With the whale sharks season coming to an end, we planned a quick trip to Exmouth in hopes of sighting the gentle giants of the sea before they start snoozing in deeper depths of the ocean. Exmouth is a small remote town 1300km north of Perth. Some might say it has the most beautiful coastline you’ve ever seen and water is beyond compare. Our journey to Exmouth was a 13hr drive, which in itself was an eventful roadtrip that I’ll share more about later, here is what we were able to do in three days we were there.
We stayed a the Lighthouse Caravan Park, which is midway between the town and the Cape Range National Park. You can camp, caravan or rent a cabin which is what we did. Whenever possible we camp, but knowing that we would arrive late, cabin was the right choice. They are economical and equipped with pretty much everything you need. For more on cabins, check here.
Day 1: Swimming with the Whale Sharks and other beauties
Swimming with the whale sharks is one of those opportunities not many people get to experience. They visit the waters of the Ningaloo Coast to feed on plankton between the months of March and July. During this time, we are privileged to be able to swim along side of them in their natural environment. An experience that is beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Our tour was with the Exmouth Diving Center. You can expect a lovely crew who will pick you up if need be, feed you lunch, take you out for a snorkel and introduce you to not just whale sharks but other sea creatures including manta rays.
Day 2: Hiking and Sightseeing
With the whale shark tour out of the way, we turned our attention to the Cape Range National Park. When you are on a tight schedule, you must hike either the Mandu Mandu Gorge or the Yardie Creek Gorge and if you are lucky you might see some of the beautiful wildlife living the park one of which is the black-footed rock-wallaby. There were moments where a kangaroo was casually hopping by and eagles feeding on a carcass, and I would be so smitten that I couldn’t get the camera to work in time. On our second night, we went to the Whalers Restaurant for dinner. Casual yet a fancy little place in town. They love their fish and meat, but as a vegetarian, I enjoyed a plate of freshly made pumpkin gnocchi. And it was actually really really good.
Day 3: Paddling up Yardie Creek and Turquoise Bay
With just one day left, we decided to paddle up Yardie Creek. Our hike, the day before was along Yardie Creek and looking from above we thought imagine if we could paddle the whole thing. If you don’t have your own paddle board, make arrangements to rent one in town. And if you have no experience on a paddle board, it’s probably the best place to learn. Paddle to the very end of the creek then park it and enjoy the scenery. It’s life changing.
After the paddle, we made our way back with a few pit stops along the way. To put things into perspective, Cape Range is an abundance of beauty facing 50km worth of beaches. Take your pick! For sunsets, I hear Osprey Bay is beautiful, for snorkeling Oyster Stacks and for an ultimate paradise Turquoise Bay.
With our hearts filled with joy it was time to fill our bellies, so for our last night we went to the Potshot. Surprisingly their summer salad was smashing and the potato wedges were best I ever had.
If you can do this in three days, imagine what you can get up to in a week: diving, seakayaking, safari tours, coastal tours…the list goes on. For more details check out Exmouth Visitor Centre. And always remember to bring a camera!