Things To See & Do
Exmouth and Coral Bay offer a wealth of holiday activities for visitors. Click the links or see the descriptions of some of the most popular attractions and activities below.
Jurabi Turtle Centre
A collaborative project between the Shire of Exmouth and the Department of Parks & Wildlife, the Jurabi Turtle Centre was constructed in recognition of the urgent need to minimise the impact of human distrurbance to nesting marine turtles along the Ningaloo coast. It is an unmanned outdoor interpretive centre and is open to the public at all times. The centre houses a creative range of materials and provides information on turtle biology, threats, conservation measures and the correct way to observe nesting turtles without disturbing them. During the turtle nesting season from November to March, the Department of Parks & Wildlife also runs turtle observation tours from Jurabi Turtle Centre.
Krait & Potshot Memorials
Exmouth’s strong military history is evident right along the tip of North West Cape, but some of the best examples of this fighting past can be found at the Krait and Potshot Memorials, off Minilya-Exmouth Road, around 29kms south of Exmouth. Operation Potshot saw the establishment of a US submarine refuelling base in 1942, while the Krait memorial commemorates Operation Jaywick; one of the most daring shipping raids of the Second World War. Exmouth Gulf was the base of this mission, in which a small group of SAS soldiers used a captured, near derelict Malaysian fishing vessel (grandiosely renamed the HMS Krait) to conduct a sneak attack on Japanese warships in Singapore Harbour. Relics and interpretive signage can be found at the Krait and Potshot memorials.
Mangrove Bay Bird Hide
The Mangrove Bay bird hide overlooks the Mangrove Bay Lagoon and sanctuary area. A variety of birds roost in the lagoon at high tide and many feed on small fish and other marine life in the shallow waters. Patient observation may reward with the sight of an osprey or brahminy kite.
Milyering Discovery Centre
Milyering is the Cape Range National Park discovery centre. Located 52km from Exmouth, the Milyering Discovery Centre houses interpretive displays, audio-visual facilities and a library containing a wealth of information on the National and Marine Parks, all of which are designed to help visitors appreciate the natural environment. National Park rangers are also on site to assist with enquiries. A beach wheel chair is available with prior arrangement from the centre.
SS Mildura Wreck
At the tip of North West Cape at the end of Mildura Wreck Road, the wreck of the cattle steamer SS Mildura can be viewed. Resting a mere 80 metres from shore, the SS Mildura was wrecked in 1907. The legacy of the SS Mildura is the nearby Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, which owes its positioning on North West Cape to this shipwreck which highlighted the urgent need at the time for a light station on this notoriously treacherous stretch of coast.
The Big Prawn
On Murat Road right alongside the Ningaloo Visitor Centre stands Exmouth’s big prawn. This iconic, four metre tall fibreglass sculpture was originally located along Minilya-Exmouth Road outside local seafood company, MG Kailis’ now disused facility, 40 kilometres out of Exmouth. MG Kallis has since gifted the structure to the Shire of Exmouth. Interpretive signage on the Exmouth Gulf prawn fishery can also be found at the base of the big prawn.
Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
Vlamingh Head Lighthouse is a favourite heritage experience for visitors to the Ningaloo coast, who will find not only the lighthouse itself on the top of Vlamingh Head, but also the remains of a World War II radar station, a wide range of interpretive signage and one of the best ocean views on the Ningaloo Coast.
The Ningaloo coast, Cape Range and North West Cape nuture an unusually large variety of flora, with more than 630 species recorded here to date. Sturt's desert peas, purple mulla mullas, flannel bush, green birdflowers, rock growing Ficus and many other species may be seen. The general time wildflowers can be found is July-October (depending on rainfall). Wildflower books and free brochures can be obtained from the Ningaloo Visitor Centre. The Milyering Discovery Centre also offers a short self guided flora walk around their premises.
The sealed road through the Cape Range National Park ends at Yardie Creek - a spectacular, multi-coloured gorge with permanent water fed from the ocean. Hidden within the safety of the sheer gorge walls is a colony on black-footed rock wallabies. With its mangrove areas, Yardie Creek also provides roosting sites for many bird species, while the sheltered waters are a sanctuary for various marine animals. There is a pair of walking trails along the top of the northern wall of Yardie Creek Gorge, or visitors can kayak or join a Yardie Creek boat cruise to fully discover the beauty of this surprising natural feature.