Getting There - Located about 70km from Exmouth, to reach Pilgramunna 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 Pilgramunna on your right (between Kurrajong and Sandy Bay). Turn here and follow the road until you reach the small carpark before the creek (it floods on high tide so be wary if you don't have a 4x4).
The Snorkel - With Ningaloo Reef stretching hundreds of kilometres from Exmouth down to Carnavon, there are no shortages of spots along the coast to jump in the water and swim among the excellent coral. While the popular places like Turquoise Bay and Lakeside attract the larger crowds, there are lesser known locations that can provide an excellent experience in the right conditions. Having found a copy of CALMs Dive and Snorkel Sites in Western Australia in a second hand bookshop on my travels many years ago, I had been keen to explore Pilgramunna during my first visit to Ningaloo in 2021.
Unfortunately, it was last on the list to visit on that trip and by the time we got around to it, a storm was rolling in. This resulted in a mass of Sea Tomato jellyfish washing up in the inner reef, and visibility was like snorkeling in a hearty broth. Dodging the Sea Tomatos wasn't fun and in the end I got stung on the back of the knee, vowing to return one day and experience this site that looked so promising in my book. Fast forward to 2023 and a return trip to Exmouth to swim with the Whale Sharks meant I had another opportunity to snorkel here. With more time in the week for snorkeling, I was certain that I would get decent enough conditions on one day. With a big swell hitting the reef earlier in the week, I had to wait until the day before we departed to get decent enough conditions, so organised to spend pretty much the whole day in the water. I had come here a couple of days before and it didn't look right, so drove further south to Osprey Bay, where my decision was justified, as visibility was super poor.
Arriving back on what would be a lovely day of sunshine, snorkeling and new discoveries, Caris would be joining me for her only snorkel of the day. Parking before the creek crossing (not sure our i20 hire car would make it through), we walked across the dry creek that was knee deep on my visit a couple of days ago. There were a lot of 4x4s on the other side, plus a tour bus, as this is a popular spot for fishing, launching small boats and kayaking. The fisher people are something you need to be aware of, as they cast off the ledge and right into the best snorkeling area, so just let them know when you enter the water where you'll be. Thankfully there was no one there, so Caris and I found a spot for our gear and set about entering the water in the sheltered bay before the main ledge. Visibility was much better than a few days prior as we made our way along the edge of the rocky ledge and around the point. Early finds included lots of Convict Surgeonfish, Oualan Bullseye and Blackaxil Pullers.