Ningaloo and Pilbara Coast

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After doing the Karijini walk in 2008, part of the group spent a few days in Cape Range National Park, then headed back to Karatha to fly home, calling in briefly at Dampier to check out the Burrup Peninsula.

The park offers basic beachside camping at several sites along the main access road, and the numbers are limited by a first-come-first-served system that operates at the park entrance gate each morning. Ningaloo Reef runs from Coral Bay up to the tip of North West Cape, and there are places along the park's coastline where fragments of the reef are just a few metres off shore.

Sunset at Cape Range

Cape Range National Park has several basic camping areas scattered along the coast. This is a view at sunset along the beach near the Mandu Mandu camping area.

Fish and coral #1

There are several places along the coast in the park where bits of the reef come to within a 100m or so of the shore, making them easily accessible to anybody who's comfortable swimming with a mask and snorkel. Bring a wetsuit and a hood if you've got one - it'll stop you getting sunburnt and keep you at a comfortable temperature in winter.

Fish and coral #2
Fish and coral #3
Pipefish
At least I think it's a pipefish - looks like a stretched out seahorse to me.
Coral
Maybe "Brain Coral"?
Turtle

About a metre long I'd guess and much faster than me underwater.

This image also appears in Nature
Conspicuous fish #1
Conspicuous fish #2
Tiny fish and coral  #1
Tiny fish and coral #2
Conspicuous fish #3
Track to Mandu Mandu Gorge

Approaching the gorge in late twilight.

Yardie Creek
Sturt's Desert Pea
We saw these wildflowers growing beside the road in several places around the Pilbara, but the best specimens were growing beside a carpark in an industrial area of Dampier (map).
Burrup Peninsula rock art #1

A rock carving on the Burrup Peninsula (map) . Burrup is an odd place. There are many square kilometres of rocky ridges. with (apparently) rock carvings like this all over the place, although we only found a few in the spot we visited. The other dominant features on the peninsula are the huge petrochemical processing plants. Check out the satellite photo to see what I mean.

Burrup Peninsula rock art #2

Not quite as ancient as the other rock art.