Another Day at Ningaloo Reef

We had to go back to Exmouth for provisions which is about a 100 mile round trip from where we are camping. Amongst other things we’ve run out of ice for the gin and tonic so it was worth it.

A typical day spent at Ningaloo Reef goes something like this – early start with long walk on beach and sometimes a swim before breakfast. After eating and clearing up we leave and pick out a couple of snorkelling sites that we’d like to visit. Our favourite so far is Oyster Stacks best snorkelled at three quarters to full tide as the coral is only a few feet under you. This is also the point where the reef is the narrowest. Whilst sitting on the rocks the other day we could see whales just the other side of the reef. It looked like there were two or three having a great time.

Another favourite is Turquoise Beach. As the name suggests the sea is an amazing colour. It also includes the ‘Drift Loop’ where you can enter the sea at one point and the current gently takes you several hundred metres down the bay. The marine life at these two beaches is quite amazing and these are just two of many along the reef.

We normally try to get back to camp early in the afternoon as it gets very hot and we like to sit in the shade and read. By 5pm the sun is not so fierce and we have our last swim and then use our solar shower and get ready for the highspot of the evening – watching the sunset from the beach. Anybody who is about takes a glass of something onto the rocks or beach to watch what is usually a spectacular sight. It seems to last for ages. It gets dark very quickly after this so we go back to the van for dinner which we eat by candlelight. We only have a leisure battery in the van which only lasts a few days whithout charging, hence the candles (how romantic!) By 9pm everyone seems to be in bed. Bearing in mind it’s nearly 50 miles to the nearest pub there’s not much else to do.

At some of the camp grounds there are camp hosts. The ones at our camp were typical friendly Aussies called Peter and Pauline. They had been snorkelling that morning and seen a couple of turtles and also been startled by a large shark. Peter said it was about 6 feet long but Pauline said she didn’t hang about to have a look. They invited us to go with them in the evening which we did. Not sure if they didn’t invite us for a bit of maral support. We spent about an hour in the sea and saw neither turtles nor sharks. It was very interesting though as Peter was telling us loads of stuff about things running about on the seabed and also told us to be very careful of rip tides. A rip tide is when the waves crash over the reef at high water filling up the bays. The water then finds the easiest route out through a gap in the reef which could be half a mile further down (a bit like water going down a plughole). It creates a really strong current near the reef. Now that one does sound scary!

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The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

Dove Cottage,
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