Originally constructed in the 1960s to service an American military base strategically situated on the North West Cape, Exmouth has now become a town in its own right and a launching pad for exploring the spectacular Ningaloo Reef, the largest fringing reef in the world. Diving, snorkeling, glass-bottomed boating or just crouching in the water wearing a face mask,
everyone can experience the wonders of Ningaloo.
Sitting on the edge of the pristine Exmouth Gulf framed by the red and rugged Cape Range, Exmouth’s location is spectacular. With Perth 1260km or two days drive away visitors are not disappointed. Every year, in the winter months, when the weather is mild and the water crystal clear so many visitors arrive that the town’s resident population of 2100 swells to double and triple that number.
The temperature ranges from a December to March average of 37 °C to May to August average of 24 °C. Water temperatures of up to 31° C in the summer cool to an acceptable minimum of 19°C in the winter.
Exmouth is currently a place of opportunity. Tourism is the largest industry in the region and eco-tourism sensitive to the fragile environment has experienced the most growth. Hospitality, accommodation and fishing are also steady contributors to the economy.
Significant oil and gas production occurs offshore in the Carnarvon basin and in the Exmouth Gulf. Demand for services to the oil and gas industry is growing and the State Government is looking to expand the Exmouth marina to accommodate the provisioning of industry supply boats.
Australia’s largest, purpose-built artificial reef habitat in the Southern Hemisphere has been established in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. King Reef is a collaboration between Recfishwest, BHP, NERA (National Energy Resources Australia), Subcon International and Curtin University. Through Recfishwest the project also has support from the passionate Exmouth community and the Western Australian State Government, through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
King Reef is located 3.5 nautical miles north of Exmouth. The new reef has been named King Reef in honor of Marine Surveyor Lieutenant Phillip Parker King, who named Exmouth Gulf in 1818, and the late George King, a pioneer of charter fishing in Exmouth and Coral Bay in the 1960s and 1970s.