Category Archives: Blog

First Whale Shark Sighted for 2011

A curious whale shark was spotted last week only 40 metres beyond the edge of Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, heralding the arrival of its brethren behemoths.  The whale shark was estimated at 3.5 metres.

In addition to the sharks’ arrival, Qantas have also announced the launch of their new Perth-Exmouth service.  The new Qantas service operates on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with the first scheduled flight departing on Wednesday March 30th.

Whale Sharks and Qantas arrive at Ningaloo reef

March heralds the arrival of the annual whale shark migration off Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef.

Qantas have also announced the launch of their new service between Perth and Exmouth bringing an injection of new blood to the route (in addition to the daily Skywest service) and some great new airfares to work with.

The new Qantas service operates Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with their first scheduled flight departing on Wednesday 30th March 2011.

Qantas flights and connections available from:

  • Ex Perth from $199 one way
  • Ex Adelaide from $299 one way
  • Ex Melbourne from $339 one way
  • Ex Sydney from $349 one way

Snorkelling alongside a whale shark – and getting a close-up perspective of their massive, 1.5 metre diametre mouths – is one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences. The plankton feeding sharks are harmless to humans – and have even been known to ‘play’ with divers.

Sal Salis offers three and four night whale shark packages between March 31 and July 16, costing from $3,100 and $3,700 per person, twin-share respectively. This includes accommodation and meals and beverages at Sal Salis; guided activities including snorkelling, kayaking and gorge walks from camp, and a whale shark tour exclusive to Sal Salis guests.


conde nast UK readers’ awards 2011

We were delighted to see both Bamurru Plains and Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef listed in the Conde Nast UK Readers’ Travel 2011 Awards for Top 20 Accommodation in the Australasia and South Pacific! 

Conde Nast UK Readers’ Awards 2011

We were delighted to see both Bamurru Plains and Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef listed in the Conde Nast UK Readers’ Travel 2011 Awards for Top 20 Accommodation in the Australasia and South Pacific! 

Turtle Nesting Season Approaches at Ningaloo reef

The nesting season is approaching at Ningaloo Reef.  The photo below was taken last week and is of two Green turtles mating in the shallow waters of Ningaloo Reef. 

Courtship activity occurs several weeks before the nesting season. With their large claws on the end of their front flippers the males grasp the shells of the female to mate. 

In a few weeks time this female will come ashore usually at night and often during high tide to lay her eggs.  She will use her front flippers to crawl past the high tide line to find a safe spot to nest.  Using her front flippers she digs out a “body pit”, then using her back flippers she digs an “egg cavity”. 

Over a course of 2 – 3 hours she will lay between 50 – 200 ping pong ball shaped eggs.  Using her back flippers she covers the eggs with sand.  By burying her eggs she protects them from predators, keeps the shells moist hence protecting them from drying out and the sand maintains the proper temperature for the eggs to hatch.   

The eggs take approximately 2 months to hatch. 

Now that’s a fish!

Our fishing charters have seen plenty of successful catches but on our trip last week we caught a big one!  So big in fact we think we have a potential unofficial national record for this Sailfish!

Our skipper/guide Murray was accompanied by Scott Coghlan of Western Angler magazine and our lodge manager, Mike, when they raised this Saily last week estimated at 90kg.

Surprisingly they managed to haul this Saily in on a Gladiator rod and Banax reel meant for GT popping. After a 45 minute battle and an impressive aerial exhibition they had it boat side and inside for a measure up and photo opportunity before releasing it back to see another day.  Its length was measured at 2.8m from the bottom jaw to the fork of the tail.

The national record for a Sailfish caught in Australian waters weighed in at 88.75kg. 

For more details on our Sal Salis fishing packages click

Sal Salis Ningaloo reef Game fishing

Our fishing guide, Murray and Sal Salis lodge manager, Mike and guide, Greg, had another successful day out fishing on Ningaloo Reef.  A few days of fishing saw them raise 20 bill fish, loads of Tuna, a couple of dolphin fish and a Spanish mackerel. 

Sal Salis is committed to preserving this spectacular fishery so the catch is released.  ‘Catch and release’, is a practice within recreational fishing intended as a technique of conservation.  We also use landing nets, tag poles and release weights on our fishing charters as well as practice and teach good release techniques. 

Green Turtle Swimming at Ningaloo reef

A favourite snorkeling spot at Sal Salis is called ‘Turtle Hole’.  This snorkel spot is located directly out the front of the camp approximately 20m from the waters edge.  It is a great place to spot turtles.  At Sal Salis we are fortunate enough to have Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill turtles frequent our waters. 

The photo below is of a green turtle which was taken by one of our guides.  Green turtles have a shell colour with light to dark green mottling with four pairs of large scales on either side.  They mostly eat seaweed and seagrass however adults will also feed on jellyfish when abundant but are predominantly herbivorous.  Their nesting and breeding cycle is generally late November to January with hatchlings emerging late December to April.

Snorkel on Ningaloo Reef

Guests enjoying an afternoon snorkel on Ningaloo Reef. 

The reef is located directly in front of the camp.  No more than 10 metres from the waters edge and you are snorkeling among coral formations, huge staghorn, sponge gardens and a wealth of fish including white and black tipped reef sharks, rays, turtles and huge schools of fish.

It really is a magical spot!

Sal Salis ningaloo reef wins ‘best green tourism initiative’ award

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is pleased to announce that we won the ‘Best Green Tourism Initiative’ award in the Gourmet Traveller 2010 Travel Awards. 

“Since it opened in 2008, Sal Salis has been the vanguard of conservation tourism, introducing visitors to Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Reef while ensuring there is minimal impact on the landscape.  Guests stay in nine safari-style tents that sit above the spinifex and saltbush crusted dunes and subsist on solar power, chemical free linen and daily water rations.  The privations are more than offset by the pleasures of sunset cocktails, lamplight dinners and the wonders of one of the world’s great reefs.  Mammoth whale sharks stalk the waters from March to July, humpbacks migrate from July to November and there are year round thrills from turtles, rays and the myriad fish that live on the reef.  Terra firma offers further diversions in the form of fossil and wallaby filled walks through the limestone gorges of Cape Range and stunning wildflower displays.”

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