Turquoise Bay (Exmouth), Western Australia

Often rated as one of the best beaches in WA, Turquoise Bay is a beautiful beach located in Exmouth, Western Australia.

Turtle seen at turquoise bay exmouth

Where is Turquoise Bay located?

Turquoise Bay is located within the Cape Range National Park, approximately 45 minutes from Exmouth on the west side of the Exmouth Cape.  Unfortunately, there is no public transport to Turquoise Bay, hence you’ll need a car to drive there or alternatively, there are tour companies that run trips to Turquoise Bay.

Snorkelling at Turquoise Bay

Apart from being known as one of WA’s best beaches, Turquoise Bay is also well known as one of the best land-based snorkelling spots in Exmouth.

Located in a sanctuary zone within the Ningaloo Marine Park, Turquoise Bay is home to some amazing coral reefs and an abundance of marine life that is definitely worth a look.

Snorkelling options

view of the sand bar at turquoise bay exmouth
Photo of the sand bar that you can drift behind with the right conditions

Depending on your level of confidence in the water, there are two options when it comes to snorkelling at Turquoise Bay.  

If you’re a competent swimmer, then the first is the famous drift snorkel along the southern area of the beach.  Using the current, you can enter the water towards the south end of the beach and drift along checking out the awesome marine life and coral reef below.

Alternatively, if you’re not too keen on the drift snorkel then you can snorkel in the more protected area of the bay which still provides access to some amazing reefs and marine life.

Personally, I would recommend the drift snorkel.  Myself and my two sons tried the drift and we had a great experience.  We were also lucky to see and swim alongside a couple of turtles which was the highlight of our day!

What can you expect to see snorkelling?

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth WA

As per the video above, there is a range of amazing things you can expect to see underwater.  This includes but is not limited to beautiful coral gardens, a number of different colourful fish species, spotted rays, schools of small fish, cuttlefish, starfish, jellyfish, and if you’re lucky turtles too!

Be mindful of the conditions

Although Turquoise Bay is relatively protected from the elements and can always look inviting, sometimes there can be strong currents and dangerous rips under the water.  With this in mind always check the conditions and if you don’t feel comfortable then please put your safety first and refrain from entering the water.

Snorkeling tours

If you’re keen to snorkel areas of Ningaloo Reef but would prefer to do it with a tour operator, then not to worry – check out the snorkelling area of our things to do in Exmouth for links to Exmouth tour operators that can provide such an experience.

Or, alternatively, I can highly recommend a kayak and snorkelling tour. I went on one a few years back which got us away from the crowds a bit and took us to some awesome snorkelling spots!

Kayak snorkelling tour at exmouth western australia
Lagoon Explorer – Ningaloo Reef Full-Day Kayaking and Snorkelling Adventure (Photo credit: Vaitor.com)

When is the best time to go snorkeling?

To get the best experience it’s recommended you snorkel on high tide as this gives you more distance above the coral reefs, allowing you to swim along without damaging the reefs.  Ideally, it’s best to aim for a high tide of 1.2m or more. 

Also, ideally, as it’s on the west side of the cape a light east to south east wind with a low swell will help ensure calmer waters and provide more ideal swimming conditions.

When is the best time of year to visit?

Turquoise Bay is accessible any time of the year, though being located in the northwest temperatures can get pretty high during summer, hence best to keep this in mind and visit when temperatures are lower.

open all year round, but the summer months tend to be very hot. It’s good to go when the weather is more temperate so you can focus on enjoying yourself rather than the weather!

Are dogs allowed at Turquoise Bay?

No, dogs are not allowed at Turquoise Bay.  This is due to the fact that Turquoise Bay is located in the Cape Range National Park where dogs are not permitted.

Does it cost to go to Turquoise Bay?

Yes, well there is no cost to access Turquoise Bay though there is a fee to enter Cape Range National Park.  At the time of writing this article, the fee is $15 and is paid when you enter Cape Range National Park.

Can you access Turquoise Bay with a 2WD?

Yes, the road into Turquoise Bay is sealed, hence you can access Turquoise Bay with a 2WD and a 4WD is not required.

Are there toilets at Turquoise Bay?

Yes, there are unisex toilets at Turquoise Bay that are also wheelchair accessible if required.

Bring refreshments, snacks, and be sun smart

Apart from the Milyering Discovery Centre, there are no other shops close by that offer refreshments.  Hence, if you’re planning to spend a decent amount of time at Turquoise Bay please ensure you take ample drinks and food with you.

Also, there is no shade on the beach, so as always ensure you take the appropriate measures to ensure you’re sun smart, including the use of sun shades, sun-smart clothing, and sunscreen.

More information

If you’re looking for more information on Turquoise Bay feel free to check out the links below:

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