Falling in love with Coral Bay, Western Australia

At first glance Coral Bay didn’t excite me, which surprised me (and disappointed me) as we had high expectations for this small coastal town on the Coral Coast of Western Australia.

So many other travelers we’d met and folks on our Facebook page had been raving about this Aussie holiday town but my first impression was, what’s all the fuss?

We’d just checked into our Coral Bay Accommodation, the Bayview Caravan Park across the road from Bill’s Bay, the main beach right in town, and once we’d set up the camper took a stroll along the main street and then set foot on the beach.

It doesn’t take long to walk around Coral Bay, there’s only a handful of shops most of which could do with a little TLC, and then the beach wasn’t that exciting either – although in Coral Bay’s defense the sky was grey and overcast, the wind had picked up, and our eyes were tired after setting up camp after the three hour drive down from Exmouth.

And prior to arriving in Coral Bay, we had just come from two of the most beautiful beaches we have seen so far on this road trip around Australia, Sandy Bay and Turquoise Bay in Exmouth, and the wonders of Karijini National Park.

So the bar had been set at record highs!

They say first impressions count for a lot, but I’m happy to say that on this occasion I was WRONG and it didn’t take long for Coral Bay to show us why this was one of Western Australia’s favorite holiday spots.

It’s funny what a good nights sleep and a blue sky can do to brighten up your mood, and a town. What went from windy and overcast Bill’s Bay become this:

A sandy beach next to a body of water

What started as the negatives for me the day before – the beach, the few shops and the slow pace of life – were actually what made this place special and gave it that addictive vibe that I would soon fall in love with.

Coral Bay, Western Australia

Bill’s Bay

Bill’s Bay is a huge, sweeping bay protected by the Ningaloo Reef making it a snorkeling and swimming paradise.

The water is that calm, clear turquoise blue (much like Sandy Bay and Turquoise Bay) where large fish swim around your ankles in the shallows, we even saw a few rays close to shore.

And it was here we would come for a morning snorkel, or we would start snorkeling at the point and let the current carry us back to Bill’s Bay.

The great thing about Bill’s Bay is how kid friendly it is, Kalyra felt comfortable snorkeling and swimming off the beach as the water level only ever really went waist deep.

people wearing snorkeling gear

If we weren’t snorkeling we were relaxing on the soft white sand whilst the kids played, or I’d take an afternoon run and finish off here with a refreshing dip.


rocks on the beach

picnic table next to the beach

girl standing next to an umbrella on the beach

Coral Bay Tours

It wasn’t all relaxation and snorkels. I took Kalyra on her first quad biking adventure with Quadtrek and it was the best quad biking track I’ve ridden yet.

The incredible coastal scenery, we rode up and down big sand dunes, spotted turtles off “Turtle Cliffs” and even went snorkeling at Five Fingers Reef.

Kalyra couldn’t stop talking about how much fun this was! It’s a must do when in town.

people riding dirt bikes

people riding on dirt bikes

people standing on rock cliffs

people riding on dirt bikes

people riding bikes down sand dunes

people standing on cliffs overlooking the ocean

bikes on the sand

More snorkeling at Oyster Bridge

Oyster Bridge is a 20 minute drive out of town and can only be reached by four wheel drive, the sand is soft and the road windy. Luckily our friends let us ride with them in their hard core fourby and once there we were rewarded with our own little snorkeling lagoon.

Us adults took turns snorkeling the lagoon whilst the kids enjoyed sand boarding down the dunes. Put it on your list for Coral Bay.

clear blue ocean water surrounded by rocks

people swimming in the ocean

a beach

man snorkeling in the ocean

coral in the ocean

Swimming with Manta Rays

Whilst I did quad biking, Caz and Kalayra had a mummy and daughter date and went swimming with the Manta Rays in Ningaloo Reef marine park.

Caz wrote about the manta ray experience yesterday and you can read that post here.

Swimming with Manta Rays in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Swimming with Manta Rays in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

So Coral Bay lived up to it’s reputation, and after road tripping Oz for the past 16 months it’s now on our list of one of Australia’s best coastal towns.

Sure it might heave a little in the peak school holiday periods, but certainly not on the level of an east coast Byron Bay or Cairns.

Plan Your Trip in Coral Bay

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Car Rental

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Can you share any tips or stories for travel in Coral Bay in Western Australia?

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