Exmouth and Ningaloo Reef


Due to being lesser known then the Great Barrier Reef. The Ningaloo Reef, found about 1000km North of Perth Western Australia is quite a rewarding reef destination in Australia. It has been Western Australia’s secret for many years but in the last decade has burst onto the worlds scene. Stretching from Carnarvon to Exmouth, stunning coral reefs are found at times 10m from shore. Within these, a huge diversity of marine life and coral can be found.

With water depths of 3-4m close to shore, even inexperienced snorkelers can enjoy the amazing area. And then you can swim with the magnificent Whale Sharks, Manta Rays or Dugongs. Something I do hope to experience. In my days at Coral bay and Exmouth, I spent very little time photographing. With waters sitting at a beautiful 27 deg, there was only one place to be. πŸ™‚

On one day I was up at Vlamingh Lighthouse hoping for a nice sunset. It didn’t eventuate but I did manage a shot of the lighthouse itself with some nice soft light. Pretty much my only shot of the area as my beach scenes were nothing more then disasters! 😦 The white sand was blinding, and I couldn’t see anything to tell if I had the shot in focus or exposed as I would like. It is something that I will be much better prepared for next time!

Before I set off, I purchased a small Olympus MJU790 which is waterproof to 3m. Boy I was glad to have had that. While photographing while snorkeling is not a easy task, I ended up with quite a few holiday snaps. One of which that was a complete fluke (it turned out half decent :p) was the shot of the Turtle. I ended up swimming with 3 of these stunning creatures off Coral Bay. Not very good, but a shot worth sharing with you anyways.

While up there I saw the most amazing photo of a turtle as it took a gasp of air on the surface. There were waves around and a very nice wave splash across 1 corner of the shot. If anyone has swum with the Turtles you would know how hard this would have been! They only have their head above the water for about a second. And with the waves chopping around like that, it’s amazing to get such a sharp shot. Just thinking about it makes me feel ashamed to be showing mine….

Anyway I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks πŸ™‚

You can vire more of my Ningaloo posts here

If yu’re interested in purchasing a Ningaloo image please view more site


9 responses to “Exmouth and Ningaloo Reef

  1. Hi Stephen, I’ve been to Coral Bay a few times myself, holidaying with my husband and 3 kids. Seeing your photos has reminded me of what an incredible place it is. Did you get to swim with the whale sharks when you were there. I think April was the best time to do this. Hope to see some more Coral Bay shots soon.

  2. Hi Jayne,
    yeah it is incredible isn’t it. I loved it up there, I found a awesome lagoon near the Carnarvon blowholes which is the best snorkeling i’ve ever done! Little known as well. I didn’t get to swim with the whale sharks. 😦 I was on a very tight budget this trip. Would love to at some stage though!

    I don’t really have any shot’s apart from snorkeling, but i’ll get a few of the more decent “holiday snaps” and put them up. It’s incredible how different it is taking a photo under the water compared to a standard shot above haha.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  3. I love coral bay… I grew up in the Pilbra and we use to go here every year when I was a kid in the late 80’s. Apparently it is so commercial now. Still would love to re visit the place just for the memories.

  4. That would have been awesome Matt!
    I only just got to the Pilbara (finally!!) this year.
    Fell in love with it hey. So many beautiful places, and I only scratched the surface.

    Yeah coral Bay is very commercial now. And it has created a fair bit of damage. Apparently the coral is nothing compared to what it used to be. Which is a shame. It’s a tough choice whether to return to places like that, because it’s never the same as you remember it being before it got popular. Would have been nice to be there without the flocks of other people.

  5. Wow Stephen, I still think Coral Bay is reasonably untouched. I’d call it a one horse town!
    With regard to the coral, we were up there a few years ago and the coral was nothing compared to our previous trip. However, there’d been a natural phenomenon where due to the weather/winds/moon, the coral spawn had remained on top of the water and suffocated the coral and fish.
    There was heaps of dead broken coral and hardly any fish around close to shore. I would imagine it would take years for the reef close to shore to grow back to how it was.
    Anyway, that’s just my take on this totally awesome area.

  6. Coral Bay is a great place me and 4 mates flew a bug smasher up there a couple of years ago . Was a great time . Only wished i was really into photography then ?

  7. Yeah it’s definitely nothing compared to other area’s. But if you go there April/May, all the cowboys and their horses are there :p
    It’s pretty busy then. I’m not a fan of “touristy” places, so i’m probably a lil less tolerant of the people haha. Sometimes when i get to a place with 10 people I think it’s crowded…

    I hadn’t heard of that happening. There is still alot of dead coral and some which really didn’t seem to have as much colour as it should. Possibly this is the reason??
    I had just put it down to the increased activity in the area. But yeah it is so nice. I was a bit disappointed with the beaches, there was quite alot of seaweed washed ashore when I was there. I didn’t even take a photo.
    Sounds like you would have had a wild time Kirk!

  8. jamiepatersonphotography

    Hi Stephen,

    I love the lighthouse photo. Great POV.

    Jamie Paterson

  9. Thanks Jamie.
    Nice and simple shot, glad you liked it

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