Snorkelling Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef

Today, June 8th is World Oceans Day. It’s a day to celebrate our oceans and a reminder how fragile they can be. I thought it would be appropriate to post photographs of my recent trip to Exmouth in Western Australia where I spent most days snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef.

The Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s other barrier reef and, while not as long as the Great Barrier Reef, is nevertheless quite extensive and comes close to shore in several places. It is easy to snorkel without the need to hire a boat or take an organised tour.

One of the best snorkelling locations is Oyster Stacks but there are several other places too including Coral Bay and, if you are careful of the currents, Turquoise Bay.

Here then are some of the photographs I took while testing out a waterproof camera from Olympus.

Snorkelling Ningaloo
Blue Starfish

Some of the easiest of the underwater life to photograph were the slow-moving or stationary life forms such as the starfish above and the clam pictured below.

snorkelling Ningaloo
Giant clam
snorkelling Ningaloo coral reef
Branching coral provides hiding places for the smaller fishes
snorkelling Ningaloo
Can you spot this fish?

Not all the underwater life kept still. It was a great deal more difficult to track and photograph them. However, I did manage to take some shots of the fish swimming around the corals

Ningaloo Reef
Hard to miss these bright coloured beauties
Ningaloo snorkelling
These fish tended to swim in small shoals
Ningaloo snorkelling
The water was crystal clear on most days

One of the highlights of the trip was swimming with rays.

Ningaloo snorkelling
Blue-spotted ray

For me the best part of the trip was when this sea turtle showed up and was happy for me to swim alongside taking photographs.

Ningaloo turtle
Swimming with a turtle long the Ningaloo Reef
Turtle on the Ningaloo Reef
The turtles are such graceful and serene creatures

The only sea creature missing from my hit list was a whale shark. These appear in May and hang around for several months before departing to some mystery destination. As I was there in January I may have to return if I am to swim with giants of the ocean. However, I did manage to source the photograph below to complete this post.

Whale shark
A Whale Shark – the largest fish in our oceans

As travellers, we should be aware of our role in keeping the oceans healthy. A healthy ocean means a healthy environment for those whose home it is.

You can follow World Oceans Day on Twitter (@WorldOceansDay) or follow the hashtag #WorldOceansDay. Alternatively, you can visit their website

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