The Ningaloo Coast is one of the ocean’s ‘super highways’, providing a route up the west coast of Australia for some of the world’s most spectacular marine life.
Sea turtles and humpback whales frequently use the highway to migrate up and down the Ningaloo Coast between their feeding and breeding grounds and these beautiful animals are certainly not shy about sharing their cute babies with us. The whale sharks aren’t the only celebrities around here !!
This mother came ashore right in front of our beach shelter at Sal Salis to make her nest. She is an endangered green sea turtle and comes to land only to lay her eggs beneath the sand. Their names comes from the green colour of their body fat, coloured by the plants and algae they eat. Looks like these turtles have been eating more than their three serves of greens a day ;
All seven species of sea turtle are endangered and the loggerhead and hawksbill along with the green turtle all mate and nest along the Ningaloo Coast. Green sea turles return to the beach where they were hatched every two to five years to lay anywhere from 75-100 eggs per nest, with between 1 and 12 nests per season. That’s a whole lotta baby turtkes !! Unfortunately only 1 in 1000 of these little ones will make it to adulthood, the ones that do though can live as old as 80 years ! Our guides at Sal Salis have taken steps to ensure we give this mums little guys the best chance of survival – hopefully n a few months we will see something like this right on our doorstep… Click here to watch some other newborns making a dash to the sea
Thousands of humpback whales also use the super highway to migrate between Antarctica and the Kimberley’s where they give birth to a 1 tonne baby every two to three years ! During their time over winter in the tropical waters off the Kimberley coast the whales will fast and live off their fat reserves.
Once the calves are strong enough, feeding from their mothers milk, they begin the long journey back to Antarctica, staying close to the coast line in the relatively safe shallow water. Over summer in the cold Southern Ocean, one of the largest animals on earth feeds almost entirely on one of the smallest – krill. They will gorge themselves on up to 8 tonnes of these tiny crustaceans a day !
It’s common to see whales breaching right off the reef break from your wilderness tent or from our dedicated whale deck during their annual migration from July to October.