Exmouth, Western Australia – Exmouth, WA Tourism & Vacation
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Exmouth is a town on the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia. The town is located 1,270 kilometres (789 mi) north of the state capital Perth and 3,366 kilometres (2,092 mi) southwest of Darwin.
The town was established in 1967 to support the nearby United States Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt. Beginning in the late 1970s, the town began hosting U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to Learmonth Solar Observatory, a defence science facility jointly operated with Australia’s Ionospheric Prediction Service.
Tourism in Exmouth, Western Australia
Nowadays the town relies more on tourism than the station for its existence. At the 2011 census, Exmouth had a population of 2,207. At the height of the tourist season the population swells to 6000.
Exmouth is one of the few areas in Australia that can boast the “Range to Reef” experience. The Cape Range National Park which has some spectacular gorges is an area of 506 square kilometres and its main area is focused on the west coast of the Cape which provides a large variety of camp sites on the coastal fringe of the Park.
On 22 March 1999, Tropical Cyclone Vance reached category 5 status as it made landfall near Exmouth. This resulted in the highest ever wind gust reported on the Australian mainland of 267 km/h at Learmonth, only 35 km to the south.
Vance caused significant flooding and property damage but there were no deaths.
In April 2014, Exmouth was hit by a massive flash flood, nearly destroying the caravan park and seriously damaging much of the towns infrastructure, causing a severe blow to tourism in the region.
Exmouth may well be Australia’s fly-fishing heaven. Land and boat based fishing is excellent all year round, except peak cyclone season during February and March. Being a peninsula it offers some options for fly casting in winds from most directions. Only the worst winds and cyclones put the flyfisher completely out of business.
The variety and abundance of fish is amazing. From an offshore point of view, the North West Cape is the nearest point on the Australian mainland to the continental shelf, a good explanation for the abundance of marine life.
A good proportion of the shoreline can be accessed with two-wheel drive vehicles, although a four wheel drive will expand options quite significantly. Flyfishing visitors can expect to achieve reasonable success – even unguided.
Exmouth has good boat launching facilities. Exmouth Boat Harbour is 2km south of the town with concreted boat ramps within the marina. Other boat ramps are located 12km north of town at Bundegi Beach, and at Tantabiddi 35km from town just north of the Cape Range National Park boundary. Other small boat launching areas are available from campsites in the park, although these generally require four wheel drive vehicles.
Exmouth also boasts the world famous Ningaloo Marine Park – the coral reef in some areas is only metres from the shoreline, providing excellent snorkelling. There are sanctuary zones where no fishing is pemitted.
Fishing is generally good all year, but it’s best to avoid peak cyclone season during February and March.
There are good facilities for tourists including camping and other reasonably priced accommodation in Exmouth. Boat hire and fishing charters are also avilable.
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