Ningaloo Reef & Muiron Islands, Exmouth Underwater World

Wendy in the fishesNingaloo Reef & Muiron Islands in Western Australia is one of our favorite parts of Australia trip.  In my last post about this Coastal World Heritage Area, I told you about the Exmouth environment.  We spent lots of time on the water; we did two days of boat dives.  I promised to share a glimpse of the fantastic underwater environment, our dive experience, so here are the photos…

On Land in Exmouth

Exmouth Diving Centre shop entrance

Exmouth Diving Centre shop

The small town of Exmouth has few commercial establishments, and tour operators who specialize in snorkel trips to see the whales. We only found 2 dive operations between Ningaloo and Exmouth that do both. We chose Exmouth Diving Centre, the original dive operation in the area. They are friendly, attentive, organized and professional.

Ningaloo Reef & Muiron Islands – Getting Ready to Dive

Exmouth Diving Centre shop interior

Exmouth Diving Centre shop interior

After reading so much about the great diving from Exmouth, and coming off of a great whale shark snorkel day with Exmouth Diving Centre, we were looking forward to diving with them.  Meeting at the shop for a 7:30 check in, we assembled our gear and the dive masters drove us to the marina.

While we were given a discount by Exmouth Diving Centre, this is a totally independent and honest review based on our experience.

At the Marina in Exmouth

Exmouth Dive Centre dive boat

Our Dive Boat

After the divemasters loaded the boat, we boarded.

Exmouth Dive Centre scuba gear

The equipment ready for boarding

Heading Out

Exmouth Dive Center boat, boarding for dive trip

Boarding the Exmouth Diving Centre’s boat

We were off to the Muiron Islands. I was quite excited about going there, as everything I read touted its abundance of coral gardens – hard and soft, many dive sites, manta rays, turtles, sharks, nudibranchs, and much more.

Our day on the water started with a 45 minute boat ride out to the dive sites at the Muiron Islands.

Cruising to the Muiron Islands

Exmouth to Muiron Islands map

Exmouth to Muiron Islands, Western Australia

We were entertained by the sea life.

Exmouth Ningaloo dolphin photo credits kissthedolphin

Dolphin off Ningaloo Reef

Diving Ningaloo Reef + Muiron Islands

What is most spectacular, unlike anything we have ever seen, is the multitude of fish.  Swimming through many fish schools is amazing.  We watched large schools of yellow juvenile barracuda.

Reef Fish school

Reef Fish School

The huge beds of live staghorn corals filled with sea life all around are like an amazing jungle beneath the sea.

Ningaloo Reef coral reef and fish photo credits kissthedolphin

Staghorn Coral

The the hard and soft corals are so beautiful!

Muiron Ningaloo Reef coral and fish

Reef Coral and Fish

Fish life everywhere – living in the corals!

Muiron Ningaloo Reef black spotted clownfish and anemone

Adult and Juvenile Clownfish and Anemone








The plentiful and gigantic anemones with adult and baby clown fish!

Muiron Ningaloo Reef starfish


And the Mantas!

Spiny lobster

Spiny Lobsters (or crayfish as the locals call them)






Giant Clam

Exquisite Giant Clam

Blue spotted fantail ray

Blue Spotted Stingray

Ohh!  And the Colorful Nuibranchs!



So many more …

Wendy swimming past the caveAnd the caves – I did not go in. This is me swimming around while the rest of the divers went in.

Exmouth Diving Centre provided knowledgeable dive masters, lunch, snacks, drinks and lots of information about the underwater environment.


We had 2 great days of diving! We were sad to leave.  For more about the Exmouth area, see my last post.


Exmouth Dive Centre offloading scuba gearThe land environment is more natural; you can swim and snorkel from the beaches without risk of crocodiles like at Great Barrier Reef.  The corals, big fish and small creatures are plentiful and beautiful at Exmouth’s Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area.  Exmouth is the best spot in Australia to see the gorgeous underwater living environment, spectacular beaches, and animals in nature.  I highly recommend Exmouth, which is far away from hotels, bars, nightlife, stores, and crowds.  If you are looking for a great company to take you diving or snorkeling, Exmouth Diving Centre gets my vote.

31 thoughts on “Ningaloo Reef & Muiron Islands, Exmouth Underwater World

  1. That’s an amazing dive. I have done a few but your pictures are truly amazing. Loved the one with Manta Rays the most. The corals seem pretty rich too and the reef fish school snap is nice!

  2. Diving at Ningaloo looks amazing. I love your pics. How amazing to see Mantas and that blue spotted Stingray looks so cool. I have never even heard of Nuibranchs but the colors would have made me explore them forever.
    The underwater world is so unique to me. What an amazing planet we live on.

  3. Oh boy!! This destination has been added to my diving list just now!! We recently spotted blue-spotted sting ray at Perhentian Islands, Malaysia about 2 weeks ago. It’s always refreshing to go on diving tips.. and the hangover is so bad – you just want to go back again and again…! Cheers!!

  4. This looks like quite an experience! While the photos are just awesome, I’d really like to see the ones from the cave. It appears to me that you have to be an experienced diver to dive in.

  5. This is a great article! My dad used to always keep a saltwater aquarium with coral and would often take us to the Aquarium downtown. Reading your post takes me back to those days and makes me want to go snorkeling to see all this wildlife in its natural habitat!

  6. This looks amazing – lovely photos – and interesting that you prefer it to the Great Barrier Reef. I’ll definitely add Exmouth this to my ‘Australia’ list!

  7. Your photos are unreal!!!!! Especially the schools of yellow juvenile barracuda, that is something I have only seen in movies. I am going to share this with my husband as another reasons we should learn how to dive! It sounds and definitely looks like y’all had an amazing experience.

    • The underwater environment is a whole world, different than anything we see! If you love nature and being in the water, diving is an added dimension!

  8. Wow, the reef is just beautiful! Also, great capture on the dolphin – they are just such beautiful creatures! I can’t wait to visit here myself 🙂

    • See if you can rent a good quality mask for snorkeling to see if your discomfort dissipates. You don’t have to dive to see the beautiful world under the sea. Comfortable equipment is key! I had some difficulty in rental equipment before I bought my own.

    • Yes, definitely! The water is so clear, and we did not experience any difficult currents, like some other places. It is cal, clear water for diving!

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