The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s longest fringing barrier reef and one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. Between Exmouth and Coral Bay, two Ningaloo Marine Parks run in parallel along the coast, working together to protect this natural treasure. The outer Ningaloo Marine Park (Commonwealth waters) helps protect the deeper, offshore waters while the inner Ningaloo Marine Park (State waters) helps protect the coastal waters and shallow reefs.

Ningaloo Marine Park contains a series of canyons which bring colder, nutrient-rich waters onto the shelf. This supports high productivity, diverse colourful sponge gardens, and attract manta rays, protected species of sea turtles, humpback whales, and the iconic whale shark which aggregates in this region through winter each year.

The park stretches 300 kilometres along the west coast of the Cape Range Peninsula near Exmouth, and covers 2,435 square kilometres. It is mostly a Recreational Use Zone, with a small National Park Zone located off Point Cloates.Parks Australia

Ningaloo ranges from less than 10 to 707 metres depth, with an average depth of 178 metres. The majority of the park (35%) falls within the mesophotic zone (30-70 metres). [View on map] The mapped areas of the seafloor are dominated by Plane (77%) and Slope (12%) geomorphology. [View on map]

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Public/analysed data
Coverage and accessibility of bathymetry (AusSeabed) and habitat observations (SQUIDLE+; green, GlobalArchive; purple, and MARS database; orange) for selected region.

What's known about the Ningaloo marine park?

The current state of research knowledge (bathymetry, physical and biological observations, seafloor habitat maps) for this region.
Habitat and bathymetry summaries last refreshed April 2024. Habitat observations are refreshed weekly from data providers.


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Habitat Observations

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What's in the Ningaloo marine park?

Underwater imagery from this region, and pressures and activities occurring here.


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Pressures & Activities