Exmouth was a relief and personally I was pretty happy to be back on concrete and in a town. We were still travelling with the Lindons and after everyone had showered, vans de-sanded and the washing done, we celebrated survival at the local pizza place, for what can only be described as the best pizza outside Italy. Maybe purely because it wasn’t covered in sand!
Exmouth itself had a really great vibe. Lots of young families and entrepreneurial businesses in operation, all in a playground of some of the world’s most amazing reefs and fishing. Another delight of Exmouth was the resident Emu and her seven chicks which randomly paraded around the caravan park and town.
After a not so amazing experience at Ningaloo Station, we decided to give the Reef another shot and headed to Cape Range National Park. This time the weather was on our side, the winds had dropped (not disappeared!) and it was calm enough for us to experience the wonder and the full beauty of the reef. Turquoise Beach and the snorkelling at the Oyster Stacks are the “must do’s” and it was incredible. I’ll bravely say it is better than snorkelling at the Barrier Reef. To be able to swim off the beach and see so many types of brilliantly coloured fish everywhere was incredible. The coral lacks some of the vibrancy of the Barrier Reef, but more than makes up for it with the abundance of sea life and the fact you can access it all from the beach without the need to do it with hoards of tourists.