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North Turquoise Bay

North Turquoise Bay

Ningaloo Reef

Getting There - North Turquoise Bay is located about 65km from Exmouth around the top of the Cape Range. To get there head north out of town on Murat Road and take a left onto Yardie Creek Road. Follow the signs for Cape Range National Park and keeping driving until you see the turnoff for Turquoise Bay on your right. Take the sealed road all the way to the end where you will find two car parks, one for the drift snorkel to the left and one for sheltered bay on the right. Take the right turn to snorkel at North Turquoise Bay.

The Snorkel - With conditions finally coming good on the final full day we had in Exmouth after some large swells earlier in the week, I had one more spot I wanted to visit on what was a long day in the water. Having already visited Pilgramunna and Osprey Bay, I wanted to get another few passes at the iconic Turquoise Bay Drift Snorkel before finally exploring the other side of the sand bar at North Turquoise Bay. Back on my first visit in 2021, all the Sea Tomato jellyfish were congregating in that part of the bay, so I didn't get the opportunity to snorkel there. 

With warm and sunny conditions for the day, we headed to Turquoise Bay after seeing a million turtles at Osprey Bay, and this would be the last stop for the afternoon. Caris was done with snorkeling for the day, so I found a spot along the beach to dump my gear and slid on my wet rashie for another few passes along the drift snorkel. This was the second visit for the trip to this spot, as it's highly accessible and there is plenty to see in the water. Conditions a couple of days prior were a little murky and there was the strongest current I'd experienced here, so swimming back against the drift was much harder. I'm not going to go into much detail for the drift snorkel, as I wrote a whole post on it back in 2021, but with a lot of new photos, I wanted somewhere to store them. The above gallery represents some cool finds I had over the three trips we did here, including seeing my first octopus while out snorkeling, along with some other fun sightings like turtles, sharks and colourful fish varieties.

With a few passes over the drift snorkel, I decided that it was a good time to go check out the north side of Turquoise Bay. It's a short walk from the main part of the beach to round the sand bar to North Turquoise Bay. Both offer a different experience in the water, with the beach on this side of the sand bar providing a bit more shelter if there are south-westerly winds blowing. It was popular during my visit and the scene was quite idyllic with beachgoers in the foreground and the rolling hills of Cape Range in the background. My edition of Dive and Snorkel Sites in Western Australia by CALM only has this snorkel from Turquoise Bay, so I would be following their suggested route (also marked up on the map above). Entering the water on the beach running parallel to Cape Range, I was excited to see what I would find here given the variety of sea grass, coral and rocky ledges. While swimming over the white sands to reach the first of the sea grass and coral, I spotted a Spangled Emperor and Snubnose Dart camouflaging against the sea floor.