The Incredible Wildlife of Ningaloo...
Exmouth, the Ningaloo Coast and surrounds, is increasingly becoming known world-wide as a biodiversity hot spot; a place where visitors can see, and sometimes interact with, a broad cross-section of Australia's amazing wildlife.
Some of this wildlife is migratory, and there are defined 'seasons' when you will have the best chance of viewing them: such as whale sharks and humpback whales.
But there is also plenty of incredible wildlife to see year-round at Ningaloo: turtles, fish, corals, rays, emu, kangaroos, rock wallabies and diverse bird life to name a few.
So dive in to the list below, and if you have in questions about the best time of year to see your favourite animals, please get in touch.
WHALE SHARKS – End of March to early August. Day tours to snorkel with the Whale sharks are available with licenced operators during this time.
HUMPBACK WHALES – August to September. Day tours to snorkel with Humpback Whales are available with licenced operators during this time.
TURTLES – Year-round. Juvenile turtles can be observed year-round in the lagoons of Ningaloo. Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill turtles can be spotted at Ningaloo, with mature adults gathering in the lagoons adjacent to nesting beaches to mate from September to November, with nesting taking place from November to March. Hatchlings start to appear on the beaches from January through to March. Exmouth Adventure Company's sea kayak and snorkel Turtle Tour runs year round to observe juvenile green turtles in their natural habitat.
FISH and RAYS – Year-round. With over 500 species of fish and over 100 species of rays there is a wonderful diversity at Ningaloo. Manta Rays can be observed outside the lagoons from May to November.
DUGONG – Can be spotted in the lagoons from April to September.
DOLPHINS – Year-round. We sometimes see bottlenose and Australian humpback dolphins in the lagoons from our kayaks.
CORAL SPAWN – After the full moon in March and April. This incredible natural event is the reason for the annual Whale shark aggregation, as the Whale sharks arrive in March to feed on the coral spawn.
EMU and KANGAROO – Year-round. Euro (arid-zone wallaroo) and western red kangaroo are common in Cape Range National Park, but most active at dawn and dusk and at night. Take care driving during this time. Emu are active during the day and can be observed roaming the streets of Exmouth town as well as the national park. From August to October it is not uncommon to see ‘stripeys’ – fluffy emu chicks following their dad as they forage close to town.
BLACK-FLANKED ROCK WALLABY – Year-round. These shy animals live amongst the steep gorges in CRNP, sheltering in crevices and caves during the day. Many leave the shelter of the sheer cliffs in the early morning and late afternoon to feed on plants and some fruits along the cliff tops and edges. Exmouth Adventure Co's 5-day Ultimate Safari tour visits both Yardie and Mandu Mandu gorge where we spot these rock wallabies amongst the sheer gorge walls.
DINGO – Year-round. The area around Exmouth town and CRNP has seen an increase in the dingo population in the last 6 years. DNA samples taken from some animals indicates that they are 97% pure dingo, and natural colour variations including pure black and black and tan dingo can be observed. Dingo are wild animals, so please keep your distance and never offer food or water.
BUNGARRA – Year-round. This sand goanna is also known as a Perentie or Gould’s goanna. Growing to about 2m long, bungarra forage during the day, feeding on insects, other reptiles, carrion, small birds and marsupials.
ECHIDNA – Year-round. These shy monotremes forage amongst the spinifex shrublands and beaches of Ningaloo.
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