Surfer's beach is just a little further on from Mildura beach, just before the entry to the Cape Range National Park, and guess what, there's good surf here!
At the entry to the beach is an open shack built by the surf club with high seats that look out over the bay, a perfect shaded spot for watching the surfers or resting after a surf.
Also at the top of the beach is a strange, large, hand made high chair which is dedicated to the memory of a local surfer who died in an accident.
Vlaminghead Lighthouse is on a rocky point close to the Cape range Park and offers a wonderful view over the surrounding area.
It is the only lighthouse in Australia that burns kerosene (parrafin).
The wreckage in the photo is from WW2, it's too expensive to take it away.
The road up the the lighthouse is very steep with a sharp bend and precipitous drop at the steepest point, if you are nervous of such things you may wish to give it a miss!
There is a very popular caravan park just below it which also has a shop, petrol pumps and a shell museum.
In the bay nearest the lighthouse, Mildura Bay, the wreck of the SS Mildura can be seen very close to the shore.
On the way to the lighthouse, you will pass the huge communication towers which are used by both the American and Australian Navies to communicate with their submarines.
There are lots of kangaroos and emus, which are so large you can't miss them. But there is also much other local wildlife. if you're lucky you may see abush turkey.
Anywhere that you stay, you are likely to find lizards running around outside at night, sometimes during daylight too. The Ta-ta lizard is so called beacuse when startled, it sometimes stands still with one front paw raised as if waving goodbye.
Sea eagles like to nest in high places, and have the ability to build a nest that doesn't fall off even the smallest ledge.
Parrots gather in large flocks and roost on telephone/electricity cables.
Termites build giant hills which seem to spring up overnight. each has the little 'knob' on top which is their look out point.
Although it is a club (which means 'members only'), the yacht club welcomes occasional visitors.
They hold a social evening on a Friday from 6pm with a BBQ, held outside on a shaded lawn. You buy the meat there, steak, chicken kebabs or toasted sandwiches, and cook it yourself. When you buy meat, salads and bread are included.
They may be only a half dozen members there, but the atmosphere is warm and friendly.
Alternate Sundays there is a surf-cat race (time depending on the tide) and the bar is open afterwards.
The turning to Shothole Canyon is a short drive south out of Exmouth.
A 4WD is recommended as the track has some awkward places (though it would not be impossible for a standard car).
The rocks are spectacularly gouged by wind and rain and a favourite with photographers.
At the end of the track is a car park, a picnic bench under a gum tree, bush toilet and a flight of steps cut into the hill with 360 views of the surrounding area from the top.
Don't forget sunblock and water if you want to walk.
Coral Bay Charter : Run short cruises from their open glass bottom boats, which are located on the beach.
1 Hour Cruises - Adult $30.00 Kids- $15.00 .
In Season they also run a Mantra Ray Tour . Departure 9.15 - Return 1.30pm
COST - Adult - $110.00 Kids - $55.00
Bookings can be made at the offfice next to Bayview reception. (08) 9942 5932 e-mail - email@example.com
Quad - Trek - Self drive ATV adventures offer 2 hour turtle adventure or a sunset tour and a 3hour snorkel tour. Quad - Trek - Self drive ATV adventures offer 2 hour turtle adventure or a sunset tour and a 3hour snorkel tour. www.coralbaytours.com.au
If you like to fish Ningaloo Reef gives you fantastic opportunities to head out to sea pass the protect reef to really feel the deep ocean sea and catch a few BIG ones.
Game Fishing - offers daily full or half day tours in Coral Bay and the ocean.
Coral Bay is pristine for swimming, diving, snorkeling, and fishing or sailing. It’s a wonderland of magical colours and offers travelers a unique experience in discovering the abundance of marine life.
Ningaloo Reef Dive - Daily tours for snorkelling, diving, Whale Shark Tours, Snorkel and scuba equipment, PADI Dive Courses, ad marine interaction tours. www.ningalooreefdive.com
Ningaloo Reef Retreat has an excellent snorkel with the turtles tour. If you want to spend a day visiting this wonderful eco retreat, what better way than to enjoy a snorkel or two on this secluded beach? With free transfers from Exmouth, the day starts with pick-up at around 8:30am. Upon arrival, you will be kitted out with the necessary equipment (if you don't already have your own) before heading out for a morning of snorkeling.
The snorkeling at Ningaloo Reef Retreat is very good. The Retreat has exclusive use of their beach where there are colonies of staghorn coral as close as just 10 metres from the beach. You will be taken out by an experienced snorkel guide who will point out all the different corals and fish. If you've never snorkelled before, this is a great tour on which to learn; the staff will give you some pre-snorkel information and instruction before you set off on this easy snorkel during which you will see schools of convict surgeonfish, damselfish, parrotfish as well as turtles and even possibly a reef shark or two. Listen carefully and you might even hear the fish munching on the coral!!
One of the best places to take in the sunsets around Exmouth has to be from the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse car park. Here, the view over the gulf is magnificent and the multitude of colours will take your breath away.
Built in 1912 after the wrecking of the Mildura in 1907, the light was lit on 10 December 1912 and this warning becon remained in operation, warning sailors of the dangers in the region, until 1967. Since then, there have been many plans for the lighthouse and public tours are hoped for but Cyclone Vance, having created Australia's mainland wind speed record, damaged the lighthouse during its visit in 1999. Public tours to the lighthouse are not currently happening but its still worth a trip up here at the end of the day for some great views and beautiful sunsets.
Exmouth's largest visitor attraction, snorkelling with the world's largest fish, has to be one of the biggest adrenalin rushes I've enjoyed.
Spending the morning snorkelling the outer edge of Ningaloo Reef, enjoying lunch and then sitting waiting with baited breath until a sighting happens before jumping into the water and snorkelling alongside a giant of the sea - anticipation, excitement, joy, you name it!!
Most companies will offer you the same tour. Pick-up early morning from your accommodation and taken to the tour operator's office for a briefing session or straight to Tantabiddi boat ramp where rubber dingys take you out to the tour boat (be prepared to wade out to the dingys - there's no dry access here).
Once on board, its time to don the apparel of the day - the wetsuit (always a joy for me and a great opportunity to start making friends who are willing to provide the extra pairs of hands required to complete this task)! Whilst you're doing your stretching exercises and finding a place for all the extra inches, the boat captain takes you out to the open sea and up the gulf. The morning is likely to include a snorkel on the outer edge of Ningaloo's Reef before going through a gap in the reef to anchor up in the calm for lunch.
Then its down to the real business of the day - out into the open water and waiting for the spotter planes. With baited breath, you catch each time the radio cuts in for an update "Is it a whale shark?" you'll ask yourself. Eventually, a scramble to get the boat to the right location and, hopefully, be first 'on the shark' which gives you the priority. Then its the mass dash into the sea and out to your in-water spotter who swims alongside the whale shark and marks its location for you to join in one of the most maginificent sights the sea can offer.
Oh, and if you're just a bit on the bigger side than most (like myself) don't be too worried about getting back into the boat quickly - these guys take one grab of your wetsuit and you're back on board before you know it!!!!
If you walk into the water of the beach of Coral Bay, you'll only have to swim about 10 meters to get on to the reef. You can see loads of fish and I saw a Sting Ray there aswell. If you walk around the bay to the north (ask at the snorkelling shop) and stand still in the water there, you'll have Black Tip Reef Sharks swimming and hunting around you in no time. They won't hurt you, they're hunting for fish and they'll come as close as 3 meters!
The Whale Shark Festival is one of the towns' major annual events held in May when the whale sharks migrate along the coast.
It's a three day event with all day activites on the oval and around town, live band with Australian bush dancing Saturday evening.
During World War II the North West Cape became a refuelling depot for US Navy ships and their airforce built a base at Learmonth. The RAAF still makes use of the Learmonth air base and the old naval base is still used by the Australian Navy.
A radar post was built near Vlamingh Head Lighthouse but it was destroyed by a cyclone in 1953. The current radar tower is a replica and was constructed in 2001.