Sharing is caring!

Half way up the Western Australia coast, the Ningaloo Reef is one of those places everybody should go, and yet it’s so beautiful I almost don’t want to send anyone there at all, just in case the crowds spoilt things. Fortunately, it is tucked off the beaten path so it’s probably safe for a while, but if you’re keen, fly from Perth up to Learmonth and then stay at either Exmouth or Coral Bay, and spend a few days having amazing reef adventures like these.

Quad bike trek through the dunes

Sand dunes are the best tracks for a spot of seaside quad bike riding and the only risk is that the view is so distracting you could easily crash! I joined a quad bike tour at Coral Bay and screamed as we flew down nearly vertical dunes, but once we stopped and could stare out across the Indian Ocean I was at peace again. Some tours combine sunset with a quick snorkel on the Ningaloo Reef – it’s so close to the coast there that you can walk to it.

Swim with manta rays

Sealife is what it’s all about at the Ningaloo Reef and I went out looking for mantas. Despite a spotter plane going up to give us tips, we didn’t actually get to jump in the water with manta rays the day I went, but we saw whales and dolphins from the boat and snorkelled with sharks and sea turtles. Pretty amazing consolation prizes! They’ve just started trips where you can swim with humpback whales, too, and are hopeful the trial will be extended into future years.

Fly like a bird in a microlight

I wasn’t exactly prepared for just how small a microlight is, but pilot Gav from Birds Eye View coaxed me into the passenger seat, strapped me in and up we flew in our hang glider with engine. Once the terror left I was able to spread out my arms and imagine being a bird circling over the Ningaloo Reef, watching long queues of manta rays swimming along and seeing the coral of the reef from above. They say flying in a microlight is a once in a lifetime experience, but I desperately hope I get to have another go sometime.

Flight Ningaloo


  1. Wow this looks out of the world! Seriously. How expensive is the microlight activity? It totally seems justifiable at any cost though! Simply wow

  2. What beautiful pictures! I’d love to go to Western Australia, having only visited the east coast. I’m not sure you’d ever get me on a microlight though, i’d be petrified i’m sure.

  3. I was just doing my review of 2016 and realized that an adventure enthusiast like me didn’t really indulge in any real adventure. Blame my poor fitness level. Blogs like these inspire me to take charge and get fit. I have always wanted to indulge in adventure sports in Australia and New Zealand.

  4. The Ningaloo Reef is one of the coolest parts of Australia – and no one seems to know about it! Unfortunately, I went at the wrong time of year and only one tour was running – but its such an incredible place that it didn’t matter. I plan on making a little trip up there later this year, so that flight will definitely be on my list!

  5. I would love to do the microlight. I did it before in Zambia and it was an amazing experience. The water looks perfect!

  6. Sounds like a place I’d love to go for a visit! That’s one thing I haven’t done yet — fly in a micro/ultralight plane! I’m pretty sure I’d be scared shitless but I know I will thoroughly enjoy it!

  7. This place is on my bucketlist … I want to swim with the whale sharks and mantas!
    How expensive is the place?

  8. I’m traveling Australia for a month right now and so wish I could make it over to WA, these look like great adventures. I did get to dive int he GBR, but the microlight looks like such a fun time! Great ideas.

  9. Wow, Western Australia is so beautiful! I had no idea it was so lovely until I saw a bunch of travel bloggers visit this year. The color of the water is just so incredible :O

  10. Wow, that is such an amazing view from the microlight! I’ve never even heard of doing that before…. it looks like so much fun! I would love to do something like that one day. 🙂

  11. Beautiful beaches! I love swimming with Rays, and I am eager to swim with the larger, magnificent Manta Rays.

  12. I know exactly what you mean about it being so beautiful that you almost don’t want to tell anyone. I haven’t been but my husband and I will be travelling WA this year (we’re from Perth). People often skip WA which I don’t mind too much because it keeps it pristine and still very untouched. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  13. Flying in that ultralight looks exhilarating… and maybe a little terrifying too! I’m sure the views were worth it.

  14. I love Ningaloo, it is a beautiful spot, hopefully we will get back up that way again soon.

  15. Oh my! The microflight looks amazing. I’d love to swim with manta rays!

  16. The Ningaloo reef is one of those places that still look so pristine and isolated. We totally understand you when you say you wouldn’t want to send anyone there for fear of spoiling the place.Flying in a micro light must have been an amazing experience!Definitely something we ,would love to try.Thanks for sharing this beautiful article!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thanks to our guest writer Amanda. You may recognise her face as one of 2016’s most amazing 16 female travel bloggers.

Did you know that Amanda hosts a travel podcast- The Thoughtful Travel Podcast. You might even get to hear my luscious voice in a few episodes.

Amanda Kendle

Amanda Kendle

Guest Writer

I’m Amanda Kendle. I’m “Not A Ballerina”, but a traveller and a thinker, and I love to write about my travel experiences in a way that is both fun and meaningful.
Not A Ballerina: A Traveller and a Thinker is a travel blog which nudges those who think they might like to travel somewhere to get up and go.

Did you enjoy this article as much I enjoyed writing it for you? I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts below or why not connect on Facebook or Twitter?

Feeling friendly? Share the love! And by love I mean this article.

Is Adelaide Australia’s most underrated city?

Is this Australia’s most underrated city? Isn’t it time that you popped in to explore the hidden wonders of Adelaide?

Playing in the Shadows – Melbourne’s latest hotel

Melbourne has a new place for you to call home. Get ready to eat your way to happiness and explore the contemporary chic hotel lifestyle at Shadow Play by Peppers

Tasmania’s hidden eco-luxury get away

Tasmania’s hidden environmentally friendly luxury accommoation. It’s a secret spot that you’ll want to discover for yourself.

Five truly unique Australian foods

Australia is an island of multi-culture and ethnicity It’s hard to say what are traditional Australian foods, as one could quite easy fall down the rabbit debate about traditional white Australian food versus Indigenous Australian foods. As a white Australian, who...