Trip Start Apr 16, 2007
88Trip End Jul 2008
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Where I stayed
The town is on the egde of the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park which is comparable to the Great Barrier Reef in length and size, but just doesn't have half the number of visitors. Exmouth is on the edge of Cape Range National Park which is main land area next to the marine Park and our gateway to the reef, renowed for its snorkelling and fishing.
Cape Range National Park has a few really fantastic camping spots, usually right by the turquoise water and white sand beaches and we stayed one night at Lakeside camping ground in the National Park. The spot had literally 7 spaces for cars and was a walk away from the water.
We stayed in the Exmouth area for 3-4 days and enjoyed some fantastic snorkeling in the Marine Park. We snorkelled at Lakeside, Oyster Stacks and Turquoise Bay. Again there was an abundance of fish and they were all massive...we saw big sting rays, turtles and a white tipped reef shark!! It was some of the finest snorkelling we've done so far. The water was super clear and in Tourquise Bay there was a drift snorkel running along the shore so you really didn't even have to swim very hard and the drift allowed you to glide along the shore.
One evening we went to the Jurabi Turtle Conservation Centre to observe the turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. This happens at specific beaches throughout this area between October to March and it is common to see 3 species of turtles coming ashore. The Hawksbill, the Green and the Loggerhead turtles. We were lucky enough to see three turtles (all Green) working their way up the beach, dig out their 'nest' and lay eggs. We wre only 1 meter away when they were laying eggs - all pretty amazing! Some previously made nest's also hatched and we got to see the little hatchlings making the mad dash to the water. The sad thing is that only 1 in 10,000 survive to make it to adulthood. (Man being it's biggest problem!)
We drove back to our campsite at 11pm, we had to drive incredibly slowly to make sure we avoided hitting the crazy kangaroo's! We spotted 60 before we decided to stop counting and we were only about 15 mins down the road! This is why nobody drives at night....
Unfortunately our time in Ningaloo/ Exmouth had to be cut short because Cyclone Nicholas decided to make an appearance. The town went on red alert which meant everyone had to evacuate or get into a shelter and stay inside. We opted to leave town as we had no idea how long it would be before we could leave again or in case the floodways flooded...the floodways being along the main roads which can apparently flood in a matter of minutes.
We decided not to get involved in another natural disaster too closely so off we went. We managed to stay in Exmouth through the yellow alert (constantly tuned into ABC radio for the latest Cyclone Alert updates) but by the time the area reached red alert, we were the only people left in our campsite, so we decided to leave town! Obviously we didn't tell our folks any of this at the time...sorry mum's!