Re­lax in land of ’milk and honey’

Pilbara News - - News - Rebecca Par­ish Rebecca Par­ish was a guest of Nin­ga­loo Ecol­ogy.

Ex­mouth is a stun­ning hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

And while you al­ready know that, let me take a sec­ond to re­mind you.

Just on the edges of sum­mer, Ex­mouth and Co­ral Bay are quiet and cosy.

One of the many beau­ties of Ex­mouth is you can head out and meet the reef af­ter just a short boat trip. That was what hap­pened when, on a re­cent trip to the coastal oa­sis, my trav­el­ling part­ner and I jumped on board a half-day snorkelling tour with Alek Nowak, of Nin­ga­loo Ecol­ogy Cruises.

The early De­cem­ber af­ter­noon was a good day for a tour with a “slight northerly puff ”, as Alek put it, wel­com­ing us. Alek picked us up from our ac­com­mo­da­tion, a ser­vice many op­er­a­tors pro­vide within their tour costs, and took us to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp as he gave us an in­for­mal his­tory of the town.

Hav­ing spent more than a decade in Ex­mouth, Alek listed sto­ries about the his­tory of the town, the VLF fre­quency tow­ers and the Mil­dura Wreck while keep­ing guests en­ter­tained and mak­ing some un­sched­uled stops to give them the full ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I came to Ex­mouth as part of a round-Aus­tralia trip in a beat-up Kombi and I got in the wa­ter for a snorkel here and it was like in­stant love at first site,” he said.

“We fin­ished the trip and we just knew we had to come back here.”

While win­ter is busy, the sum­mer months are “re­ally slow”, with mostly Bri­tish, Ger­man and Swiss trav­ellers head­ing to Ex­mouth.

Alek said while he was lucky enough not to need min­i­mum num­bers for his tours, many other op­er­a­tors weren’t so lucky.

“It’s fairly hot in the sum­mer … and not so many peo­ple come to Ex­mouth be­cause it’s just too hot,” he said. “But in sea­son, I do four tours a day, seven days a week, with school hol­i­days in April and July very busy.”

Busi­ness is also due to pick up as Alek re­cently bought an­other boat, keep­ing him and part­ner Gina busy.

With news last year that Ex­mouth op­er­a­tors would soon be able to host hump­back whale tours, it could get busier.

Alek said he would watch to see how tri­als with tour op­er­a­tors went this year to see if it was an av­enue worth ex­plor­ing.

“Only 15 whale shark op­er­a­tors were given the per­mit,” he said.

Alek, a pa­tron of the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice af­ter re­ceiv­ing help when he broke his neck in a shal­low wa­ter fum­ble years ago, said Ex­mouth was the “land of milk and honey”.

And with ac­tiv­i­ties for the whole fam­ily, he’s not wrong.

Whether re­lax­ing pool­side at one of the ho­tels or re­sorts, rent­ing a stand-up pad­dle board and test­ing your bal­ance, or jump­ing on one of the many tours to see life un­der the wa­ter, Ex­mouth will not dis­ap­point.

Pic­ture: Rebecca Par­ish

Flat wa­ters make great con­di­tions for stand-up-pad­dle board­ing.

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