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:

Coral Bay, Western Australia

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.

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

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.

Coral Bay, Western Australia

Coral Bay, Western Australia

Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

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.

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

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.

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Quad Biking, Coral Bay, Western Australia

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

15 thoughts on “Falling in love with Coral Bay, Western Australia”

  1. The beaches in WA are incredible! I have only been to Perth, Freo and Margaret River over that side of Australia but will do a 6-8 week road trip from Darwin to Perth at some stage to see more of the incredible beaches

  2. Wow, just stunning photos guys. We would love to visit WA while we are here but I think we are going to run out of time. The beaches and water look spectacular. I noticed you are on your way East…are you heading to Melbourne? Let us know! Cheers

  3. We have just moved to a little mining town called Pannawonica in the Pilbara region and are very excited about exploring this area of WA. We have a trip to Coral Bay planned in just over a weeks time and cannot wait. Will have to check out your posts on other places to visit in the area. Karijini is on the hitlist thats for sure. My sister Jess, from Are We There Yet?, pointed me to your blog which is great!

  4. Hi Caz and Craig,

    I loved this post. Just came back from holiday in WA and Coral Bay was one of the highlights. Based on your recommendations did the quad bike tour and Manta Ray Snorkelling tour and loved it. I agree at first the place didn’t appeal to me as well but kinda grew on me once I stayed longer. The reef is even more beautiful here.

  5. Hello… I love reading about your travels… thank you for that…. Just wanted to ask… I have 8 nights, how would you split them between Exmouth and Coral Bay… Thank you…Joke

    1. You could easily split it in half. IF doing that I’d recommend staying in the national park near Exmouth. The town wasn’t anything special. Coral Bay has a cute very small town feel to it, so if you want access to that you could spend longer there. But really the area is about the natural beauty. So it does depend on what activities you want to do where.

      1. Thank you for your reply and your tip about staying in the national park. My stay is all about snorkeling but of course I don’t want to skip the other natural beauty’s… thank you

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