Escape to the Coral Coast | Page 3 | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Escape to the Coral Coast

NSun

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
126
Qantas
Platinum
Great report. I say this as an Easterner, WA has been my favourite state to visit, particularly the regional areas. I've been up to Broome, Mandurah as well as driven to Wave Rock via York. I quite liked your photos of the Pinnacles, which is probably next on my bucket list to check out next time I'm there, I believe it'd be doable as a day trip from Perth.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RB

kookaburra75

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
826
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
Flights
My Map
Your posts have brought back many memories of the cape, when I was up there as a Surveyor in the early 80's. We actually went into Coral Bay to survey the area for the future caravan park and facilities. I'll have to dig through my photos and see what I can find. We did several trips to Exmouth for work, including stopping in at Cervantes to do some survey work on one of the cray processing facilities - and got paid partially in kind with a bag of lobsters - the boss wasn't happy about that deal.

I also got to resurvey part of the old reserve around the Vlaming Head Lighthouse, and the Light Keepers' houses down the bottom, for changes to the road and a proposed new caravan park. There was also the old tramway that was used to bring up supplies from the landing point down to the south. It's certainly incredible country. When I submitted this survey as the rural project as part of my licensing exams, I knew it would be a hit as the work had previously been done by the then secretary of the Board of Surveyors, Syd Stokes in the 1940's. He just wanted to talk about it, while the rest of the Board wanted to quiz me on other aspects of my projects.
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Great report. I say this as an Easterner, WA has been my favourite state to visit, particularly the regional areas. I've been up to Broome, Mandurah as well as driven to Wave Rock via York. I quite liked your photos of the Pinnacles, which is probably next on my bucket list to check out next time I'm there, I believe it'd be doable as a day trip from Perth.
An easy day trip from Perth. Go on a little further to Cervantes for lunch at the Lobster Shack.
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
OK, resuming transmission and gotta rock ‘n roll to get this finished before heading bush again on Friday.

Woo-hoo! Some flying! :)

Personal escort from the F lounge and waiting for the PD Dom…:cool:

Snip 1.JPG

Pushback! And pilot to ground control: ‘Look at this sucker in 1A!’

Snip 2.JPG

‘Here’s the Weeties pack the license came in.’

Snip 3.JPG

Rotate!

Snip 4.JPG

Settling into the cruise.

Snip 5.JPG

‘Hey, dugongs; let’s swing around and take a look!’

Snip 6.JPG

Abeam Exmouth harbour and gaining altitude to clear the restricted zone around the signals station (it’s less restricted around the antenna array).

Snip 7.JPG

This is awesome! Coming around the cape.

Snip 8.JPG

Gavin had his camera in addition to the wingtip GoPro. A look at the antenna array from above.

Turning the corner and getting out over the Ningaloo Reef and open ocean; gaining altitude accordingly as we got further from shore.

Snip 9.JPG
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Next day was a whale shark encounter.

Briefing first, then snorkelling inside the reef just to check everyone’s capabilities. Then Gavin got in the air in the microlight and in no time whale sharks were sighted just west and not far south of the tip of the cape.

(There are quite a few whale shark watching operators at Exmouth. Most use a common light aircraft for spotting. But what that means is that multiple boats are likely to be ‘on’ one animal. Each boat can take up to about 20 pax, of which ten can be in the water with a whale shark at a time.

If there are multiple boats, then after each boats two pods of ten swim for a mandated several minutes, that boat retreats and the next boat joins the circuit and so on). The boat I went on does its own thing using Gavin in the microlight to spot.

We were the only boat that went north of the launch area, which is a little unusual but Gavin (and I) had spotted several whale sharks not far outside the reef there the day before.)

Sure enough, they were still there. We ended up having an encounter with three different whale sharks, and three swims with the first tow and two swims with the third. The main reason why we peeled off from the third was that a humpback and another whale shark were spotted plunge feeding a couple of km away.

Snip 19.JPG Snip 20.JPG Snip 21.JPG

My dinky underwater camera is not very good but here are a few pics. The photographer on board took plenty of pics and they post them to Flikr for download. No extra cost.

Snip 22.JPG Snip 23.JPG Snip 24.JPG Snip 25.JPG

There’s Gavin. Watching some close encounters from the boat. Then back inside the reef for lunch and some more snorkelling.

Snip 26.JPG Snip 27.JPG Snip 28.JPG
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Coral Bay.

Snip 47.JPG Snip 48.JPG

I went on a Manta ray (Manta ray - Wikipedia) encounter. A cold front had gone through SW Australia and extended some influence as far north as Coral Bay. A big swell was pounding the Ningaloo Reef and the current inside the reef was very strong and the water fairly turbid.

Coral Bay id one of only two places in Australia that Mantas occur year-round. There is a 2 km wide gap in the reef north of Coral Bay that constantly sweeps plankton into a bay in which they feed.

Snip 49.JPG Snip 50.JPG Snip 51.JPG
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
A bottom-feeding ray shuffling the sand with fish hangers-on picking up scraps. Then to the Mantas. They’re fast and hard to get pics of. Most Mantas have white bellies with black markings but about 10% are reversed. Our second encounter was a black-bellied variant actively barrel-rolling as it fed.

Snip 52.JPG Snip 53.JPG Snip 54.JPG Snip 55.JPG Snip 56.JPG

Then lunch followed by some more snorkelling in calmer waters nearer shore, with a turtle sighting.

Snip 57.JPG Snip 58.JPG

There was a professional photographer on board selling his shots, but I didn’t bother purchasing. Some of his work is here: Ocean Photography Prints Australia.
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
A couple of days later, I began heading home, going as far as Geraldton before the final 4h run into Perth the next day. On the way to Geraldton I made a detour of about 20 km into Hamelin Pool at lunchtime to take another look at the WH-listed stromatolites.

Then late in the day as I approached Geraldton, a loop west to the Hutt Lagoon pink lake (Pink Lake at Port Gregory | Australia's Coral Coast | Western Australia).

Snip 59.JPG Snip 60.JPG Snip 61.JPG Snip 62.JPG Snip 63.JPG Snip 64.JPG

And that’s all folks!
 

drron

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
24,327
And the other place I know where manta rays can be seen year round is Queenslands Coral coast in the Bundaberg region.
And whilst I was there in February the star of the areas manta rays turned up at Lady Elliot Island.A pink manta ray.

Once again thanks for the TR.I guess after doing the cray cruise from Geraldton next year we now have to head north to Ningaloo reef as well.
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
8,989
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
And the other place I know where manta rays can be seen year round is Queenslands Coral coast in the Bundaberg region.
And whilst I was there in February the star of the areas manta rays turned up at Lady Elliot Island.A pink manta ray.

Once again thanks for the TR.I guess after doing the cray cruise from Geraldton next year we now have to head north to Ningaloo reef as well.
Yes, it was Lady Elliot Island that they said was the other place in Australia.

Maybe you should move to WA for a few months next year and knock off a few other things as well. 😜
 

Community Statistics

Threads
86,083
Messages
2,062,266
Members
53,410
Latest member
JRD146
Top