Gateway to Ningaloo Reef

We were getting a bit heat fatigued when we reached Exmouth. We were a little over 8,000km into our round Australia trip and experiencing warmer than average Spring weather. The last few days had been over 40 degrees. Exmouth is mostly about outdoor activities. It has fabulous beaches, National Parks and of course Ningaloo Reef. But, with dogs not being allowed in National Parks and the Silverback recovering from an ankle injury, which had stopped his surfing in recent months, we were a bit limited! The issues were further compounded by Turtle Breeding Season having just started, placing further beach restrictions on dogs. Did I mention it was the first week of school holidays? Ha Ha, bit of doggy whingeing!

We checked into the Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort, mainly because it had the biggest pool as viewed on Google Maps. The resort had a ‘dogs allowed’ section. This was towards the rear of the park where people leave their permanent weekender caravans. Unlike the front area, this part of the park was quiet. I guess the regulars stay away in school holidays. There were resident Emus in the park.

The park was also home to an old-style Italian restaurant, the BBQ Father [sign written in same font as used in adverts for the movie The Godfather – Ha Ha Italian Joke]. They had a ‘dogs allowed’ section on the verandah. We ate there one night, I got some pizza crust, not bad.

We looked at Ningaloo Reef. The surf was flat when we were there, but the reef is massive, stretching some 300 km and mostly easily accessible from the shore by snorkellers. When the surf works, the Silverback recons there’s a series of top reef breaks in the area. The best view of the reef is from the Vlaming Head Lighthouse. There are also information boards up there about WW2 activities in the area.

Vlaming HeadnLighthouse overlooking Ningaloo Reef
World War II aircraft warning radar tower that was damaged by a cyclone in 1945 still with original sandbags.

The folks saw a lot of coral fossils in the limestone reef exposed by the low tide up at Surfers Beach [also known as Dunes].

It wasn’t a total waste of time from a dog’s point of view. I had a job sitting on a verandah minding the folk’s stuff while they swam in the pool. I found a brand-new tennis ball, under a bush. We did manage to walk on a dog friendly beach, and I swam in the ocean and chased the ball.

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