Coral Bay, the hidden gem of Western Australia

Crystal clear water in Western Australia

Coral Bay, a remote place in Western Australia. A place where most tourists will not go. It has the most clearest water we have ever seen! And although is a small place with just a few places to stay or eat, it feels like a mini paradise. It’s a perfect place to watch sea-life, to take boat trips, and to go snorkeling of course! With just around 200 residents Coral Bay isn’t your populair over crowded holiday spot and when touring through Western Australia (WA) worth the visit! 

Why Coral Bay?

But how did we ended up in Coral bay? This remote little beach town is around 1300km north of Perth, and 400km west of Paraburdoo. Well… we were visiting friends that live with their two lovely kids in Karratha. A place where most of its citizens work in the mining industry, and also one of the hottest places we have ever been.

It was lovely to visit our friends again and to see Karratha for the second time, that had grown since te last time we have been there. But after a few days in Karratha a change of scenery was welcome, so our friends suggested a trip to Coral Bay. And of course we were definitely up for a road trip!  

Coral Bay ocean view from the boat

A remote place  

By car it is an 5 to 6 hour drive from Karratha and according to google maps a 12 hour drive from Perth. Or you can fly from Perth to Ningaloo, and then it’s just a 90 minute drive. If you drive from Karratha the only thing you will see is two gas stations and a lot of nature. Hardly any traffic, except for those impressive road trains, that you will see regularly in this area. 

You will understand, there wasn’t much to see on the road, so let’s talk about Coral Bay! 

Where to stay?

Coral Bay we can best describe as a big blue pool which you definitely can call paradise. Being so deserted it doesn’t extract many foreign tourism. Just one street, a hotel, some houses and around three restaurants. Being so secluded from the outside world and the little options make Coral Bay an expensive place to stay.

If you are looking for a cheaper place, camping would be probably the best option. Besides a tent or camper is also the most fun option in Australia! This is the holiday place for Western Australians, so if you want to go when it is weekend or holiday season, it can be hard to find a place to stay. We heard bush camping is not appreciated, so you might risk a fine.

Make sure to buy some food outside Coral Bay, prices are higher in this little town. And don’t forget to have enough fuel!

What to do in Coral Bay?

Doing a little boat trip is definitely worth it! Have we said already that the water is incredibly clear and you will spot dolphins, colorful fish, turtles, man rays, some (friendly) sharks maybe even? And as you probably guessed by the name of the place, Coral. 

You can go snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, Turtles or Humpback Whales. For these big animals you probably need to book a tour, but you can swim from the beach to the reef to go see to coral, it’s that close!

Make sure to check when the animals are around, if you go especially for them. Whale Sharks for instance aren’t whole year round chilling at Coral Bay. And don’t worry, they are friendly giants who eat plankton. Besides swimming with this amazing creatures, you can watch the coral by a glass bottom boat, go fishing, kayaking, fly over the reef or go quad bike trekking. 

It sure is a good place to go around with a quad (or cross bike if you’re into dakar kind of driving), since there are a lot of sand dunes. If you take the car, use a good 4WD and keep up the speed, otherwise you might get stuck. And we might be speaking out of experience. 

View over Coral Bay from the beach


As we mentioned Karratha was hot! Coral Bay was hot too, but it had a nice ocean breeze and the weather was mild. And not to mention the crystal clear water you can jump into any time you want. Can’t guaranty it is refreshing though, the water temperature can be quite high. We did like it though, felt like a massive hut tub. We Dutchies can appreciate some warm water.

The weather is nice all year around, but in Australian summer (European winter) it is around 30 degrees. At European spring time is the best time to see sea-life though. And it will still be around 20 degrees. 

Cruising around WA? On your way to Karajini? Or a big sealife fan? Well, it is a bit of a detour, but if you’re heading north than Coral bay is a place to visit! 

Sanddunes in Coral Bay
Crystal clear water in Coral Bay

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