• Suggested Time: 9 days
  • Exmouth (Ningaloo) to Shark Bay

Discover Western Australia’s magnificent Ningaloo and Shark Bay World Heritage Areas on this fly/drive itinerary.

There’s so much to see and do in this pristine part of the world, from swimming with whale sharks and snorkelling the world’s largest fringing reef in the Ningaloo Marine Park, to walking along a beach made entirely of shells and interacting with wild dolphins at Monkey Mia.

Day One

Perth to Exmouth

Take a morning flight from Perth to Exmouth (Learmonth Airport) with Qantas.

Pick up your hire car and stop off at Charles Knife Canyon and Shothole Canyon – on your way into Exmouth, enjoy the 360 views over the Gulf and the Reef. If you haven’t already done so before arriving, book your full-day tour to explore the Ningaloo Reef at the Ningaloo Centre.

With plenty of the day left to explore, head around to the western side of the Exmouth Cape to explore endless coral gardens and a myriad of fish and marine creatures. There are several places where you can access Ningaloo coral reefs close to the shore including the snorkel drift at Turquoise Bay and Oyster Stacks.

Overnight: Exmouth

Day Two

Explore Exmouth

Get up early to spend a day in and on the water. Book a Whale Shark full-day tour from mid-March to July to swim with the world’s largest fish. If you are into diving, the Navy Pier offers amazing dives on the Pier and around the NIngaloo Reef with Dive Ningaloo.

Overnight: Exmouth

Day Three

Explore Exmouth

Get up early, pack a picnic lunch and other snacks for a day in the National Park. Drive into the Cape Range National Park either on tour with Ningaloo Safaris or Trek Ningaloo, or self-drive and jump on the Yardie Creek Boat Tour to see the incredible red gorges. Stop at Milyering Visitor Centre for the tide information, then drift snorkel at Turquoise Bay.

In the arvo join a glass bottom boat tour to see the reef without getting wet.

Overnight: Exmouth

Day Four

Exmouth to Carnarvon (Approximately 365 kilometres)

Take an early morning dip at Town Beach in Exmouth before heading south to Carnarvon, a subtropical oasis where fresh produce and seafood are plentiful.

Spend the afternoon exploring the town with a visit to the Space and Technology Museum, open daily, get takeaway local seafood and enjoy a sunset at the Fascine waterway, and don't forget to visit the Growers Market on Saturday's during May to October.

Overnight: Carnarvon or consider staying overnight at Wooramel River Retreat found between Shark Bay and Carnarvon, a unique outback Station Stay.

Day Five

Carnarvon to Shark Bay (Approximately 350 kilometres)

Head south on the North West Coastal Highway and turn right onto the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive. On your way into Shark Bay, stop in at the following landmarks:

A great way to see this amazing landscape is from above on a scenic flight tour. To end your remarkable day, enjoy a drink on the foreshore at Denham or Monkey Mia and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean.

Overnight: Denham or Monkey Mia

Day Six

Explore Shark Bay

Wake up early to meet the Monkey Mia bottlenose dolphins that visit the shores daily. Afterwards, get up close to more of Shark Bay’s animals.

Overnight: Denham or Monkey Mia

Day Seven

Shark Bay to Coral Bay (Approximately 581 kilometres)

Leave Shark Bay in the morning and head north. Stop for lunch in Carnarvon and explore the Heritage Precinct and stretch your legs with a stroll or drive the ‘Fruit Loop’ to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and other treats for the road. Continue your journey to Coral Bay.

Overnight: Coral Bay

Day Eight

Explore Coral Bay

Get up early to spend a day at the Bay:

  • Book a Manta Ray interaction tour; there’s a resident population at Coral Bay so you can do this any day of the year
  • Kayak and snorkel the Blue Maze and Asho’s Gap
  • See-do or underwater scooter the impressive cabbage coral formations
  • Quad bike and snorkel the secret and hard to reach spots only the locals know
  • Sail away with Sail Ningaloo to relax or get serious and take your fishing line out

Overnight: Coral Bay

Day Nine

Coral Bay to Learmonth Airport (Approximately 116 kilometres or a 90 minute drive)

Take one last morning dip in the crystal waters of Coral Bay before departing for Learmonth Airport for your afternoon flight back to Perth. On the way to the Airport, consider stopping in to Bullara Station for barista coffee and homemade scones!