Sea Breeze Resort
Exmouth, Ningaloo Reef / Western Australia
Give us a call, we'd love to talk to you:
+61 (0)8 9949 1800
How is the snorkelling?
Ningaloo offers the best snorkelling in Australia from the shore! Drive into the Cape Range National Park, grab your snorkel gear, walk into the water and within metres you are in a world class coral reef. Surrounded by tropical fish, turtles and reef sharks, it is unbelievable how much you can see from the beach!
Our Sea Breeze Resort staff have maps and detailed information available at reception to recommend the best spots according to the tides and wind predictions. It is also advisable to check the actual conditions with the park rangers. Ningaloo, unlike other parts of Australia, has no Jellyfish to worry about, no Crocodiles and only a maximum of 2.5 metres tide. It the perfect all year round water playground!
Do I really need a car and which one should I choose?
YOU NEED A CAR! Regardless of where you are staying, you will need your own transport. Cape Range National Park is 35 kilometres from town and Ningaloo Reef has so much on offer for you to explore, but everything is outside walking distance. Note that there is no public transport. The only other way to take in the sights is to do guided tours but they don’t get you to the lighthouse for sunset and of course they don’t take you into the National Park to your timing and leisure!
All main beach access points are well-prepared and maintained gravel roads, so no drama for a 2-wheeler! A little compact car will do for a small family or a couple, just enough to throw the Esky, Sun shelter and snorkel gear in. Having said that, if you are a photographer and want to get off the beaten track into some amazing wildlife, then you may need a 4WD for a few days!
Be aware all hire car company’s only offer 100 kms free/day. Be aware of hefty excess fees, which can be reduced as well at a cost. Check with your credit card company if you have excess insurance as part of your credit card benefits. A lot of credit cards have this service and a lot of people aren’t aware.
What about Whale Shark Tours?
May I refer you to the Whale Shark section in which I describe in detail how to get the best value out of the trip. A must to read, if you want to make the most of it!
What about scuba diving?
Ningaloo Whale Shark ‘N’ Dive has taken the lead and invested heavily into a new live-aboard vessel and recently got the exclusive license to dive the Navy Pier. Be aware that because of the remote location of Exmouth and its increase in oil and gas activity, sometimes minimum numbers are a problem. Seasonality for some underwater activity also occurs: Whale Sharks are here from April to September but the dedicated Whale Shark tours only go out until the end of July. Mantas are around Exmouth from July to December, yet ALL YEAR round in Coral Bay! A must do when you visit Ningaloo!
The Navy Pier is listed as one of the 10 best shore dives in the world. Lighthouse Bay is underrated in its beauty, diversity and the dive site with Blizzard Ridge remaining a photographers dream. Muiron Islands are 2 islands approximately 15 metres north east of Point Murat and range from 25 to 3 metres coral gardens, mainly covered in soft and leather corals. Its turtle sanctuary is spectacular to visit if time and tide allows. A drift between the Islands is a ‘deep’ 15 metres channel with existing Pelagic Fish life, ranging from Mantas, bigger Sharks, Giant Trevallies and Dolphins.
Exmouth Gulf and Bundegi Reef is closest to Exmouth and really comes to life in August when the Humpbacks and Mantas ‘move in’ until December. Exmouth Gulf mainly has a sandy bottom with an amazing diversity of ground cover and coral. This is the nursing place of Ningaloo where the majority of fish breeds and where the coral is fragile and colourful. Diving in the Gulf is very rewarding but often comes with poor visibility and strong currents during king tides.
Ningaloo Reef Lagoon is shallow, mainly snorkelling and subject to currents. Outer Reef is the Ningaloo Reef drop off into the Indian Ocean. Diving here is subject to the oceans swell and wind. This area is totally unprotected and wild and best explored on a live-aboard only available in Exmouth at Whale Shark ‘N’ Dive or Coral Bay with Sail Ningaloo on a sailing cat.
If you are a diver and/or underwater photographer, plan your arrival in Exmouth with the tides. We can offer assistance with the establishment of the time to dive. While we cannot predict the weather, the tide forecast is very accurate. You also want to plan enough time, as there is a lot more to see and to do and diving may be impossible due to bad wind and/or swell! Ningaloo Reef is wild, pure, largely undiscovered and raw! If you are a serious diver, bring your gear and lots of time and plan well ahead!
How do I get the best value for money?
Our packages create a great experience with the best value for your money, so you have an extra few dollars left to take your partner to a nice restaurant, stay an extra night or take out travel insurance!
The longer you stay, the cheaper the accommodation will be. You don’t do yourself and this region any favours by trying to see it all in a day. Note that you are a long way away from anything and that Ningaloo Reef is 300km long, so there are lots of different areas to explore.
The best deals are pre-booked and missed by those who turn up and try to book everything individually. If you find that Exmouth is fully booked, then you will realise that Coral Bay is fully booked, Carnarvon and Karratha also! This is NOT a mass tourism tour or destination! It is pure, rough and wild! Book early to experience all that Exmouth has to offer!
Do I need to pre-book?
In the season from April to January pre-booking is highly recommended. The reason for this is the increase in tourist visits but also the dramatic increase of mining in the area. If you are after a great deal, then booking well in advanced and/or in the summer months allows you save a lot of money. Booking ahead will increase your choice of rooms, a free upgrade and a spot with the preferred Whale Shark operators. It will also help the operator to offer you a better service. Last minute bookings always affect operators resulting in a shortage of staff, meaning the service can be inconsistent. If an operator knows in advance that he will be busy, then staff adjustments can be made and the highest possible service achieved.
What else do I need to be aware of?
Ningaloo is a very special place, which hasn’t a lot to offer at first sight, but when digging a little bit deeper it offers experiences, which potentially change your life!
When choosing accommodation, look at the location as well as the services provided. There are a few in the town centre and some outside the town. Accommodation in town is subject to loud noise on certain nights from the pub and when parties start up, especially on the weekends. Certain events bring in a lot of partying people and that may not be what you want when you are trying to get away from the rat race!
Branded accommodation ensures Quality Assurance and minimum world standards in their services. Their Quality Assurance System checks each hotel once a year in a strict procedure. This ensures that members continuously upgrade our properties and keep a good maintenance routine. Being a member enables us to run a unique resort in a unique location in a unique environment, ensuring the highest possible customer satisfaction! Sea Breeze Resort has one centralised chiller plant that runs cold water through a radiator and fan ensuring the perfect climate with almost silent operation.
Exmouth has a really interesting history, both indigenous and non-indigenous. The Harold E. Holt Naval Base played a big role in the Cold War and is still an active Communication Base sending information to submarines around the world! At the end of the day, plan your trip to Ningaloo thoroughly, therefore ensuring a trip of a lifetime and preventing disappointment!
Conditions that affect an individual’s snorkelling ability:
a) Sharks – There are a lot of small reef sharks around and to this date nobody has been ever been affected when snorkelling.
b) Currents – Certain places are more subject to currents and more dangerous than others. We usually use currents to our advantage, entering the water “upstream” and drifting parallel to the beach over the coral reef.
c) Swimming ability – It is very safe to snorkel and we do offer “sausages”, wet suits and life vests so that you can enjoy the reef. However, we do urge people to check at reception and with the rangers for the latest conditions to ensure they match your level of snorkelling skills. Generally, you don’t have to swim but drift over larger areas without getting tired. If you wish, you can go over the same area you feel comfortable, over and over again!
Owner & Managing Director
These tips have been exclusively compiled for you by Axel who has been living and working in the tourism industry at Ningaloo Reef for the last 18 years.