Coral Bay

Australia's largest fringing reef

  • 4. WEEK +

Coral Bay is a very popular holiday spot for West Australians and is well known for how close the Ningaloo Reed is to shore.  It’s well equipped caravan park, clean beaches and access to some great fishing, makes it the ideal location to many to spend their holidays.  For that reason, it can get very busy, especially during peak periods and you can sometimes feel like you haven’t left the metro area. Located 1200km north of Perth, Coral Bay has plenty to offer.

Regardless of the type of adventure you are embarking on, keeping the basics in your vehicle means that you should be bale to deal with most situation that may arise.

When you get onto the gravel, engage 4WD (high range) and only disengage 4WD when you get back to the bitumen.  Doing so reduces the damage caused by driving in two-wheel drive and ensures that the track needs less maintenance to keep it open.

Recovery Tracks

Great for getting yourself out of a sandy situation. They also work really well in mud. Depending on the time of year, you may need to get these out.

Foldable Camp Shovel

You never know when you are going to have to dig yourself out of trouble or when there is a call of nature that requires a hole.

Recovery gear

You don’t always need this equipment BUT when you do, you do.  Best to ensure that it is always in your vehicle.

Tyre Deflator

Much better than a stick and a lot more accurate. If there is any extended sections of track that are sandy or have become wet or muddy, then you may need to drop some tyre pressure to ensure that you keep a good grip on the track.

Air compressor

If you need to let your tyres down for any reason then you will also need to pump them back up again.


You will be amazed at the amount of information that you can get from other road users as you eat up the kilometres.  Mobile reception along the coast as plenty of spots where there is no reception and a UHF radio is great way to share your journey with others in your group or even to speak to other road users.

Being so close to Perth is no reason to disregard the basic planning process.  Make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be home.  Mobile phone coverage should not be relied upon.  This could impact how well Google Maps (or equivalent works) and you should either invest in a good quality GPS unit or ensure you have a map of the area.


First aid kit

Something to deal with minor cuts and scrapes as well as compression bandages to treat snake bite.

Make sure you have some sunscreen and insect repellant with you.


Ensure there is enough water in the vehicle for everyone who is coming with you. Potable water is available in Coral Bay however you should allow a minimum of 10 litres per person per day if planning on any extended remote stays.


We use and recommend HEMA’s HX2 GPS navigator.  The unit does not require mobile phone signal to operate, shows you exactly where you are and what is around you (including points of interest and facilities).  The HX2 also gives you turn by turn navigation when back on the bitumen if you need it.

Your other option is to grab a copy of one of HEMA’s maps or 4WD atlas relevant to your area of travel.

If you have a smart phone or an iPad (preferably one that can take a mobile SIM card – you don’t need a SIM installed) you can look at HEMA’s CamperX or 4×4 Explorer.

Don't forget the toilet paper

Keep a roll in the car, along with hand sanitiser and maybe some wipes.  Make sure you have a rubbish bag handy and bring all of your rubbish home.

There is so much to do in Coral Bay, you will be thinking that you didn’t book a long enough stay.  You can be as laid back or as busy as you like.


The Big 3

Get in the water and go swimming with Ningaloo’s Big 3; manta rays, whale sharks and humpback whales.

Small 4x4

Book a 4×4 buggy trek and discover secret beaches and some great snorkelling spots.

Overnight cruise

Take an overnight cruise around the bay as you go looking for wildlife via sailboat.

Wet a line

On board at charter fishing boat and try your luck at some deep-sea or bottom fishing.

Blow some bubbles

Learn to SCUBA dive on the amazing Ningaloo Reef.

A different view

Get a close up look of the coral gardens without getting wet when you jump on a glass bottom boat cruise.

Take a hike

Take a 2km hike along the fringing coral reef, taking in vantage points where you can observe marine life frolicking in the water.

Get some sand on your tyres

Take a drive along some of the 4WD only tracks around Coral Bay when you visit Oyster Bridge and Five Fingers Reef.  There are also some great locations within the Ningaloo Coastal Reserve.

More information

There is some great information available from here that will be the most up-to-date for your holiday planning.