Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Travel Secrets -

You know the… Great Bar­rier Reef, Australia

It’s ev­ery diver’s dream des­ti­na­tion, and that’s the prob­lem. Around 7% of Queens­land’s Great Bar­rier Reef is set aside for tourism, but re­cent bleach­ing events have cre­ated a stam­pede; vis­i­tors num­bers peaked at 2.68m last year.

But what about… Nin­ga­loo Reef, Australia

With the first di­rect flights from the UK to Australia’s west coast hub Perth hav­ing taken off in March, it won’t be long be­fore Nin­ga­loo Reef is ut­tered in the same breath as its more fa­mous east­ern cousin. Stretch­ing 260km between Ex­mouth and Carnar­von, you can swim with tur­tles and manta rays in Coral Bay – where the reef is just me­tres from the shore – or head into open wa­ter to drift be­side whale sharks (Mar–jul) and hump­backs (Jun–nov).

Some 500 species of trop­i­cal fish flit these clear seas, too, with Gnar­aloo Bay or the snorkel trails of Nin­ga­loo Marine Park a kalei­do­scope of flash­ing colour, while kayak­ing trips head out to rarely seen coral gar­dens. Fin­ish with bush walks and boat trips into the creek of the rugged Cape Range NP. ⊳

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