Ultimate guide to things to do in Exmouth with kids

Home to some of the world’s most diverse marine habitats and pristine beaches, the town of Exmouth, half way along the Western Australian coast, is a must visit for nature loving families and the gateway to the stunning Ningaloo Reef.

The natural beauty and accessibly of Ningaloo Marine Park makes it one of Western Australia’s premier tourist destinations and a must visit for nature loving families. Here, as well as sighting the most magnificent marine wildlife, you can enjoy extraordinary close encounters with them in the crystal-clear waters. For those who’d rather stay dry, a kayaking tour over the startlingly blue marine park is one of the best ways to see the colourful coral and the sea creatures that call it home.

Snorkelling in Turquoise Bay: Credit: TOURISM WA

There’s also a bounty of beautiful beaches which are amongst the most stunning in the world. It doesn’t get better than that at the aptly named Turquoise Bay, a pristine beach with clear, inviting waters from which to explore a huge diversity of coral and marine life. But be warned, the currents can be strong so it is best for stronger swimmers. Less than two-hours south of Exmouth is Coral Bay where you can easily wade from the gobsmackingly pretty beach to the start of Ningaloo Reef.

It’s not all about the water, as the region is surrounded by spectacular landscapes just waiting to be explored. Yardie Creek Gorge is a popular spot for bush walking and wildlife spotting, or visit Charles Knife Canyon and nearby Shothole Canyon for views that will leave you breathless.

Top things to do in Exmouth

With outstanding nature in and out of the water, Exmouth and surrounds abounds with attractions for the whole family.

  1. Explore the Mildura Wreck
  2. Visit Yardie Creek Gorge
  3. Explore Shothole and Charles Knife Canyons
  4. Spot marine mammals and sea life at Ningaloo Reef and marine park
  5. Take the trek to Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
  6. Swim with Whale Sharks
  7. Take a dusk tour to watch nesting turtles at the Jurabi Turtle Centre
  8. Visit the Milyering Discovery Centre 
  9. See Western Australia’s stunning wildflowers
  10. Take a hike along a scenic walking trail

Things to do in Exmouth with...

Bullara: Credit: TOURISM WA

Best time to visit Exmouth as a family

With mostly sunny days all year round, the region surrounding the little town of Exmouth offers a great array of things to do. There are two distinct seasons. The wet season, which is generally the quietest season due to skyrocketing temperatures and occasional cyclones. Peak season is the dry season from April to October when, with temperatures around 20 degrees, it’s warm enough for most to swim and enjoy the wonders below the water. 

However, if you are visiting to view wildlife like whale sharks and turtles, you will need to time your visit around nature’s cycle. March to May is coral spawning season, April to July is the best time to see and swim with gentle Whale sharks and June to November is peak season for Manta rays and best for sighting migrating Humpback whales. Lovers of turtles should visit between November and March, as this is the best time to see them nesting and hatching.

Kayak Ningaloo Reef

Family-friendly places to eat in Exmouth

One thing Exmouth does not lack is good seafood. SeaSalt, in the centre of downtown Exmouth is open for breakfast lunch and dinner every day of the week, and is popular with locals in search of great seafood. For the best fish and chips try Blue Lips Fish & Chips

But Exmouth isn’t just about seafood. From cafes to bakeries to fine dining to take-away burgers and everything in between, all tastes are catered for in this lovely little town and its surrounding districts.

The Exmouth Yacht Club is a great family-friendly venue offering good food overlooking the beach. On Friday nights, they’ll often host a great value ‘Cook-your-Own-BBQ’.
Whalebone Brewing Company is the spot for pizzas and craft beer, The BBQ Father is another top spot for delicious wood-fired pizzas, as well as pasta and home-made yummy gelato that the kids will love.

Meet some of the friendly locals in and out of the water. Credit: Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef

Things to do for free in Exmouth

  • There are so many fun free things to do in this glorious location. Take a scenic drive or walk and see stunning scenery, the rugged pristine coastline and WWII ruins. The Lighthouse Scenic Drive is a must to see panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Ningaloo Reef as well as the Valmingh Head Lighthouse.
  • Pitch a tent in the Cape Range National Park, near Ningaloo Marine Park, which covers 50,000-hectares and is home to deep canyons, multi-coloured cliffs, amazing flora and fauna, and 50 kilometres of pristine beach to explore.
  • World Heritage site, Ningaloo Marine Park, is a major drawcard for visitors to the region. It’s home to a large variety of marine species including tropical fish, coral and whale sharks, the largest known fish species. Turquoise Bay is just one of the many beautiful beaches to enjoy along the coast which is perfect for snorkelling or just a relaxing day on the beach.
What’s on?

The best annual events for families in Exmouth

May – Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival

A three-day festival for all ages with events, stalls, entertainment, art exhibitions, kids treasure hunt and a gala opening.

August - Ningalens Film Festival

Enjoy film, music and art, stand-up comedy and markets at this fun family festival.

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