There are few places in Australia that compare to Coral Bay. As a teenager we visited a number of times and always enjoyed ourselves. It started off tenting in a Coral Bay Caravan Park, and then we did a couple of extended stays in the Coral Bay Holiday houses.
Coral Bay is unique in many ways, and has changed considerably over the years, but is limited in how much change can make because new land is not being released. If you haven’t been to Coral Bay before, its well and truly worth a look. In this post, we check out the two Coral Bay Caravan Parks, and your alternative accommodation options.
Where is Coral Bay?
You’ll find this magic place just over 1100km north of Perth, and in between Exmouth and Carnarvon, right on the stunning Ningaloo Reef.
What’s good about Coral Bay?
There are few places in Australia that are more beautiful than Coral Bay. The entire coastline is nothing short of amazing, with fantastic snorkelling, world class fishing and access straight onto the Ningaloo Reef.
There’s a heap of 4WD tracks heading both north and south, a shark breeding station, protected beaches and bays and an atmosphere in a tiny town that is hard to describe. Coral Bay is the ultimate place to unwind, with the nearest major town being some 150 or 240km away!
The entire town is tiny, and you can walk around it very easily. There’s one major shopping complex, one fuel station, a couple of places to eat at, two caravan parks, a number of holiday and local’s homes, and that’s it!
It gets seriously busy
Before I go on too far, I want to emphasise the fact that Coral Bay gets insanely busy, for a large chunk of the year when the weather is best. Whilst it used to be a sleepy, quiet coastal town that had an amazing vibe, it can now be full of tourists with the Coral Bay Caravan Parks overflowing, and hundreds of people crammed onto the main beach, and even at the popular areas further out of town.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but don’t go to Coral Bay expecting to have a quiet, blissful and people free holiday, because its not what you’ll get!
Coral Bay Caravan Park options
There are two Coral Bay Caravan Parks. Both are only a few hundred metres away from each other, and both have a great reputation.
Ningaloo Coral Bay – Bayview Caravan Park
On your way into Coral Bay, the first caravan park on your left is the Bayview Caravan Park, or sometimes called the Ningaloo Coral Bay. We’ve stayed here a couple of times, and always had a decent time.
Just further down the road, and slightly closer to the beach is the Peoples Park, which has always been highly recommended.
Alternative accommodation options
These days, we try and avoid Caravan Parks all together, but with limited land available in Coral Bay your options are quite slim:
Coral Bay Backpackers
The Ningaloo Coral Bay Backpackers is a popular choice for those who don’t want to camp, or pay for a chalet.
Coral Bay Holiday Houses
Coral Bay has a heap of Holiday houses, which book out really fast and need to be done well in advance. They are solid, nice homes with many overlooking the bay, or having great views. We’ve stayed in a couple with a big group of family and the cost per night, per person actually works out to be quite reasonable.
Ningaloo Reef Resort
Right at the end of the road lies the beautiful Ningaloo Reef Resort, which was just recently taken over by RAC. This is your typical resort but within a stones throw of the stunning Coral Bay, and has a great restaurant.
Our pick of the bunch is Warroora Station, and 14 mile, where you can drive into Coral Bay via the 4WD track in under half an hour. We did exactly this on a day that was blowing a gale, and Coral Bay was completely flat and calm.
Warroora Station is nothing short of spectacular, and if you get a good camp site you have a fair amount of privacy, get to camp right on the beach and you can still drive around and explore the property, or head north into Coral Bay if you please.
Coral Bay Drinking Water
One thing you should be aware of before you visit Coral Bay is their drinking water situation, which is somewhat unique. When you drive in, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of sprinklers on all the time, and if you walk through them, you’ll notice its hot water, and its actually slightly saline.
This is the primary water supply for Coral Bay, and it comes from underground, and will burn you if you have it on too much. The drinking water for the town then, is treated, and not available in huge quantities. You will literally pay for any water you have to use, because it costs a significant amount of money to make using a desalinisation plant.
You’ll pay about $1 per 10 litres of water used, with a small amount free on arrival, and you can only fill up at designated fresh water points. The Caravan Parks have a couple of fresh water points, and all water provided to the sites is artesian water, which is generally not worth running through your caravan, although some people do it for showers and dishes. It may hurt your hot water system, so we don’t recommend it.
Coral Bay is stunning
Despite how busy Coral Bay gets, there’s no denying its a world class location, and we always enjoy our time here. If you haven’t been to Coral Bay, you should check it out!