The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage area is full of contrasts. You can pass from a high plateau shrubland to deep ocean within just a few kilometres. Hike through eucalypt woodlands or climb up deep rocky gorges, enjoying breathtaking scenery. Walk over a flat coastal plain and discover the range’s terraces (a succession of ancient fossil reefs), explore coastal dunes and rocky shores or just laze in the sun on one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches you can imagine. Take the plunge into the stunning Ningaloo Marine Park, where you can see staghorn and other coral gardens, populated by colourful fish, turtles, rays and sharks only a short snorkel from shore.
Visitors to Cape Range National Park can camp at camp sites along the length of the park's coast. From here, it is just a few steps to magnificent Ningaloo Marine Park. The access road through the park is sealed, with 2WD access roads to camp and day-use sites. A 4WD is needed to cross Yardie Creek. Conditions change quickly with rain and access may become restricted. Camp sites have limited facilities, without power or water. Fees apply and there are restrictions to the length of time you can camp in the park.
The Ningaloo Coast - which also includes Muiron Islands Marine Management Area, Muiron Islands Nature Reserve and Learmonth Air Weapons Range - was inscribed on the World Heritage List for its natural beauty and biological diversity. Particular values for which it was included on the World Heritage List were:
* aesthetically striking coastal and terrestrial environment of the Ningaloo Reef adjacent to the Cape Range
* the lush and colourful underwater scenery and its contrast with the arid and rugged land
* annual aggregation of whale sharks, one of the largest in the world
* important aggregations of other fish species and marine mammals
* high marine diversity, including an unusual diversity of marine turtle species
* rare and diverse subterranean creatures
* diversity of reptiles and flowering plants in the drylands.
For all information about camping in Cape Range National Park and for bookings please see dec.wa.gov.au/campgrounds. Camping areas are signposted (no campfires are allowed in the park) and fees apply. Some areas are for day use only. Water is available at only one bore within the park and visitors are advised to bring their own water for drinking. You can also stay at a wilderness camp within the park (swags and safari tents are provided). Just outside the park boundaries, chalets, units, on-site vans and caravan sites are available at Yardie Homestead and at Lighthouse Caravan Park, just three kilometres from the Tantabiddi boat ramp. Supplies are available at Exmouth and Coral Bay.
* Drinking water is not available within Cape Range National Park. Visitors must bring their own water.
* Protect yourself from the sun, whether in or out of the water. Remember to always wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.
* Take adequate fuel when driving and boating (fuel can only be obtained at Exmouth and Coral Bay).
* Shade is scarce. The use of heavy duty fabrics as shade and or windbreaks is recommended.
* Strong currents are caused by a build up of water in the lagoon behind the reef. Large waves and a high tide level contribute to the amount of water in the lagoon that needs to escape through the gaps in the reef. Inexperienced swimmers should not swim or snorkel in strong currents, especially unaccompanied by an experienced person. Inexperienced swimmers wishing to snorkel should seek the services of licensed tour operators if they are unable to find an experienced person to accompany them.
* Hot dry weather dehydrates your body quickly, so always carry four litres of water per person per day.
* Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and sturdy walking shoes.
* Temperatures may be exceptionally high (more than 50°C in summer), especially in the canyons. Walks should only be attempted between April and September.
* For your own safety please remain on existing tracks.
* Pets are not permitted within the park.
* Campfires are not permitted.