The world’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few places in the world where you can swim alongside whale sharks. The Ningaloo Reef Marine Park stretches more than 250 kilometers along the coast, from Amherst Point in the south to Bundegi in the north.

The town of Exmouth and the fishing port at Coral Bay are both popular places to depart on Ningaloo Reef trips. You can go snorkeling with sea turtles, manta rays, dugongs and more than 500 species of tropical fish or if you’re visiting between April and June, swim with immense whale sharks that grow to between four and 12 meters in length.

If you want to swim and snorkel from the shore, head to idyllic Turquoise Bay, which is one of Western Australia’s most beautiful beaches. Its crystal clear wa-ters are ideal for spotting marine life, with an easy “drift” snorkel along the slow current from the southern end of the beach.

Scuba divers will find plenty of inspiration around Point Cloates where there are a number of fascinating wrecks to discover. During the months of March and April, you may also bear witness to mass coral spawning that takes place over three days. If you specifically want to see turtles, head to the Jurabi Coastal Park where there are almost guaranteed sightings.

Aside from the underwater wonders of Ningaloo Reef Marine Park, the area is home to the Cape Range National Park where dramatic limestone canyons, cliffs and dunes await. Be sure to take a guided boat tour along Yardie Creek, which meanders its way between the sheer cliffs of a dramatic gorge.