Category Archives: birds

Get to know the Cape Range National Park

If you’re a fan of rugged landscapes, unspoilt beaches and abundant wildlife, the Cape Range National Park may well be your new favourite destination. The north tip of Cape Range National Park is just 40km from Exmouth, on the Coral Coast of Western Australia is the place we call home.

The Park covers more than 50,000 hectares and has been recognised as a World Heritage Site with “outstanding universal value.”

Located adjacent to the famous Ningaloo Marine Park, Cape Range National Park boasts spectacular rocky gorges carved by ancient rivers that adjoin one of the most pristine and beautiful coastlines in the world. We take our guests out on a number of guided experiences through the Park, including snorkelling trips along the coast and hikes at nearby gorges. You can also make your own way to these attractions before, after or during your Sal Salis stay if you have your own vehicle.

Becah and ocean

Wildlife

Wildlife is abundant in the Cape Ranges, with more than 100 species of land birds and marsupials found in the Park. When driving through the epic landscapes, you will spot a variety of birds, emus euros and kangaroos. If you take a hike at one of the gorges or creeks, keep your eyes peeled for black-footed rock wallabies, echidnas and lizards.

There is a bird hide at Mangrove Bay where you can settle in and get a close-up view of the amazing variety of seabirds and waders including mangrove fantails, mangrove whistlers and yellow white eyes. In October, you will see tracks in the sandy beaches where sea turtles have laid their eggs, and in January, you may even be lucky enough to see the baby hatchings make their dash back to the ocean.

This area is probably most famous for its aquatic wildlife, as the Ningaloo Reef is one of the most accessible spots to swim with whale sharks and humpback whales in the world. Whale shark season runs from April to July and the humpback season begins in August and ends in October. You can also swim with the majestic manta rays here from May to November.  Year-round you can expect to see rays, dugongs, turtles and countless species of fish enjoying the pristine reef and abundant coral – just steps from our camp!

Hiking

The National Park is the perfect place to lace up your walking boots and head out to one of the amazing hiking trails. We take our guests on guided walks through Mandu Gorge and Yardie Creek. We take our kayaks and SUP boards to Yardie creek so you can enjoy a tranquil paddle and soak up the amazing scenery.

Snorkelling

Sal Salis is located on the shores of the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park, so you’re literally steps away from some of the best snorkelling in Australia. Don your mask and snorkel, step into the crystal-clear Indian Ocean and discover a myriad of marine life just metres from the shore. Immerse yourself in this unspoilt underwater wonderland of coral, turtles, rays and fish.

Our favourite snorkel spots are right outside our camp, as well as Oyster Stacks, Turquoise Bay and Lakeside. We often take our guests up to these spots for a snorkel trip and our guides will point out the amazing fish, coral and other marine creatures as you swim by.

Swimming

There’s 50km of coastline in the Cape Range National Park, so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to swimming spots. Turquoise Bay is probably the most famous beach in the Park, and rightly so. It was voted Western Australia’s top beach by Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice. It boasts crystal-clear waters and a long, white, sandy beach.

Jurabi Coastal Reserve is also a great stretch of coastline for swimming. A bonus is that in-season you can also view nesting turtles right here on the beach as the sun sets. On a low tide, check out the rock pools as you’ll find heaps of hidden delights including sea urchins, anemones, starfish and octopus!

The private beach at Sal Salis is an oasis of calm. The pretty pink stones, washed up from nearby Yardie Creek make sunsets here pastel perfection. We have SUP boards and kayaks if you want to go for a little paddle, or you can just relax in our comfy chairs and watch the waves roll in.

 

 

Bird watchers delight at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef

The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Coast is renowned for being one of the best places in the world to swim with gentle giants like whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays.

However, did you know the region also offers some excellent opportunities to spot magnificent birds, such as mighty wedge-tailed eagles, spotted harriers and ospreys?

Wedge Tail Eale by Andre Rerekur

Emus are also rather common in this part of the world. Frequently our guests will see them on their journey to our beachside camp in Western Australia’s Cape Range National Park.

More than 180 species of birds have been recorded in the Cape Range Peninsula, and Sal Salis is located close to some of the most scenic bird watching locations in the National Park.

Beautiful native birds regularly appear around our luxury beachside camp, and we take our guests on wildlife walks to nearby gorges to see more species.

Wake up in your eco-luxe safari tent to the delightful tune of butcherbird song, then join us for a sunrise stroll in Mandu Mandu Gorge. Early morning is the best time to spot birds, and Mandu Mandu Gorge a great place to see a variety of species including pied butcherbirds, little corellas, rainbow bee-eaters, western bowerbirds, raptors, spinifexbirds, spinifex pigeons, grey-headed and brown honeyeaters.

Paul Bester, Osprey Nest

We also take guests to Yardie Creek, where birds can be seen nesting in the cavities of the steep gorge rocks. Birds spotted here include eastern reef egrets, little woodswallows, osprey and zebra finches. Painted finch and sea eagles are also occasionally sighted here. Catch a glimpse of birds and many other species of wildlife (including black-footed rock wallabies) as you join us for a walk along the top of the gorge or kayak with us in Yardie Creek.

Wedge-tailed eagles, Australian bustards and emus are also found in this area and spotted harrier can sometimes be seen hunting low among the spinifex. Rufous-crowned emu-wren, white-winged triller and spinifex birds can also be found in spinifex areas. Look for western bowerbirds in the rock fig trees along limestone ridges and rufous fieldwrens near the coast. Crested pigeon, variegated and white-winged fairy wren and hooded robins can be seen in the thickets.

An interesting fact about this area is that ospreys actually nest on the ground here in the Cape Range National Park. They pair for life and return to the same nest annually, adding new material to it each year.

So, don’t forget your binoculars or walking shoes when you visit Sal Salis. There are plenty of birds to and many different species wildlife to be seen here in the Cape Range National Park. Our friendly guides know just where to look!