Trip Start Dec 28, 2010
57Trip End May 04, 2011
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Where I stayed
Peoples Park Caravan Village
We finally left the office late in the afternoon and drove into town to pick up some groceries. There are only two grocery stores in the small town of Exmouth, and they are both IGAs located about 30 metres away from one another. Despite being the same chain and having the same owner, they have different prices and sales, so we shopped at both
After stocking up, we drove 1.5 hours south to Coral Bay. The road was quite straight and there were signs to look out for kangaroos and emus, but all we saw was the head of an emu way in the distance. The landscape, however, was littered with huge termite nests. They were the size of large boulders and had a deep, dusty red colour.
Coral Bay is a very small village with a population of about 200 people – all of them involved with the tourism industry. There are several campsites and overpriced motels. We had reserved a cabin at the Peoples Caravan Park ahead of time knowing that the area could get very crowded and accommodations are extremely limited. When we arrived, we were upgraded to a brand new villa that had a view of the Indian Ocean and, thus, the sunset. The villa was great – full kitchen, good size bathroom, a bedroom that had a bunk bed and a single bed, a double bed in the living area, air conditioning, and laundry. The place felt like home.
We arose early on Tuesday as we were booked on a whale shark tour with Ningaloo Reef 'n Dive
After this initial test, we were taken another hour out to sea to find the whale sharks. It didn't take us long to find one and we were off and snorkeling in groups of 10. The first whale shark moved extremely fast, so we barely saw it. The second and third ones were much slower, so we got to see them up close. It was neat to see smaller fish swimming underneath the whale shark. Upon returning to the boat after the third snorkel, Ben was kicked under the jaw by one of the male tourists, and he was slightly dazed. We went again for a fourth snorkel, but Ben couldn't continue afterwards because he felt disoriented. Carol, however, continued to snorkel with the group, and at the end of the day the group saw 6 different whale sharks but made about 8 or 9 trips into the water. On the last snorkel, Carol and the rest of the group were well positioned to see the whale shark coming right at them. Carol and the other swimmers had to swim to the side quickly, as the whale shark was approaching fast. What a great experience!
Lunch was served on the boat as we headed back to Coral Bay. Before arriving at our destination, we did another snorkel around Ningaloo Reef, where we viewed tropical fish, swam between the shelves of coral, and some got to see a sea turtle (we missed it though).
Unfortunately, we don't have any photos of our whale shark trip since we couldn't find an underwater housing unit that would fit our camera. We do have a DVD, though!
The rest of the day and the next were spent lounging around and walking along the beach during a beautiful sunset. While Coral Bay isn't the biggest or the most happening place, we enjoyed our time there, as we had a chance to recharge and do something incredibly unique and exciting.