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Coral Bay
Western Australia
Coral Bay, Western Australia.jpg
Coral Bay
Coral Bay is located in Western Australia
Coral Bay
Coral Bay
Location in Western Australia
Population 207 (2016 census)
Postcode(s) 6701
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Time zone AWST (UTC+8)
LGA(s) Shire of Carnarvon
State electorate(s) North West Central
Federal Division(s) Durack

Coral Bay is a small coastal settlement located 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) north of Perth, in the Shire of Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Bordered by the Ningaloo Reef, it is a popular tourist destination and largely owes its survival to revenue derived from wildlife tourism. Coral Bay is a unique location in that the reef fringes the water's edge, making it easily accessible for snorkellers. The climate is arid, and waters are generally warm year-round due to the subtropical nature of the area. The 2016 census recorded a population of 207.


Coral Bay’s economy is primarily built on nature-based tourism due to its close proximity to the Ningaloo Reef. In 2016 the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more than 70% of the local workforce was employed in tourism or industries related to it.

Coral Bay is marketed widely as a premier holiday destination and the town offers a number of tourist activities such as whale watching, snorkelling and swimming with manta rays. In 2004 The Ningaloo Coast Regional Strategy limited visitor numbers to 3600 overnight tourists, accommodation for 400 semi-permanent workers and 500 day visitors in order to preserve the Ningaloo Reef. In 2019 this was increased from 4,500 to 5,300 to promote the region’s growth. Estimates based on daily spending indicate Coral Bay hosts approximately 110,000 visitors annually. Visitors mostly comprised Western Australia based families, in comparison to nearby Exmouth, which attracts a large number of international and inter-state tourists.

Glass-bottom boat tours are available year-round and whale watching tours are available from June to October. Tourists are also provided with the opportunity to go reef fishing, beach fishing and light tackle game fishing outside of sanctuary zones. Manta ray snorkel tours also operate out of Coral Bay. Scenic flights, quad bike tours and catamaran tours are among other activities visitors can engage in.

Australia coral bay looking north
Coral Bay beach

Further tourist attractions in the surrounding area include:

  • Oyster bridge
  • Paradise Beach
  • Bills Bay
  • Skeleton Bay Reef Shark Nursery
  • Purdy Point
  • Point Maud & Mauds Landing

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