Tag Archives: Turtles

Turtle tracks herald the start of Ningaloo’s turtle nesting season

As we say goodbye to our staff and guests at the end of our 2018 season, mature female turtles are starting their gruelling journey from the sea to the beaches along the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area to lay clutches of eggs.

Located just metres from our front doorstep, spanning 300 kilometres in length, Western Australia’s Ningaloo Coast is considered one of the world’s most important breeding grounds for endangered green and loggerhead turtles. Hawksbill turtles also nest on this spectacular coastline.

Ningaloo’s turtle nesting season occurs between late October and March each year. Approximately six weeks after nesting, tiny turtle hatchlings emerge from their nests and scurry to the deep blue sea of the Ningaloo Marine Park at the northern tip of Australia’s Coral Coast.

Although most of the hatching takes place during the Sal Salis closure between January and March, some of our guests were lucky enough to witness the hatching of turtles at our private beach in April this year.

 

Turtle hatchlings at Sal Salis

 

It’s no secret that many of our guests visit Sal Salis to swim alongside Ningaloo Reef’s famed big three: whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays. And with good reason; swimming with these majestic gentle giants is nothing short of AWE-INSPIRING, however, guests are often just as excited about encountering our resident turtles on a snorkelling tour with us in the coral gardens of our private beach.

We love our turtles and we know where to find them. There’s a special location in the ocean near our luxury camp ground where we take our guests to spot turtles. Swimming with them is a truly amazing and it’s always a buzz, even for our guides who are lucky enough to do it often.

 

Guests snorkel with turtles at Sal Salis

 

Accommodation at Sal Salis is fully inclusive, and a number of activities and tours are offered to guests daily. Our knowledgeable guides tailor tours each day to best suit the weather conditions at the time. We have plenty of equipment for guests to use, so just remember to pack your bathers and we’ll supply the rest of the gear for a snorkelling tour that you are sure to remember for the rest of your days.

Swim alongside the stars of Ningaloo Reef during your stay at Sal Salis!

The secret is out: Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef is world-renowned for being one of the most accessible and reliable places in the world to swim with ALMIGHTY WHALE SHARKS!

Growing up to 18 metres in length, whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea. They arrive in the Ningaloo Marine Park in early March each year and are followed by tens of thousands of visitors who are lured to the region for the chance to swim with these enormous (and harmless) marine creatures.

Our preferred operator, Live Ningaloo, offers small, bespoke group tours to get up close and personal with whale sharks each year between late March and 31 July. Tours are limited to ten passengers to ensure all on board have a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience with these graceful marine giants.

Ningaloo has solidified its reputation as being a mecca for massive marine experiences over the past few years. Not only can you swim with whale sharks here, you can also swim with humpback whales!

So, if you visit Sal Salis outside of the whale shark season, you can still get the adrenaline rush of having a close encounter with a gentle giant of the ocean. Swimming with humpback whales has only been offered at Ningaloo Reef since 2016, so our guests have the opportunity to be among the first of many to enjoy this unique experience. Guests can join a Live Ningaloo tour to take a dip with magnificent humpback whales between 1 August and 31 October.

While whale sharks and humpback whales pass through the Ningaloo Marine Park annually on a seasonal basis, majestic manta rays can be encountered here all year round. Manta rays have a wing span of up to 5.5 metres wide and watching them ‘dance’ is truly mesmerising.

Although tours are recommended to get up close to whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays, there’s a myriad of marine life to seen close to Sal Salis.

Luckily for our guests, Sal Salis is located within a short stroll of one of the best parts of Ningaloo Reef. Measuring around 300km in length, Ningaloo Reef is one of the largest fringing reef systems in the world. It’s called a ‘fringing reef’ because it’s so close to shore, which means in some parts you can literally step off the beach and start snorkelling within moments of entering the water. This is a major point of difference to the Great Barrier Reef, which is around a two-hour boat ride from Cairns.

The UNESCO World Heritage listed Ningaloo Coast is home to around 500 species of fish and about 250 species of coral, so there’s plenty to see beneath the surface of this pristine stretch of the Indian Ocean located at the northern tip of Australia’s Coral Coast.

The great news is you can see so much of it with a mask and snorkel without venturing far from our luxury camp. Ningaloo is a notable nesting site for green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, and our guests often rave about their encounters with these beautiful creatures at our private beach. Occasionally our guests have even witnessed unseasonable hatching of turtles near our camp.

If you love to be beside the seaside and would like to acquaint yourself with Ningaloo Reef’s many marine species, add Sal Salis to your bucket list!

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Sal Salis Photo Comp

2018 Sal Salis guests are encouraged to enter our photo competition by posting their best photos and videos to our Facebook or Instagram account for the chance to WIN a three-night stay with us in 2019!

Head to our Facebook page to post your photos and videos, tag @Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef and include #SalSalisPhotoComp and #SalSalisNingalooReef hashtags. Or post your content on Instagram, with the aforementioned hashtags. If you are not on social media, please email your photos and videos to info@salsalis.com.au.

Turtle Egg Laying Time

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Sal Salis is currently closed for the season  so our Camp Managers Paul and Candice are finding time to enjoy themselves.  They had been out for an early morning paddle on the kayaks yesterday when they noticed turtle  tracks across the damp sand.  Following them they found this gorgeous girl who had just finished laying her eggs and was busy covering her nest.   She was exhausted and went at a VERY slow pace, eventually she trundled back down to the water and swam off.   Candice says the beach is covered in nests at the moment.

Three of the world’s seven marine turtle species nest on the mainland beaches and islands of Ningaloo Reef during the summer months.

  1. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas)
  2. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta)
  3. Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Incubation is then around 60 days so through March and into April turtle hatchings on the beach are a very special experience for some of our lucky guests.   It is hard to describe how emotional you feel watching the tiny turtles – perfect and beautiful, strive for life.

Photos by Camp Manager – Paul Bester

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