Category Archives: Blog

bird’s eye view over sal salis ningaloo reef

One of our staff enjoyed a microlight flight over Ningaloo Reef which flew over our safari camp – Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef.  Our 9 luxury safari tents – the only accommodation in the Cape Range National Park are located in the heart of the World Heritage Area: the Ningaloo coast.     

Microlight flights are available from Exmouth with Bird’s Eye View 

Another Successful Catch on Ningaloo reef

American family Pam, John and daughter Amber booked a half day fishing charter aboard the Sal Salis fishing boat ‘Sal Canis’ and along with charter guides, Murray Pattison and Jimmy Braund, they headed out on the ‘West Side’ along Ningaloo Reef.  “It was a beautiful day with not much swell or wind and we could see for miles.  We found some striped tuna surface feeding on a shoal of really small larval baitfish, so small in-fact that they were see-through”, said Murray.  This meant that the tuna were really hard to catch because we did not have any lures small enough and also able to cast.  After some persistent casting, John finally hooked into a medium size tuna that gave him a fairly decent run for his money.

Murray decided on a change of tactics and location and headed out just past the south passage in the hope of finding some Spanish mackerel.  We put out two Halco deep divers while Jimmy rigged one of his famous gar fish and we were set to go.  The lines had not been in the water long when that beautiful sound of a screaming drag got everyone back on their feet!  Unfortunately we lost this fish so the lines were put back out and we returned to the waiting game.  Soon after that the second of the deep-divers got absolutely smashed and the line was peeling out at a rapid rate off the little spin outfit.  Amber was on and after a lot of coaching from her dad and encouragement from the rest of the team, Amber had her Spaniard swimming nicely alongside the boat.  We got it up into the boat for some photos and then sent him on his way.

Soon after that and Pam hooked into a Yellowfin Tuna which was followed all the way back to the boat by a big shark!  We figured the tuna was mighty pleased about its short stay aboard the ‘Sal Canis’ the photo opportunity and then back into the water to fight another day!

A really good day in all and Pam, John and Amber were pretty stoked – we also managed to show them lots of humpback whales, turtles and a manta ray.  Smiles and back slapping all round and then it was back to the mooring for a well deserved sundowner and a pretty spectacular sunset.

Sal Salis Wins at the Gourmet Traveller 2011 Awards!

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef was honoured to receive the Gourmet Traveller 2011 award for Best Sustainable Tourism Venture.  Over the last 5 years the Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards have recognised Australia’s most outstanding destinations and tourist operators who are dedicated to showcasing Australia’s best assets to the world.

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef has been developed in line with strict guidelines set down by the Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation.  All structures are built on platforms above the ground, which minimises impact on the environment; all power is solar generated and water usage is minimal.  Sal Salis’ team of experienced field guides bring a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for the environment during the activities that they run for guests, while the camp’s lodge team ensure that the ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ touches are not forgotten in an immersive yet supremely comfortable stay in the bush.

In addition to this award Sal Salis also received the runner up award for Best Adventure Tourism in the reader’s choice award. 

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ningaloo reef is granted world heritage status

The nine luxury safari tents of Sal Salis – the only accommodation in the Cape Range National Park adjacent to Ningaloo Reef – is located in the heart of the newest World Heritage Area:  the Ningaloo Coast, which was announced in Paris on Friday, June 24.

Over 600,000 hectares have been incorporated in the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area, including Ningaloo Reef itself and the Cape Range National Park.  The listing officially recognised:

  • the aesthetically striking coastal and terrestrial environment of Ningaloo Reef adjacent to Cape Range
  • the lush and colourful underwater scenery and its contrast with the arid and rugged land
  • the annual aggregation of whale sharks, one of the largest in the world
  • the important aggregations and diversity of other fish species, marine turtles and marine mammals
  • the rare and diverse subterranean creatures
  • the diversity of reptiles and vascular plants in the dry lands

Whale sharks frequent Ningaloo Reef between March and August each year – and snorkelling alongside the world’s largest fish is one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences.

Book your whale shark experience with Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef today!


Bird Hide

For avid bird watchers, this quaint bird hide is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. Mangrove Bay is in the Cape Range National Park, and is just a short drive away from the Sal Salis camp.  The tranquil environment and well camouflaged shelter allow the observer to watch wildlife and especially birds at close quarters. There is a vast variety of birdlife ranging from Peilicans, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Eastern Reef Egrets, Heron and Whistling Kites.

The extensive mangrove root system acts as a nursery habitat for juvenile fish seeking refuge. Mullet and Mangrove Red Snapper are the most common species here, and can often be seen and heard splashing around. Pictured below is a Mangrove Crab taking shelter in the mangroves at low tide.


Yellow fin Tuna off Ningaloo reef

It has been a big mornings fish at Sal Salis!

It was a late start to the day as we didn’t leave the mooring until about 10 am, but it didn’t take us long to get the lines in the water as we motored out through the north passage.

The Sal Salis Fishing boat is a brand new LeisureCat 8000 Sportsfisher which carries the latest range of Shimano fishing equipment and is designed to carry four anglers plus our skipper and deck-hand. There is a private toilet facility on-board and all catering and refreshments are supplied, so it was game on and off to the reef!

Our skipper, Murray Pattison – born in Zimbabwe but now a ‘true blue West Aussie’, is as experienced and passionate as they come, and a well respected game and bill fishing specialist for the Exmouth region. With crew like that you are sure to get into some pelagic action.
Conditions were perfect under a clear blue sky with no swell to speak of and hardly a breath of wind. After only a short half hour we got our first hit with line tearing off the reel! It was a long struggle but we finally saw the first bit of colour and it was a nice Yellowfin tuna doing the usual big sweeps under the boat. We eventually got it landed and now it was all on!

Tuna kyletuna_hassal

There was bird action all around the boat and big tuna were busting up the water surface everywhere. We set ourselves for the next run and had only got the second rod half out when it got hit again – this is as good as it gets!! It was another solid half hour fight before we finally had our second big Yellowfin in the boat.

The action continued like this for the next couple of hours until we’d landed six more big fish and one head that the sharks had got to first. By this stage we were just about worn out and had sharks circling all around the boat trying to get in on the action as well as a big pod of Spinner dolphins.

The final tally for the day was one Striped tuna, a Dolphin fish and six big Yellowfin tuna. The biggest of the Yellowfin came in at 45 kg and 1.37 m and we were tied up back at the mooring by a bit after 2 pm. Not bad for half a day’s fishing!

tuna head (400 x 300)

Bustards spotted at sal salis

Bustards are the heaviest flying birds in Australia. Because of their great weight, Bustards much prefer to walk, though it is a spectacular sight when they do fly. Bustards are omnivorous, feeding primarily on seeds and invertebrates. They make nests on the the ground, making their eggs and offspring vulnerable to predators. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go.

Pictured below are a male and female Bustard, spotted by the road that leads you to Sal Salis.

Sal Salis Fishing in the Media

Ningaloo Reef is recognised as the premier game fishing destination of Western Australia.  Few places in the world offer the ability to hook famous species such as Marlin, giant Trevally, Mahi Mahi and Sailfish regularly.  With over 40 different varieties of game fish it’s no wonder Ningaloo Reef is on every angler’s wish list. 

We were fortunate enough to host the iFish crew and former MotorGP champion, Casey Stoner last month.  Look out for this special iFish episode which will air on Sunday 15th May on channel ten at 12 midday.   

Scott Coghlan of Western Angler magazine also visited Sal Salis and was there to see us raise a 2.82m sailfish.  To read this feature article please click here

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.