The Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef.
The annual coral spawning during March/April announces the arrival of Whale Sharks. The biggest fish in the ocean (up to 18 metres in length) appear every year on the Ningaloo Reef to feed on dense populations of plankton which thrive on the movement of warm tropical waters to the area brought by the Leeuwin current. By the end of June they have moved on as mysteriously as they arrived.
As Whale Shark season is winding down we begin to have sightings of Humpback whales on their annual northern migration, other whale species, such as Minke, and even Blue Whales have been seen in the waters off Coral Bay up until November. Female Loggerhead and Hawksbill turtles return to the beaches where they were born to lay their eggs, and we begin to see them as the season for whales is coming to an end.
The Ningaloo coast and reef draws its name from the Australian Aboriginal Wajarri language word Ningaloo meaning “promontory”, “deepwater”, or “high land jutting into the sea”.
An estimated 300 to 500 Whale Sharks aggregate annually!
The Ningaloo Reef is 260 kilometres (160 miles) long!
More than 520 species of fish live on the reef!