Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » Whales and Wildflowers Arrive on the Coral Coast, Western Australia

Home » Visit STH Pacific & Oceania » Currently Reading:

Whales and Wildflowers Arrive on the Coral Coast, Western Australia

July 16, 2020 Visit STH Pacific & Oceania No Comments Email Email

Two significant natural phenomena collide each year in Australia’s Coral Coast; the arrival of the Humpback whales in the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park, and our wildflower season which spans the region.

This year’s Humpback whale season commenced in Coral Bay on July 1, and will commence in Exmouth from 1 August, both locations running until 30 October, subject to weather and seasonal migration. The humpback whale trial began in 2016, and 2020 is the final year of the trials approved by the WA Government.

Tour operators licensed to provide in-water interactions with Humpback whales continue to improve the delivery for customers wishing to experience this unique, safe, enjoyable and well managed product that complies with Government regulations for swimmers and observers. The licenses are issued to existing and highly experienced whale shark tour operators who have been delivering in-water interactions for many years in the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Based on data from WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, 2019 saw a total of 354 tours conducted, with 3,429 swimmers in-water with a 78% interaction rate, and a close to 4min duration. This is a 2% increase in interactions from 2018, however, this can vary per tour operator as Sarah Ellis from Ningaloo Discovery in Exmouth explains…

“In 2018, the addition of in-water communications directly between the spotter plane pilot and the head guide on the boat has increased our interaction success rate to 90%, with our experienced crew, now in their 4th season, ensuring the best possible interactions with these amazing gentle giants of the sea”.

Humpback whales have a wide geographic range, and are found in all the world’s oceans.  However, there are only three countries in the world where you can swim with humpback whales, and Australia is one of them. There are three locations in Australia, including the Ningaloo Marine Park (Exmouth and Coral Bay) in Western Australia.

To get to Exmouth, you can fly return with Qantas, or fly+drive with Avis Australia who offer seasonal one way hire car rentals between Perth and Exmouth from 1 April to 31 October in 2020 and 2021. Reduced relocation fees mean customers only pay a $250.00 relocation fee if hiring a car to drive from Perth to Exmouth, and $150.00 if hiring from Exmouth and dropping the vehicle back in Perth. Fly the other leg with Qantas.

To round out a Coral Coast adventure between late July and September, the annual Wildflower season spans the region delivering a unique burst of colour across outback plains and rugged landscapes. Western Australia as a whole has more than 12,000 species, with over 60% endemic to the State.

The Coral Coast holds its own as a wildflower destination with several biodiversity hotspots. Lesueur National Park, in the southern part of the region, is one of the most diverse and rich floral areas in the world. The park is home to over 900 species, including many plants found nowhere else in the world. This biodiverse hotspot represents approximately 10% of the state’s known flora.

Coalseam Conservation Park offers a vast array of wildflower varieties and is well known for the Everlasting carpets which transform the usually sparse understorey of wattle scrub during the wildflower season.

The towns of Pindar and Mullewa near Geraldton are renowned for the rare Wreath Leschenaultia flower that blooms along gravel roads. Further north, approximately 800 species of native flora burst into bloom around Kalbarri and within the Kalbarri National Park, many endemic to the area such as the Kalbarri Spider Orchid.

Shark Bay has the longest wildflower season with over 700 species of flowering plants from May to October. Of these, more than 150 species are of special scientific interest with several exclusive to the area.

Australia’s Coral Coast’s CEO, David O’Malley, stated that the regions wildflower season is expected to be in full bloom later in July due to an unusually warmer June, and lower rains so far this year. “The region has an international reputation for our carpets of Everlastings, unique orchids and native bush flowers, and with international visitors unlikely to experience the coming season, I encourage Western Australians to take a road trip and enjoy this unique part of our State’s identity”.

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global travel media endorses the following travel Publication




%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this: