WILDLIFE YOU MAY SEE IN NINGALOO
Visit Ningaloo, and it’s like stepping into a whole new world full of beautiful wildlife and breath-taking landscapes. Both the land and sea are filled with flora and fauna, from the colourful creatures just under the water’s surface, to the hundreds of plant species on land. It’s impossible to take in all the wildlife in Ningaloo, but here are some of the more common species you may see when you take a tour with Ningaloo Whale Shark n Dive.
The turquoise waters along the Ningaloo coast are just waiting for you to swim, dive, or scuba, and you can get up close with a variety of species.
Ningaloo has many kinds of sharks just off its coast, from the Grey Nurse Shark to the Tasselled Wobbegong Shark. These tame shark species are safe to swim close to and make for amazing photos. One of the most memorable activities you can try in the area is to swim with Whale Sharks. These gentle giants grow around 30ft on average, as large as some whales, and if you book a trip with Ningaloo Whale Shark n Dive, you’ll learn more about the sharks beneath the surface thanks to our on-board marine biologist, and will even get professional photos taken while you dive. Whale Sharks can be spotted from March to August in Ningaloo.
Spotting Manta Rays is also a popular activity for those visiting Ningaloo, and these creatures, not to be confused with stingrays, are harmless. Growing wingspans up to seven metres wide, seeing them swimming off the coast is a once in a lifetime experience. If you’re planning on swimming with Whale Sharks, then you may well spot manta rays as part of your trip with Ningaloo Whale Shark n Dive, and they can be spotted year-round.
All year round you’ll see the adorable Dugong off the coast of Ningaloo. Endangered in many parts of the world, these creatures are common in Ningaloo, but they’re shy, so the best way to spot them is when taking a tour with Ningaloo Whale Shark n Dive.
Large numbers of bottleneck dolphins are also seen in the Ningaloo Marine Park, with a similar density to those seen on the Great Barrier Reef. If you take a marine tour or go for a dive, then you’ll often come across these friendly creatures, who will sometimes be curious and interact with humans. Dolphins can be spotted year-round in Ningaloo.
Between June and October, around 3000 humpback whales pass through Ningaloo. Whales that are taking a break from their journey will swim slowly, meaning you can swim alongside them, and they may even interact with you. Humpbacks are around 12-16 metres in length but are friendly and approachable, and getting close to these giant mammals is an experience that you won’t soon forget.
Ningaloo has a large density of turtles all year round, with nesting season from November to January, and hatchings in February and March. The four species that can be found in the area are Leatherbacks, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, and Green turtles. As one of the most important nesting sites for turtles, many of which are endangered, visiting Ningaloo is a rare chance to see these beautiful creatures up close.
It’s not just the coast of Ningaloo that’s full of wildlife. Back on land, there’s a huge number of birds, mammals, and marsupials
Reaching up to 2m in height, and able to sprint at speeds of up to 50km, emus are certainly a unique breed. A common sighting in Ningaloo, especially during the summer months, you’ll often see emus running and jumping around the national parks.
You’ll see the Black-flanked Rock Wallaby year-round in the Cape Range National Park, living among rocky areas. Living in groups, these nocturnal wallabies hop from rock to rock, with textured feet to help them grip.
A variety of lizards and geckos can be found enjoying the arid conditions around Ningaloo. The big-eyed Knob-Tailed Gecko is a nocturnal reptile that’s a common sight at night, known for making loud barking sounds to show their dominance. While the Perentie Lizard is the fourth largest lizard on Earth but can be difficult to spot making them elusive. However, if you explore rocky outcroppings and gorges, you may well spot one of these large lizards, although they’ll often scuttle away if they see a human.
From the colourful Gallah to the cheeky Cockatoo, Ningaloo is a popular place to enjoy some birdwatching. If you’re planning to do some whale shark swimming while you’re in Ningaloo, then make sure you bring some binoculars to spot seabirds flying overhead. Some great spots for bird watching include the Cape Range peninsula and Exmouth.
The Common Wallaroo and Red Kangaroo are often spotted around Ningaloo. In fact, between dusk and dawn, it’s important to look out for them on the roads, as they have been known to startle drivers. The Red Kangaroo is the largest species of kangaroo, and biggest native mammal to Australia, growing to a height of 1.6m in adulthood. Young males are often spotted ‘boxing’ each other, standing on their hind legs and fighting, as if they’re in a boxing match.
More diverse than other areas of arid and semi-arid land in Australia, Ningaloo is home to about 630 types of flora, from seagrass found off the coast to flame-coloured Flame Grevillea, found on land. Those who want to spot rare species of flowers should visit the Cape Range area, which has a number of important plant varieties such as the pretty Minilya Lily, and the yellow bird flower, with the end of winter the best time to see the area in bloom.
Make the most of your trip to Ningaloo by booking a tour with Ningaloo Whale Shark Tours N Dive. The best way to get up close to the area’s wildlife, the tours are carried out by knowledgeable guides, making them a memorable day out. Simply call 1800 224 060 to book your place.