance on the ideal route for your trip, our friendly team is here to help you plan your trip of a lifetime. You can call us on +61 8 6149 8555 or click here to book a personalised road trip consult.