Ever received a postcard from Exmouth, Western Australia? If so, you’ll know it’s home to azure ocean, fish-filled reefs, iconic Aussie wildlife, rugged mountain ranges, and awe-inspiring canyons.
By all accounts, Exmouth – a spectacular half-day drive from Perth – is a natural wonderland every adventurer should see. Here’s everything you need to know before visiting this jewel of the West Cape Peninsula. Continue reading to find out the best time for visiting Exmouth.
Things To Do in Exmouth
Exmouth is a must-visit for nature lovers. Highlights include:
Snorkelling and Diving in Ningaloo Marine Park
The last thing you’d expect to see meeting the scorched scarlet soil of Cape Range is a vibrant aquamarine reef. But such is the diversity of Exmouth!
Australia’s largest fringing reef, this UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its whale sharks, as well as rays, turtles and innumerable fish. Time it right and you might even spot a humpback whale!
Hiking in Cape Range National Park
If exploring some 50,581 hectares of yawning canyons and forbidding mountain ranges sounds like your cup of tea, Cape Range National Park, 45 minutes from Exmouth, is for you.
Here, Charles Knife Edge Walk offers a sure-footed challenge and provides breath-taking views. Be sure to take a camera to snap flora and fauna! Cape Range is home to kangaroos, emus and some 630 plant species, including the iconic Sturt Desert pea.
Note – while a 2-wheeler is fine for getting in and around the park, you’ll want a 4WD if you plan to cross Yardie Creek.
Swimming at Turquoise Bay
Consistently voted WA’s best beach, Turquoise Bay has some of the world’s clearest water. Which is great, because there’s so much to see under the surface!
Snorkel among a rainbow of some 500 fish species, turtles, and squid. But be mindful to visit at high tide to protect the reef and watch for strong currents.
Weather In Exmouth
Exmouth enjoys a fairly comfortable temperate climate year-round. With the hottest time of year being March (averaging 29 degrees) and the coldest being July (lows around 18 degrees). Sunseekers will be happy to know that rainfall isn’t something to worry about here, with September through to December being particularly dry.
Like all of the west coast, Exmouth can get windy. And November to April is cyclone season. Some activities, like surfing and kiteboarding, are better from July to October when gusts make for great waves. Especially at popular Dunes Surf Beach!
When Is Exmouth’s Peak Season?
A tourist magnet, Exmouth does get busy.
January sees the most visitors, with the combo of the summer school holidays’ long warm days luring families. Easter brings another peak, as holidays, good weather, and sharks combine to attract visitors.
Owing to the milder days and calmer weather, winter is popular for campers, so book your accommodation in advance if that’s your plan.
August to November (especially September, when school holidays again see families flock here) is also busy, as majestic humpback whales migrate through the area.
Best Time to Visit Exmouth for Cost
Finding a sweet spot in which to visit Exmouth and also save can be tricky. May tends to see accommodation costs come down, as does cyclone season in the summer, but Exmouth can be a little pricey in general.
You can keep costs low by camping (book well in advance) or staying in self-contained digs. Also consider catching your dinner, and focusing on the area’s many free natural highlights.
Of course, if budget isn’t such an issue, you’ll likely prefer to plan your trip around weather and sightseeing opportunities, anyhow.
If you’re keen to see humpback whales, go in late winter or early spring. Or if you’re seeking long warm days and balmy nights for a lazy beach escape, head there in February.
And if you love events, Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival is held every year in April, coinciding with the annual visit from its namesake and offers a range of free and fun family-friendly events. You can even swim with the sharks!
Campers, meanwhile, will likely enjoy the winter months best, when it’s not so hot, and dry, nor especially windy.
While there are plenty of DPAW campsites in Cape Range, conditions can be a little unforgiving unless you have a trailer or campervan, so tent-travellers might consider staying at one of the reef-adjacent caravan parks.
For fishing fanatics, there’s not really a bad time, though October is known as ‘Billfish Bonanza’, when tuna and marlin abound.
Wherever you stay, whatever you do, Exmouth is unforgettable.
Make sure you send some postcards (or should that be ‘boastcards’?) from your own exhilarating Exmouth expedition.
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