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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.

 

 

Get to Sal Salis via the Coral Coast Highway

Our location here in the Cape Range National Park may be remote, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to get here.

Becah and ocean

You can fly from Perth to Exmouth, where we will be waiting to transfer you to our camp. If you fancy a self-drive adventure, you can also take the 1200km Coral Coast Highway from Perth to Exmouth!

This is one of Australia’s great scenic drives and along the way you will discover a combination of some of Australia’s most amazing attractions and experiences, many found nowhere else on earth, as the road hugs the Indian Ocean coastline.

Road trip highlights include:
• the famous Pinnacles Desert,
• fields of amazing wildflowers in Spring,
• meeting the dolphins at Monkey Mia
• the Yamaji Drive trail in Greater Geraldton and surrounds where you can see the sites of the Wadjari community
• a night tour under the stars Malgana tribe of Gathaagudu in Shark Bay, where you can cook up red mullet and play the didgeridoo

This adventurous self-drive route is the perfect way to start your holiday to Sal Salis so you can enjoy everything this gorgeous part of the world has to offer.

Avis are now offering great deals on fly and drive holidays, so you can drive up to Sal Salis and then fly back to Perth. Find out more on the Coral Coast website.

Here’s another BIG reason to visit Sal Salis outside of the whale shark season!

Whale sharks may be moving on from Ningaloo Reef, but there is still a BIG reason to visit Sal Salis over the next few months.

HUMPBACK WHALES have arrived in our pristine waters, and Western Australia’s Ningaloo Marine Park is one of the few places on Earth that you can actually take a dip with them!

Our preferred operator, Live Ningaloo, has reported some amazing interactions with humpback whales so far this season, which commenced on 1 August.

Passengers aboard Live Ningaloo’s luxury vessel, Wave Rider, have enjoyed up to five swims per tour with humpback whales, and some have been treated to very special interactions with mothers and their young whales.

Llive Ningaloo and Chris Jansen Images shot of humpback whales
Chris Jansen Images, on board Live Ningaloo

Recently a Live Ningaloo group were swimming with a mother humpback whale and her yearling. The mother initially concealed her yearling from sight until she’d had eyeballed the group for a little while. Upon judging they weren’t a threat she lowered her guard and allowed the group to have a peek.

Live Ningaloo’s Sonia Beckwith said humpback whales were constantly communicating through passive and non-passive behaviours.

She said: “Whether it’s singing, doing a belly turn or a mother showing us her yearling – that’s them communicating amongst themselves and sometimes with us. It’s a magical feeling when there is an exchange because it’s intentional with humpbacks.

“Humpback whales are active above and below the surface. Spotting them in action while you’re on a boat, in the water with them, or from the Sal Salis lodge deck is an awe-inspiring experience.

“This is only the second year the swimming with humpback tours have been allowed, and it is reassessed each year. As such, we never know if these swims with humpback whales at Ningaloo Reef will continue in future seasons. So, if you really want to tick this amazing experience off your bucket list, we recommend doing it soon!”

Live Ningaloo will continue to offer tours to swim with humpback whales until 31 October. For more information, contact them directly via their website.