Starting in early September, many of the new born sharks in the area will congregate in the late afternoons and evenings in a shallow area. They bask in the warm waters, can relax from swimming in stronger currents and can put their minds at ease since there are no predators or dangers here.
The waters are shallow (1~1.5m), so you can easily see them swim by (see first picture). If you walk into the water and do not move, they will eventually become relaxed and swim by you. If you move or make noise, they will get scared and go away.
Coral Bay is a small place. There are a few places to choose from at night, but all close around midnight.
The Backpacker's Club (in the hostel) is quite nice and cheap. You have to either be a guest at the hostel or be invited by a guest to attend.
The Coral Bay Hotel has a decent bar, but prices are a bit more expensive. Above the bar, displayed for all to see, is a 1.5m long humpback whale phallus...
There is also Fin's Cafe, nothing special, just another option.
Since all close down at midnight and are near to campers and hotel patrons, if you want to continue your party, you have to go to the beach or the Coral Bay Arcade commons area (BYO).
If you think ahead and bring some beer for the workers, you can sweet talk some freshly made donuts, muffins or rolls from the bakery.... hmmm!!
Less of a hill and more just a larger sand dune, Jake's Hill will only take you a few minutes to walk to.
Jake's Hill is named after the first to eternally rest here. The hill is now home to a half dozen of man's best friends and companions, the dogs of the town.
If your stay keeps you in Coral Bay for a few days, you will no doubt see several sunsets. The view from the top of Jake's Hill is high enough to let you watch the sun go down over the small town and the beach below.
Upon entry to Coral Bay, there is a small path that leads up and to the left. The path is ~100m opposite the Backpacker's Club Hostel.
As with all of Ningaloo Reef, there are spots to visit all the way from Coral Bay to Exmouth. However if you are staying in Coral Bay there are ample opportunities within walking distance to snorkel.
There will be schools of fish, the occasional sharks and if you are lucky, a sting ray ray or two. (Manta rays are common along the coast, but you have to go outside of the breaker wall to see them)
Watch out for boats overhead because there are several snorkeling excursion boats, glass bottom boats and others that are inside the reef. The speed limit in the reef is slow and the drivers are accustomed to seeing swimmers, but caution is still advised.
Equipment: If you do not have snorkeling gear, there are a few places that sell and hire them.
Most people who travel to Australia for the diving will go to the Great Barrier Reef. Those who are in WA will likely go to Exmouth. Coral Bay therefore is less traveled and quieter. The options for diving might be less developed, but therefore they are also more pristine.
If the weather is cooperative, you can dive outside the reef wall, but if the winds/currents are too strong, the dives will be inside the wall. Depths are between 7~15m (20~45ft). There are plenty of healthy corals, schools of fish and the occasional manta rays.
Equipment: There is one dive shop in Coral Bay. You can bring your own gear if you have it, or hire it as needed. Costs are a bit expensive, but worth it. A 1 day, 2-tank dive was $145 Aus.