Tag Archives: cape range national park

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.

 

 

Top tips for stargazing in 2020

Did you know Sal Salis has some of the darkest night skies around?

We are nestled into the Cape Range National Park, miles from any other light sources. We keep lighting to a minimum, dining by candlelight and giving guests a lantern to find their way back to their tents; so you can really experience the stars and the Milky Way in all their glory.

A woman stand under a starry sky with a headtorch

If you’ve never seen a truly dark sky and witnessed the Milky Way, the nights at Sal Salis are going to blow you away. You don’t need to be an astronomer to enjoy these amazing sky shows, they’re just as impressive viewed from the deck of your tent with a glass of wine in hand.

We do have a telescope here in the Lodge, so if you’re keen to know more, just ask one of our camp guides and they’ll happily point out some of the main constellations and planets for you.

Here are some of our top stargazing tips:

  • Stargazing is best done before the full moon, so if you’re super-keen to see the best starry night skies, check the phase of the moon before you plan your trip!
  • If you want to try your hand at some astrophotography, make sure you bring your DSL camera, your kit zoom lenses and a tripod. The tripod allows for a stable platform so you can shoot at a really long exposure. Use manual mode, a fast aperture of F/2.8-F/4 and set the ISO to the highest level you can. Change the shutter speed to slow and exposure length to 15-30 seconds.
  • There are some great in-depth tips for astrophotography here.

AstroTourism has also shared with us their top tips for stargazing events in 2020:

January and February

It’s a great time of the year to see two galaxies in the southern night sky and you don’t even need binoculars or a telescope! The Magellanic Clouds can be seen with the naked eye. Kick back on the beach and enjoy. When’s the best time to see the Magellanic Clouds?

March

Turn your attention towards the outback landscape in the east. Watching a Supermoon rising is getting more and more popular each year. Choose a favourite location where you can see clearly to the eastern highway and you’re all set for a great evening out. What is a Supermoon and when does it rise?

April and May

This is Western Australia’s most iconic constellation. It’s on the flag and in our hearts! Did you know it can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere? Starting this month, you can track it over time as it graces the southern skies. How do you find the Southern Cross?

June

Milky Way Season has just begun! If you’ve never seen the Milky Way on a moonless night in country WA, June and the months either side are the perfect time to experience it. Sometimes this thick band of stars look so close, you could almost reach out and touch them. The Milky Way is simply stunning…

July

The Southern delta-Aquarids Meteor Shower occurs at a good time to try and spot some meteors (or “shooting stars”). There’s no moonlight at the time of the meteor shower’s peak which makes it easier to see more meteors as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. How many can you count?

August

Most of us know about the saucepan in the sky. That’s part of the constellation of Orion. Did you know there’s also the shape of teapot in the sky? See if you can find the teapot in Sagittarius…

September

Did you know that Mercury is visible with the naked eye? It is easy to see it this month in the early evening sky! There’s a great time this month to spot the closest planet to the Sun.

October

It’s definitely a treat at Halloween this year! In WA, there are two full Moons in October. They are both what’s popularly known as Micromoons! We’re in for a Micro Blue Moon on Halloween! What is a Micromoon and when does it rise?

November

To see the Andromeda Galaxy you need a very dark night sky. Sal Salis is the perfect location! Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away and they say it is the most distant object visible to the human eye! Will you be able to see Andromeda?

December

A spot of summer night stargazing is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the year. Get ready for the busy Christmas Day by spending a lovely time out under the stars. On Christmas Eve you’ll spot three of the brightest planets in the evening sky. Where will Mars appear?

2023

In April 2023, Sal Salis is in the path of a total solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, totally or partly obscuring the sun from our vision. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the sun’s and all direct sunlight is blocked, turning day into darkness.

Are you tempted to see the beauty of a Ningaloo Reef sky? Book your escape with us today and make it a reality.