Cape Range National Park

Cape Range National Park is just close to Exmouth in Western Australia. It is the main entry to the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Understand

History

North West Cap was named in 1818 by Captain Phillip Parker King. It was deemed unsuitable for development, and the first settler arrived in 1899 only.

Landscape

Arid limestone landscape with plateaus up to around 300m. There are a number of canyons on the east side of the park and deep, rocky gorges. The west side of the park is a long series of beaches that give access to the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Flora and fauna

White-bellied sea eagles, Rock Wallabies, Emus, Kangaroos and Echidnas are common and easily seen.

The Ningaloo Marine Park has hundreds of species of fishes and corals. Turtles, octopus, sting rays, manta rays, whale sharks, tiger sharks, reef sharks can all be found in the inner or outer (mata, whale sharks) parts of the reef.

Climate

Climate is very hot and dry almost all year round with temperatures going daily over 40°C during summer, and over 30°C the rest of the time. The vegetation is arid without trees, so no shade and no fresh water. Be prepared and have sufficient water (5l/person per day is recommended).

Get in

Drive or tour from Exmouth. There is no public transport for hundreds of kilometres around.

Fees/Permits

$11 per car per calendar day. Holiday permits for $40. Camping fees per night per person.

Get around

The main road along the coast of the Cape Range is sealed, and easily accessible to all vehicles. Some roads are 4wd only, in particular going along the coast past Yardie Creek - the sand crossing across the head of the lagoon is 4wd only, and can be inaccessible in certain tidal or flood conditions.

The east of the park is accessed by the road south of Exmouth, while to access the west side of the park (and the reef), you need to drive past Exmouth and all around the cape.

See

Yardie Creek Gorge

Do

Sandy Bay

Buy

There is a gift a souvenir shop in the same complex as the visitors centre. It hires snorkels and fins. It is open until 3:30PM daily (and hire items must be returned by then). There is nothing else to buy inside the park.

Eat

Bring your own food. The gift shop at the Visitors Centre sells microwaved pies, sausage rolls and pasties (until 3;30PM) if you are desperate.

Drink

Bring your own. Water can only be found at the visitor center and at a turn point off Yardie Creek Rd a few kilometers north of the visitor center. There are always emus, kangaroos and wallabies waiting near the 'waterhole' to benefit from the spills when tourists take water making it a nice stop before dusk.

Sleep

There are several established campsites - the largest probably being at Yardie Creek Gorge. There are no amenities except for toilets. There is almost no shade and there is no water in any campsite.

Stay safe

Go next

Back to Exmouth - not too many other options - single road in and out.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, February 13, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.