Make your own footprints in the silky soft white sand of one of Australia’s best beaches, known for its clear waters and lack of crowds – there's hardly ever many people here.
This long and uninterrupted stretch of white sand separates the iconic red rock landscape of Cape Range National Park from the emerald lagoons of Ningaloo Marine Park, one of the largest fringing reefs in the world.
Turquoise Bay offers all the ingredients you need for the perfect honeymoon and romantic getaway holiday.
Turquoise Bay Beach is ideal for snorkelling and swimming, with the Ningaloo Reef only a few metres from shore.
Unwind and sunbathe on the powder-white sand, scuba dive the reef or wade into the lagoon and snorkel above brilliant coral gardens teeming with colourful tropical fish only metres from the shoreline.
Other beach-side activities include catamaran cruising, sea kayaking, fishing and glass bottom boat excursions to the outer reef.
Swim alongside the world's largest fish – the whale shark – at Ningaloo Reef and look out for more than 500 species of fish including manta rays, dugong and dolphins.
See coral spawning from March to April, watch whale sharks from April to July and observe humpback whales from June to October.
Join an eco-tour to spy green and loggerhead turtles nesting from November to January and see turtles hatching from late January to March.
Inland, the rugged gorges and diverse landscape of Cape Range National Park offer a smorgasbord of hiking and four-wheel drive adventures.
One of the unusual qualities of the bay is the strong northerly current, which can be dangerous but, equally, can be used by snorkellers: enter the water at one end of the beach and allow the current to sweep you along the beach while watching the corals and colourful fish pass by below.
Turquoise Bay is located 63km (39mi) south of Exmouth and can be accessed off Yardie Creek Road – a 50-minute drive..
Cape Range National Park offers a spectacular panorama of jagged limestone peaks, heavily incised deep gorges and 50km (30mi) of wind-blown coastal dunes and pristine beaches that give access to the clear turquoise waters of Ningaloo Marine Park.
Located on the west side of the North West Cape, Cape Range National Park covers around 510km² (197mi²) and supports an abundance of wildlife including emus, echidnas, the rare black-flanked rock wallaby, five types of bat and more than 160 species of bird.
Here you can explore gorges and peer inside caves that provide a haven for wildlife as well as rare and unusual flora. There are more than 630 species of flowering plants on the West Cape peninsula and within the Cape Range National Park.
Roam the park on foot, quad bike or by 4WD vehicle to explore the rugged ochre-coloured ranges that are home to vertical cliffs, vast canyons and peaceful white-sand beaches.
Cape Range National Park boasts several scenic walking trails, many of which offer spectacular views over the ranges as well as to Ningaloo Reef and the Exmouth Gulf.
Choose from a network of scenic bushwalking trails including the Mandu Mandu Gorge, Yardie Creek and Lightfoot Heritage trails. Another choice is the popular Thomas Carter trail, a 5km (3mi) walk that links the Shothole and Charles Knife canyons.
More about Cape Range National Park…
Encompassing an area of 5000km² (1930mi²), the Ningaloo Reef is the largest fringing coral reef in Australia and the only large reef in the world found close to a continental land mass, making it an easy snorkel from shore – in places it's only 100m offshore.
Less developed than the Great Barrier Reef but much closer to the shoreline, the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park stretches for 300km (186mi) along the coast of Western Australia, from the Muiron Islands in the north and Bundegi on the eastern tip of the North West Cape to Red Bluff on Quobba Station far to the south.
The Ningaloo Marine Park is home to a huge array of marine life including sharks, manta rays, humpback whales, turtles, dugongs, dolphins as well as 500 species of fish and 220 species of corals.
During the winter months, Ningaloo is part of the migratory route for dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, humpback whales and whale sharks, which feed there during April to July.
Beaches along the Ningaloo Coast are an important breeding ground of loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles that depend on the reef for nesting and food.
The northern area of the Ningaloo Coast is dominated by the rugged Cape Range that extends down the coast and lies adjacent to the sheltered waters of Ningaloo Marine Park.
Here, the crystal clear waters are perfect for a variety of marine based activities including swimming, snorkelling, fishing and watching marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and fish.
More about Ningaloo Reef Marine Park…
Discover a selection of the best accommodation options in Exmouth, the closest town to Turquoise Bay…
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef
Location: Cape Range National Park, Exmouth
Prices: from AUD1500 per eco-tent
Description: Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is an exclusive safari camp, hidden in the white sand dunes of Western Australia’s Cape Range National Park. Sal Salis features 9 spacious wilderness tents which are just metres from the water’s edge, home to one of the world’s greatest fringing coastal coral reef. Each tent features an en suite natural composting bathroom. Native herb soaps and ecologically sound shampoos are provided. The chef at Sal Salis prepares contemporary cuisine comprised of local ingredients, served in the outdoor dining area with clear views of the Indian Ocean sunset. In the evening kangaroos and wallaroos appear from the bush for their evening graze. The camp’s expert staff offers insight to one of Australia’s best kept natural secrets, Ningaloo Reef. Sal Salis’s ecological principles ensure that guests have a minimal impact on the natural surroundings. Guests can enjoy many unique nature activities, including sea kayaking, wildlife viewing, gorge walks, fishing, and star gazing. The Exmouth Airport is less than a 2-hour drive and the Exmouth town centre it is about one-hour away. Shuttle service is available.
Mantarays Novotel Ningaloo Resort
Prices: from AUD465 per room
Description: Boasting ocean or marina views from your private balcony, Mantarays Novotel Ningaloo Resort overlooks Exmouth's stunning Sunrise Beach and offers an infinity pool, restaurant and bar. Guests have direct access to Ningaloo Reef. All accommodation features high ceilings, contemporary furnishings and satellite TV. Each has a private en suite bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. All apartments and villas offer a 2-person spa bath. Guests can workout at the fitness centre and explore the beach and reef. Ningaloo Resort offers a tour desk which books fishing charters, diving and scenic flights. Mantaray's Restaurant serves a delicious buffet breakfast which includes your choice of fruits, pastries or bacon and eggs. The lunch and dinner menu features fresh local seafood, steak and desserts. Mantarays Ningaloo Resort is located just 5 minutes' drive from Exmouth Golf Club and 10 minutes' drive from Cape Range National Park.
The best time to visit Turquoise Bay and North West Cape region of Western Australia is during winter, from April to October when the days are sunny and warm.
Turquoise Bay experiences a hot desert climate with sunny, clear blue skies. Winters are mild and pleasant with daytime temperatures around 25°C (77°F). Summer is very hot and humid with temperatures rising to 37°C (99°F) in January and February.
There is no specific wet and dry season in Turquoise Bay: August to December is usually dry, rain is more likely to fall between January and July, usually with some monsoonal showers from January to April.
May sees the most rainfall of around 50mm (2in) on average.
The region enjoys an average annual temperature of 26°C (78°F). On average, the warmest month is January, with an average temperature of 30°C (86°F), and the coolest month is July, with an average temperature of 18°C (65°F).
Seawater temperatures range from 26°C (78°F) to 31°C (87°F) in summer and 19°C (66°F) to 24°C (75°F) in Winter.
More about Turquoise Bay weather…
Turquoise Bay – gateway to Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Reef – is located on the west coast of North West Cape in Western Australia.
The closest town is Exmouth, located about 63km (39mi) north of Turquoise Bay, and about 1270km (789mi) north of the state capital Perth.
The most convenient route to Turquoise Bay, from overseas and interstate, is by air to Perth Airport (PER) followed by a connecting flight to Learmonth Airport (LEA) and then shuttle bus or taxi to Exmouth.
Learmonth Airport (LEA) is located about 36km (22mi) south of Exmouth, about 24 minutes by shuttle bus or taxi.
More about how to get to Turquoise Bay & Exmouth…
Latest update: Turquoise Bay: 5 May, 2022