Ningaloo gets World Heritage listing

Ningaloo Reef  on Western Australia’s Coral Coast has been placed on the World Heritage list.

The Ningaloo marine park, which has an impressive reputation as one of the world’s last ocean paradises, stretches 260 kilometres along the Western Australian coastline, encompassing a massive 5,000 square kilometres of ocean with 500 species of tropical fish and no less than 220 species of coral.

Slip on a snorkel or diving gear and swim with graceful manta rays, see dolphins and schools of brightly coloured fish in the clearest turquoise water imaginable.

Ningaloo is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world and unlike many others, you can get to it just by stepping off the beach. You can also take a dive with hundreds of tropical fish, colourful coral and the world's biggest fish, the whale shark.

Whale sharks, which are docile creatures visit the reef each year between April and June. Rare turtle species hatch at Ningaloo in late January and February.

Accommodation in the area is comfortable and ranges from camping and backpacker style to chalets, motels, eco-retreats and self catering apartments. The small fishing towns of Exmouth and Coral Bay have retained their original charm, both giving a relaxed vibe, with laid-back locals and endless expanses of sandy beaches.