One of the essential experiences to have when you’re exploring the stunning Ningaloo Coast is to go snorkelling in Coral Bay. The clear waters are great for spotting coral, fish, turtles and other sea life.
We joined Coral Bay Eco Tours, an ecotourism operator for the Ningaloo Reef. Unfortunately we were there too late in the year to swim with whale sharks (which I would LOVE to do) so instead I opted for an all day tour, snorkelling with huge majestic manta rays.
Once we headed out to sea, our guide explained the different behaviours of the mantas, to prepare us for what we might see them doing. I really didn’t expect to get very close to them. To my surprise were super lucky to see a manta ray ‘barrelling’ for food.
They slowly do a big loop-the-loop, from down below to up close to the surface, with their mouth wide open, so all the food can go straight in. I hovered right over the top of it, and I stayed completely still watching in awe as this big creature glided through the water. At one point I could see all the way down into its belly! This is apparently a rare sight to see up close so it was by far the highlight for me.
While checking out the coral, I spent a bit of time following a turtle while he slowly snacked on sea grass among.
Unfortunately I don’t have an underwater camera (note to self: invest in a GoPro) so a big thank you to tour photographer Daniel Thomas Browne for the amazing shots.
I would love to visit Coral Bay again. It’s a really pretty area, the waters are stunning and it’s a real buzz to get a glimpse into some of the wonderful life under the sea.
What animals have you encountered while snorkelling?
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