Coral Bay is not really a town, but a caravan park and resort for visitors to the Ningaloo marine park. Feeding the fish
is great fun, bring your snorkel and watch your fingers. The bay is a sanctuary area and fishing is prohibited from north
of Point Maud to Monck head. The speed limit for boats in the bay is 8 knots.
There is very little here, so be prepared to just relax and enjoy the beach. Boat tours out to the Ningaloo Reef are another
way to spend your money, and it is money well spent.
A 4x4 track runs north along the coast to Yardie Creek, Cape Range National Park and
Exmouth. Nearby Ningaloo Reef is the only barrier reef on the West Coast, and runs for
260 kilometres. Unlike the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, which is a long way from shore, Ningaloo is only 3 to
7 kilometres from the coast. This is due to the fact that there are no permanent rivers running
into the sea near Ningaloo (Ningaloo is an Aboriginal word meaning 'the nose'.) In Queensland the influx of fresh water does not
permit corals to grow close to shore and forces reef development to start many miles out.
There are over 500 species of fish and 220 species of coral found on the reef. Not surprisingly, it is very popular with scuba divers.
The area has ideal weather almost all year round. Locals claim that it only rains one day per year. This is wishful thinking as the area
does expereince frequent cyclones during the wet season.
Cyclone Olwyn caused signifficant damage to Coral Bay in 2015.
Glass bottom boat
The glass bottom boat at Coral Bay takes you out over the reef to have a look at the coral and fish. The waters in Coral Bay are a marine
reserve, so the fish are protected and the boats make a feature of feeding them. Most of the big fish you will see are spangled emperors
(commonly known as northwest snapper).
The 1 hour cruise around the bay was $18 per head, and is very good value. The captain gives a very informative talk on the coral, fish
and the area surrounding the bay. Unlike some of the glass bottom boats we have been on overseas, this one had nice clean glass, and you
can see every detail of the reef as it slowly motors around.
Cameras and videos are welcome, so don't forget to take them with you. If it is tourist season you may need to book a day in advance, and
you can do so via the caravan park.
Reviewed : 1997
Coral Bay is located at Point Maud which was named after the schooner Maud that landed in the area in 1884.
The current site of Coral Bay is 3km south of Maud's Landing and the first building was erected in 1933 and was locally
called the 'old green hut'. Formal settlement began in 1968. The Coral Bay hotel was established and the name caught on.
The town site was gazetted in 1896 with a jetty being constructed in the following year. In 1915 Maud's Landing was proclaimed.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Cape Range, Ningaloo Reef, Whale Sharks.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Coral Bay Inn.
State : North West
Federal : Durack
Postcode : 6701
Local Government : Shire of Carnarvon
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