Explore rust-red gorges, snorkel colourful coral reef and even enjoy some home-baked goodies on a safari tour in Exmouth.
Think Exmouth and images of turquoise waters, snow white beaches, dazzling coral gardens and abundant marine life come immediately to mind. But Exmouth’s natural beauty is also evident in its magnificent canyons, rust red gorges and abundant terrestrial animal life. And, even though the township was formed as recently as 1967, Exmouth boasts a long and colourful history complete with wartime operations, shipwrecks, pastoral expansion and fishing tales.
With so much on offer it’s hard to know where to start when visiting this holiday township. Enter an Exmouth safari tour. Full-day safari tours are your best attempt at experiencing Exmouth in a day. Start your visit with a full-day tour and you’ll get an overview of the area from which to plan the rest of your stay.
There are several options available, which allow you to experience the wonders of the Cape Range National Park, drive through the base of the Shot Hole Canyon and stand on the ridges of Charles Knife Canyon’s magnificent gorges. You’ll visit the pristine waters of the Exmouth coast, where you might choose to drift snorkel in the azure waters of Turquoise Bay, take a boat through the base of the brilliantly coloured Yardie Creek Gorge or watch the sunset from the Exmouth lighthouse.
But safari tours are about so much more than ticking Exmouth sites off your list. The operators’ knowledge of the area means they can also provide the background details that really make you appreciate the region’s beauty and its past.
West Treks offers outback and wildlife tours, which delve into the history of Exmouth, while Exmouth Bus Charters and Ningaloo Safari Tours also include snorkelling and the exploration of Yardie Creek Gorge on their itineraries.
On his Ningaloo Safari Tour, Neil McLeod will take you overland in an Oka all-terrain bus to get up close to wildflowers. He’ll tell you all about the peculiar habits of the native bird life, and will dazzle you with Ningaloo Reef statistics while pointing out various species as you snorkel by. He’ll also explain the military operations, which sparked the growth of Exmouth, the colourful pastoral history, the area’s famous shipwrecks, and the colourful characters and legends surrounding Exmouth’s past. And of course he’ll throw in some jokes and dubious tales along the way – just to spice things up.
Neil’s obvious enthusiasm, wonder and admiration for his hometown are infectious. Even hard-core city slickers soon find themselves caught up in the marvels of Exmouth. Neil is the first to admit he’s pretty lucky to have a job he loves so much. “I really enjoy it,” he says. “If you don’t enjoy it you shouldn’t be doing it – it really is a people’s game.
“I’ve had people who’ve never been snorkelling in their life and they grab my arm nervously, yet after a while they’re totally amazed and still asking ‘what fish it that?’. It opens up a whole new world for them, they experience something new – I love being involved in that.”
All you need to join the tours is some sunscreen, a hat, your swimsuit and a camera. Neil provides everything from snorkelling equipment to all your food and drinks.
In fact, Neil’s home-cooked delights are just as much a part of the tour as anything else. His mother religiously bakes heavenly cakes, including her famous fruitcake, for Neil’s new friends to enjoy. Standing at the beach overlooking the crystal waters of Exmouth as the sun begins to sink, a steaming coffee in one hand and a home-baked goody in the other, one can truly understand why Neil loves his job so much.
Who to contact:
Ningaloo Safari Tours, (08) 9949 1550.
Exmouth Bus Charters, (08) 9949 4623.
West Treks, (08) 9949 2659.
Explore Surrounding Areas: Coral Coast > Coral Bay to Exmouth > Exmouth