Exmouth Travel Blog› entry 144 of 206 › view all entries
Today we met Thorben at breakfast to put into effect the drunken agreement from last night to hire a car with Danny the French-Canadian Iranian and drive to Turquoise Bay. We hired snorkel gear and set out on the one road that leads out of the town and to everywhere on the coastline. Amazing that on one road 5 people can get lost. The terrain was dull, low, scrubby bushland, totally flat and devoid of any interest. We saw a monior lizard, and some galahs but that was it for an hour...
Turquoise Bay is famous for being a wonderful access point to the lesser-known by better-rated Ningaloo Reef (compared to it's famous big brother, the Great Barrier Reef). The beach itself is fair, white sand, and the water, unsurprisingly, turquoise. The current across the bay is very strong, so snorkelers use it to their advantage, walking first to the far left of the beach and allowing the current to pull them over the reef so seeing everything but expending minimum effort.
Visibility was good, though the corals were blandly coloured. I saw many of the fishes I'd seen on the Great Barrier Reef but was especially pleased to add Reef Shark and Water Snake to the list of things I've seen. Gem was particularly pleased as her half day trip to the GBR had not shown her any of these things, while my 3 day trip had allowed me to travel further into the reef to the most inaccessible places. Proof enough if any were needed that spending more to liveaboard makes sense.
After a couple of sweeps we walked round to the second bay which is a lagoon and not subject to the same currents. Again we almost had the pristine white beach to ourselves.
After a snorkel and a float here we decided to make good use of the car and visit also Lakeside, another beach with a dried-up billabong beside it, which sadly was rocky and jagged and we didn't see much to snorkel. We were later told however that it has sharks and turtles but you need to know where to look...
Then off to the Lighthouse where we had views over the sea and the red earth countryside, and the submerged wreck at high tide, and then a brief stop at Bundegi beach where we plan to fish tomorrow, and the town beach near the marina.
It had transpired during the day that Danny is a chef by trade so we all went in for some t-bone steak and vegetables at the supermarket and Danny cooked a fantastic steak with secret sauce and vegetable stir fry. We managed to get through about 7 litres of wine between us, and met various people that came to join us throughout the evening - Tamara, Ryan, Ryan, Julia and Sebastian.