Splash into clear blue water, then sip on a perfect wine. Here are the hottest ways to cool down in Western Australia.

Here’s your plan for the day: wake up with the sound of the ocean, wander straight from your bed to the sea, and swim over one of the most beautiful reefs in the world. Perfect, right?!

It turns out this heavenly holiday is right in our backyard. So leave your passport at home, pack a bag and dive right into chilled-out Western Australia.

 

Snorkel in the coral gardens of Ningaloo Reef

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The jewel in Western Australia’s crown is the Coral Coast. Here, the glass-clear waters of Ningaloo Reef are home to hundreds of species of tropical fish, manta rays and colourful coral. The best part? Ningaloo is one of the most accessible coastal reefs in the world.

In Exmouth, you can rent a snorkel from a shack on the beach, paddle for just a metre or two, and you’ll be immersed in the electrifying colours of coral gardens.

If you find yourself hooked and ready to snorkel new spots, there are plenty of fish in the sea: other local favourites include Turquoise Bay, Coral Bay, and an untouched spot called Oyster Stacks.

 

Get deep with the whale sharks

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Fancy yourself a thrillseeker? Head out to visit the whale sharks. Ningaloo Reef is one of just a few places on Earth where you can swim right alongside these gentle giants in their natural habitat.

They’re cool, calm and collected creatures, but coming face to fin with them is sure to get your heart racing.

 

Cool down with a cheeky brew

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After a big day in the sun, the Coral Coast is packed with places to chill out with a cool drink.

If you’re after beachside fare, seek out the Short Order van to snag a coffee or breakfast burrito. For lunch, head for Whalers Restaurant, where you’ll find fresh, delicious seafood – including the crowd-pleasing soft-shell crab.

In the evenings, hit up Froth for a burger at a micro-brewery, and you might also be lucky enough to catch an outdoor movie, live music or comedy night.

Or try Mantarays Restaurant for fresh local seafood as you watch the sun set.

 

Watch the sunset — with baby turtles, or big whales

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As sweet as a day in the sun can be, there’s plenty to see at dawn and dusk too. It’s also one of the best times to meet the ocean’s oldest residents and youngest creatures.

Ningaloo’s coastline is one of the world’s major breeding areas for sea turtles. If you’re on the Coral Coast in March, you might be lucky enough to catch these babies hatching and scrambling towards the ocean as the sun comes up.

If you’re there from July to November, spend sunset admiring the “Humpback Highway”, when the humpback whales make their annual migration along the coast.

 

Fall asleep with the sea breeze

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Planning to do the Coral Coast in style? Look no further than Sal Salis. This place puts the glam in ‘glamping’, with permanently erected tents that feature hardwood floors, king size beds, and a luxury setting just metres from the Reef.

This is where you’ll get the ultimate reward for escaping big city lights — with a sea breeze, chef-created canapés, and bottles of wine beneath a star-studded sky.

 

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With pristine nature and activities for all, Ningaloo Reef on the Coral Coast is a well-kept secret – but it won’t stay that way forever. Are you game to swim with the whale sharks — or will you be kicking back glamping instead?

Feel like wetting your feet in Western Australia? For current deals on getting there, click here to start your adventure.

For more information on the region, visit click here to explore everything Western Australia has to offer.

 

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Where else in Western Australia would you like to explore?

Written by Kelsey Cooke, a KARRYON contributor

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