We had heard so much about Ningaloo Reef where you could snorkel among the coral right off the beach that it was on our ‘must do’ list. We were advised to either launch the boat at Coral Bay or Tantabiddi further up the coast. We checked out Coral Bay.
Very pretty but very crowded due to the school holidays so we headed up to Exmouth and around the lighthouse to Tantabiddi. It was a very good boat ramp but very crowded as this is where all the boats leave from for the Whale Shark tours. We decided against doing the Whale Shark tour due to cost ($400 each) and we had already ticked off an item on my bucket list, swimming with dolphins. Instead Russ and our friends Kevin and Judy went out fishing for the day while I relaxed on shore. They went out beyond the reef into the deeper water and Jude very kindly caught two lovely large cod which we thoroughly enjoyed over lunch the following day. Although it was easy to launch at Tantabiddi the holding was not good. We had to anchor in any patch of sand we could find well off shore just to get the anchor to set due to the coral rubble further inshore. After 2 nights we therefore decided to take Tatui out of the water and leave her at the Discovery Centre inside Cape Range National Park and drive down to Turquoise Bay to do our snorkelling over the reef.
There was lots of healthy looking coral although not much colour with most of the coral green or brown but there were lots of lovely tropical fish and best of all the water was swimming pool clear.