Coral Coast is where you come to visit Monkey Mia Dolphins and see the giant whale sharks, and the amazing Ningaloo reef, 2nd only in size to the Great Barrier Reef.
The 260-kilometre-long Ningaloo Reef off the state’s Coral Coast offers diving similar to the better-known Great Barrier Reef on the opposite side of Australia, but closer to the land. In places, Ningaloo Reef is just 100 metres offshore. In other areas, it extends seven kilometres beyond the shoreline.
Divers can swim with whales, dugongs, manta rays, huge cod or sharks.
From mid-March to June, visitors can dive with whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish species. They reach more than 12 metres in length and weigh more than 11 tonnes. A fish dinner will never seem the same.
At a “cod spot” near the Murion Islands, a deep-water limestone-reef feeding station attracts thousands of golden cardinal fish, tame potato cod (friendly enough to let divers stroke them), smaller cod and emperor species. Elsewhere swim Queensland groper (up to 150 kilograms), threadfin pearl perch, Moorish idols, butterfly fish, six-banded angels, scribbled angels, lionfish, flutemouths, batfish, coral trout, wobbegong sharks, moray eels and nudibranches – to name a few. Coral spawning, which turns the sea bright pink, is visible a week or so after the full moon in March and April.