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Best Spots to Explore in Exmouth

Exmouth is one of Western Australia’s most visited and best attractions. The marine life found in the famous Ningaloo Reef surrounding the Exmouth area makes for some of the best snorkelling, diving and swimming experiences; you truly can’t witness moments like this anywhere else. Exmouth is a small town, but it’s the locations and activities to do nearby that make it so special. Whether you’re wandering through a stunningly rugged national park or snorkelling over a rainbow of marine life and coral, you’ll never get bored in this amazing place.

In this guide, we’re breaking down the very best things to see and do in Exmouth no matter the weather, and with or without kids. Exmouth and the surrounding areas are well worth taking the time to explore. The best way to see and do more in this special region? Taking a campervan road trip of course! With a Mighty camper you can travel at your own pace, follow your fancy and truly immerse yourself in this special place. Ready to explore? Here are our top picks!

  • Turquoise Bay
  • Ningaloo Reef
  • Bundegi Beach
  • Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
  • Jurabi Turtle Centre
  • Charles Knife Canyon
  • Navy Pier
  • Yardie Creek Gorge
  • What to do in Exmouth when it rains
  • Things to do in Exmouth with kids

Turquoise Bay

There’s no better start to a holiday than heading to the #1 beach in the South Pacific and the #3 beach in the world: Turquoise Bay. The bay is the perfect place to sunbathe, swim and snorkel, with the Ningaloo Coral Reef just metres away from the beach itself. More than 500 species of fish dwell in the reef, giving you one of the best opportunities in the world to see unique marine life while snorkelling. At high tide, Turquoise Bay is a brilliant spot to try some drift snorkelling; the current takes you from the south end of the beach, over the rainbow-coloured coral reef and sea creatures below before reaching the sandbar where you get out. Beware, drift snorkelling in Turquoise Bay is not recommended for weak or inexperienced swimmers, so make sure you’re comfortable with the conditions.

Turquoise Bay - Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery.jpgImage Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Library

Ningaloo Reef

The aforementioned Ningaloo Reef is one of the Exmouth area's finest natural attractions. Swimming with manta rays and turtles is a routine for visiting swimmers, but the main act of the colourful coral reef is the whale shark population. Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world, and swimmers feel dwarfed when swimming beside them. However, there is nothing to fear, whale sharks are filter feeders, mainly eating plankton and krill alike; their interactions with humans have nothing to do with food, but curiosity. It is estimated that only 1 in 3 million people ever swim with a whale shark - go ahead and become of those lucky few! Every year from March to September, the Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival is held in Exmouth, giving visitors and divers the opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent friendly giants of the ocean. This is the best time to go and catch a glimpse.

Ningaloo Marine Park - Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery.jpgImage Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Library

Bundegi Beach

Just a 10-minute drive from Exmouth is Bundegi Beach, another astonishing beach in this part of Western Australia. The best thing to do while enjoying Bundegi Beach is a mix of kayaking and snorkelling on the reef. Along the beach itself are two kayak moorings, allowing you to tie up the kayaks, chuck your goggles and flippers on and jump into the water to watch over the marine world below. Recreational fishing is allowed off the beach, with the chance to catch whiting, queenfish, bream and trevally. The beach is known to be peaceful and relaxing, especially since it’s such a short drive from Exmouth.

Bundegi Beach - Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery.jpgImage Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Library

Vlamingh Head Lighthouse

Though drifting over and swimming through the Ningaloo Reef is one of the most special parts of the Exmouth area, seeing it from further above is also a must do. The Vlamingh Head Lighthouse offers some of the most spectacular views of Ningaloo Reef and the incoming sunsets. The lighthouse is situated just a short drive north of Exmouth, and offers amazing panoramic views from the top, showing visitors just how beautiful the area is. If you visit between July and October, keep an eye out for migratory humpback whales swimming past. No matter what you see from the top, it’s bound to be unforgettable.

Vlamingh Head Lighthouse - Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery.jpgImage Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Library

Jurabi Turtle Centre

Open all year round, the Jurabi Turtle Centre is an awesome place to visit to learn more about just another resident of the Ningaloo Reef. Have a wander through the interpretive displays and discover the marine turtles found along the Ningaloo Coast. Learn about their lifecycle, the danger they face and how to safely and responsibly view mating and nesting turtles and hatchlings in the natural environment. From December to early March, take a guided educational tour along the beaches to scout for female turtles making their way up the beach to lay their eggs. You may even be lucky enough to see the baby turtles hatching from their eggs. The Jurabi Turtle Centre is just a short drive north from Exmouth, right next to the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse.

Turtle - Tourism Western Australia Image Gallery.jpgImage Source: Tourism Western Australia Image Library

Charles Knife Canyon

The Charles Knife Canyon is about a 20-minute drive south of Exmouth, and the drive there is pretty special too. Taking you down a winding road up to the top of the range, revealing stunning views of the rugged and bushy terrain of Cape Range and the waters of Exmouth Gulf, it’s a truly spectacular day trip. At the top of the range is the Thomas Carter lookout accompanied by picnic tables and a carpark too, perfect for a bite to eat while taking in the views. You can also access the Badjirrajirra Walk trail from the lookout. The 6-kilometre walk takes approximately 3 hours and is a moderately difficult loop trail traversing the top of the Cape Range, but the views are well worth it.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is regarded as one of the best shore dives in the world. Located under the jetty of the Australian Navy, it is an easy and shallow dive reaching a maximum depth of just 15 metres. The marine life found in the water is famously unique, with creatures such as the Wobbegong Shark, one of the strangest-looking sharks found on the planet. You’ll also likely come across an array of angelfish, boxfish, barracuda, lobster, parrotfish and lobsters down below. You’ll find the Navy Pier just north of Exmouth, so accessible that you could dive the pier in the morning and Ningaloo Reef in the afternoon!

Yardie Creek Gorge

Yardie Creek is a highlight of Cape Range National Park and an absolute must-see when visiting Exmouth. The Yardie Creek Gorge winds its way through the western side of the national park to meet the Ningaloo Reef. The contrasting deep blue water of the gorge and the red limestone cliff faces make for an exceptional sight. The best way to experience everything the gorge has to offer is via a boat cruise, where you can see sea eagles, ospreys and the rare black-footed rock wallaby. Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are also popular activities to try at the creek. If, however, you prefer to keep your feet dry you can also explore the Yardie Creek Nature Walk, an easy 1.2-kilometre return walk or the Yardie Gorge Trail, a more difficult 2.7-kilometre walk.

What to do in Exmouth when it rains

Generally, wherever you go on holiday, rain is something that needs to be considered when it comes to activities. Exmouth is viewed as quite a tropical holiday destination, known for its beaches and marine life and you’ll be pleased to hear that Exmouth doesn’t get very much rain at all. It is always good to be prepared for the event however, and Exmouth certainly has some indoor activities to offer. The Exmouth Aquarium and Discovery Centre is an awesome and immersive experience for all ages, with live experiences with marine creatures and information on their life cycles and habitats. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, head into Whalers Restaurant for a relaxed dining experience. It’s the best place in Exmouth to enjoy a plate of locally caught seafood while listening to live music.

Things to do in Exmouth with kids

Exmouth can be a great family holiday destination. With the variety of beaches and wildlife to see, your kids are going to love it too. Here are a couple of the top picks for kids:

Ningaloo Aquarium & Discovery Centre

As mentioned earlier, the Aquarium and Discovery Centre is a great interactive and immersive experience for all ages - especially kids. The three galleries in the centre all display different important parts of the Ningaloo Reef. The History Gallery takes visitors on a trip down memory lane, including Exmouth’s connection with the US Navy and the experience of the 1999 cyclone Vance. The Reef Gallery lets you explore the wonders of the Ningaloo Reef from dryland. There are over 100 species of fish found here - a much easier way to see them for kids than snorkelling. Finally, the Range Gallery lets visitors learn more about the rugged environment of the Cape Range National Park and meet some of the reptilian inhabitants.

Town Beach

Town Beach is the most accessible beach to Exmouth, literally right down from the town centre. The beach is a safe place to swim, especially at high tide even with children. One of the best things to do is drive your campervan down to the beach and set up for an awesome day on the sand, building sandcastles, swimming and having a picnic. If you’re visiting at low tide, take a stroll down the white sand and comb the beach for many of the ocean’s treasures.

The best way to see and do more is with a Mighty camper

Exmouth is the perfect spot to take your campervan and really get the most out of it. Whether you’re using the ever-close Exmouth as your basecamp or staying in your Mighty campervan at every location, you can’t possibly get bored or be too far away. It is one of the most special destinations in Australia, is a part of one of the best campervan road trip itineraries and is best seen and experienced while in a Mighty motorhome. Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. Get more travel inspiration on our blog.