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55 awesome things to do in Exmouth, Western Australia

Exmouth is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. This town of 2,200 is located on the Ningaloo Coast at the westernmost tip of Australia, and setting foot here is like stepping 60 years back in time. In Exmouth, neighbors talk to each other, kids play together (like we did before cellphones) and locals are friendly to newbies in town. I’ve never received a warmer welcome than I did in Exmouth, and I was lucky to call it my home for five months. My time was split between working to earn the second year of my working holiday visa and discovering the best things to do in Exmouth.

As I explored with locals and tourists, I compiled a list of the 50 best things to do in Exmouth. Read this before you go, so you can prioritize and get the most out of your time in the town where the reef meets the range.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission from links on this page at no extra cost to you. 

50+ most awesome things to do in Exmouth, Western Australia

Before we get started with what to do in Exmouth, you’ve got to get there! You can drive, fly, or join an epic 6-day tour that takes you from Perth to Exmouth. Check that out here

 

Once you’ve sorted out transportation, it’s time for accommodation. Check out excellent Exmouth accommodation for every budget!

1. Swim with the largest shark in the ocean

Don’t worry, though, whalesharks won’t bite! Plan this excursion on one of your first days in town just in case the weather is bad or there are no whaleshark sightings. Most tours will let you come out again for free the next day, or give you a voucher for the following two seasons. Don’t be that tourist who misses out because you planned to move on the next day. Read about my experience swimming with whalesharks in Ningaloo Reef and book your tour today!

 

2. Get curious at the Ningaloo Aquarium & Discovery Centre

Not brave enough to dive into the deep blue? Meet the reef residents and reptilian natives at the aquarium! With hands-on exhibits, you can create your own fish and release it into the virtual aquarium! The most fun you’ll have surrounded by oceanic creatures without ever getting wet! 

3. Kayak in Mangrove Bay

Watch for little sharks swimming underneath you or spend some time in the bird hide looking for osprey, sea eagles or the collared mangrove kingfisher.Mangrove Bay bird watching Exmouth

4. Catch a glimpse of a turtle hatchling on its way to the ocean

From January- April, visit the beach at night and you may catch a glimpse of turtle hatchlings as they make their way to the ocean. Send them some positive vibes, because it’s a tough life for a hatchling and only 1 in 1,000 will live to be 20 years old. Missed the turtle hatchlings? Visit Jurabi Turtle Centre year-round to learn more about the green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles of Ningaloo Reef.

5. Cheer the Exmouth Eagles on to victory as they play footy in the Oval.

Bring a picnic and a few friends for the Aussie version of Friday Night Lights.

Footy Exmouth6. Jump off the jetty at Bundegi Beach

Or launch a boat, canoe, kayak, fish, or sunbathe. It’s only a 15-minute drive outside of town, so it’s the perfect choice when you’re short on time.

Bundegi Beach Exmouth

Photo credit: Monique Dixon

7. Hop on a microlight and experience a Birds Eye View of Ningaloo

On my 90-minute ride around the west side and into the gulf, we spotted humpbacks, mantas, turtles, and rays the whole way around. It was a trip that took my breath away and since every flight is a mini-lesson, I even got to try my hand as a microlight pilot! Book a 60-minute flight here or book the budget-friendly Gulf Classic 30-minute flight. 

Microlight Exmouth West side microlight Exmouth Australia8. Watch the sunrise at Vlaming Head Lighthouse

This was the setting for the most beautiful Easter sunrise service I’ve ever experienced.

Exmouth Lighthouse sunrise

9. Watch the sunset at Vlaming Head Lighthouse.

Is there anywhere else in the world where you can watch the sunrise and set over the ocean from the same location?Lighthouse Exmouth sunset

10. Moon over the staircase to the moon

From March to October, you can experience the phenomenon of the staircase to the moon as the moon rises just after sunset, creating a staircase of moonbeams in the ocean.Exmouth Australia staircase to the moon

11. Dine at Exmouth’s Nashville-themed restaurant, Cadillac’s

Boot scootin’ boogie your way down to Exmouth’s Nashville-themed bar, Cadillac’s, for a photo with Dolly, Keith, Garth, Brad, or Willie and a rodeo ribeye.  Pair it with a FREE glass of wine or beer when you bring along your coupon from the Everyday Exmouth book!Cadillacs Exmouth Keith Urban

Planning your meals? Check out these 19 awesome Exmouth restaurants!

12. Dance away your Friday night at Potshot

Semisonic’s Closing Time shuts the party down at midnight, so –like Cinderella– make the most of your night before the clock strikes 12. Goon Sunrises are a popular drink for backpackers, but unless your goal is a night you don’t remember with a headache that’s hard to forget, I wouldn’t recommend it.

13. Cuddle a joey.

If you drive through the ranges around sunset, you’ll know that kangaroos like to hang out near the road, jumping into the path of oncoming vehicles. Oftentimes, kangaroos have joeys in their pouch when they’re hit, and while the moms do not survive, the joeys do.

kangaroo foster joey Exmouth

The amazing volunteers at Exmouth Wildlife Care Group foster joeys until they’re strong enough to be released back to the wild. Click here if you’d like to meet one of the foster joeys while you’re in town. Volunteer with kangaroo joey Exmouth Western Australia

14. Go whale watching

Take a humpback whale-watching cruise, or watch from the Lighthouse or Town Beach as the humpbacks put on a show August-November.

humpback whale exmouth

15. SUP the gulf

Rent a stand-up paddleboard from Town Beach and paddle to the marina. Dugongs and manta rays are known to call this area home, so watch the water beneath your board. Ultimate Watersports Exmouth SUP board

16. B-O-G-A-N B-I-N-G-O

Bogan Bingo at the Truscott isn’t a regular event, but if you see it advertised, book your table and binge-watch Housos to prepare for a rowdy evening of bingo, trivia, and prizes.

Bogan Bingo Exmouth

17. Gamble away at the weekly meat raffle! (yes, meat raffle)

Try your luck with the meat raffle at the Truscott. Befriend a member and head to the pub Friday night to buy a ticket (or 17— they’re $2 each!). If you’re lucky, you can win a meat pack for your next barbecue.

If you win, they let you spin the wheel to choose the next winner. Go on… live out your Vanna White aspirations.

Meat Raffle Exmouth

18. Explore Charles Knife Gorge

Take a 4WD tour through the Charles Knife Gorge and find out why we say Exmouth is where the reef meets the range. Charles Knife Canyon Exmouth

19. Take a drive through Shot Hole Canyon

See if you can spot the evidence of explosions from the oil missions in Shot Hole Canyon. Rental vehicles aren’t allowed through here, so join a tour or go with a local.



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20. Snorkel the Drift at Turquoise Bay

Grab your snorkel gear and walk down the beach to the left, away from the bay. Then, make like Crush from Finding Nemo and hop into the current, dude. Watch for turtles and rays on the easiest snorkel you’ll ever enjoy. Make sure you have your exit buddy, though, and swim back to shore before the current takes you into the bay. Now… give me some fin!

Snorkeling Exmouth

21. Experience a unique ANZAC Day

Pay your respects to fallen soldiers at a sunrise service on ANZAC Day. Afterward, try your hand at Two-Up at the Truscott, a gambling game that’s only legal on ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day memorial ExmouthANZAC Day Exmouth Two Up Truscott

22. Go to the whale shark festival

It only happens once a year, so put on your fanciest dress and join the party at the Whale Shark Festival gala. The weekend is full of events that range from family-friendly face painting and a treasure hunt to a rocking concert at Cadillac’s. Whale Shark Festival gala Exmouth Australia

23. Take a boat ride on Yardie Creek

Take a tour on Yardie Creek and watch for the rare black-footed wallabies and osprey that call the area home. Yardie Creek Boat tour ExmouthYardie Creek black footed wallaby Exmouth Australia

24. Shop the Exmouth Community Markets

The Sunday market in Federation Park sells fresh produce, sweet treats, and souvenirs from local artists. My personal favorite is Ari’s Cakes and Cookies… don’t pass by her stand!

Ari's Cakes and Cookies Willy Wonka Cake Exmouth

25. Learn to fly (board)

Head to Town Beach and let Ultimate Watersports hook you up to the Flyboard X for the most fun you can have 20 feet above the ocean. If heights aren’t for you, try one of their other awesome rentalsUltimate Watersports Exmouth flyboard X

26. Discover a bit of Americana in Australia

Drive through the Harold Holt base, where remnants of a basketball court, movie theater, baseball field, and bowling alley stand even though the US troops left over 20 years ago. Talk to locals who have been in town for a while to hear stories of Exmouth’s American days (or read about them here).EXMOUTH AUSTRALIA'S AMERICAN PAST

27. Check out the SS Mildura.

Wrecked in 1907, this ship’s tragic end directly resulted in the placement of Vlaming Head Lighthouse, constructed in 1912.

28. Visit Turquoise Bay

You need to go in person to see if the water really is that picture-perfect. (Spoiler alert: it is)Turquoise Bay best beach Exmouth Australia

28. Go for a Sunday Session

Every Sunday, Froth comes alive with music and Australian beer, cider, and ginger beer. If you’re monstrously hungry, try the Frankenstein’s Mongrel burger. Eating the enormous burger consisting of two beef patties, two fried chicken patties, bacon, egg, cheese, coleslaw, a triple-stacked bun, and a basket of fries within 20 minutes will earn you a spot on the Wall of Famine! 

29. Scuba dive the Navy Pier

Voted the world’s 7th best dive spot. It’s only accessible with Dive Ningaloo since the pier is still military property. Discounts for this dive are unheard of, but with an Everyday Exmouth book, unlock over $6,500 worth of discounts (including this dive!).

Scuba Exmouth

30. Say hello to Exmouth’s emus

Exmouth is home to several emu families.. but don’t get too close! They can run 40 mph and I’ve seen them stick their necks out as they charged someone who got a little too curious. Exmouth Emu

31. Grab a board and catch a wave at Dunes

For some of the best waves and a great social scene, go surfing at Dunes. 

32. Prefer a board with wheels? Check out Exmouth’s skate park.

The internet tells me it has flatbanks, a hipped mini ramp, and a hubba ledge, but I have no idea what that means, so I’ll let you find out if the internet is telling the truth on your own. All I know is that it’s quite popular with Exmouth’s youth.

33. Go caving!

Find the elusive fig tree cave and explore the incredible stalactites, or explore the area for other caves. (Be sure to get permission before entering private land)Fig Tree Cave Exmouth Australia

34. Visit the Short Order Local

Stop by the Short Order Local on Town Beach for a delicious treat and coffee during the day or join them Wednesday evening for curry night. Don’t miss their famous lemon coconut slice. When I first tried it, I took a bite, died, went to heaven, and was like ‘brb, I’ve gotta go get one more bite.’Short Order Local Exmouth Australia

35. Go take a hike!

Check out Mandu Mandu Gorge, Charles Knife Canyon, or one of these walks recommended by Visit Ningaloo.

36. Make a wish on a shooting star.

Get away from the lights in town to watch the sunset and do some stargazing. How many shooting stars will you find?

Stars in Exmouth

37. Go fish!

Ningaloo Reef boasts some of the best fishing in the world. Get out on the water and cast a line. Just recently, a record-breaking 1,000+ kg blue marlin was caught in Exmouth. Will you be the next to reel in a monster fish?

Fishing Exmouth

38. Take a weekend trip to Coral Bay

Sure, Coral Bay *could* be a day trip from Exmouth, but why rush? Here’s what you can do with 48 hours in Coral Bay!

39. While you’re in Coral Bay, swim with manta rays

Gutted that you missed whale shark or humpback season? Take a dip with Coral Bay’s year-round population of manta rays.  Swimming with manta rays in Coral Bay Australia with Ningaloo Marine Interactions

40. Go for a run with the Hash House Harriers

If you’re a beer drinker with a running problem, check out the Exmouth Hash House Harriers for monthly runs. Show up ready to run, have fun and not take yourself too seriously. (If you prefer water to beer, you’re welcome too… drinking is by no means required!)

41. Pose for a photo with Exmouth’s giant prawn

No road trip is complete without a photo by the town’s uniquely odd tourist attraction. Exmouth is home to the giant prawn, located next to the visitor’s center.Giant Prawn Exmouth

42. Swim with humpback whales

Australia is in the trial phase of humpback whale swims, so you don’t have to go all the way to Tonga to swim with these giant underwater ballerinas.

 

Book your swim herehumpback whales in 'Eua Tonga thesweetwanderlust.com

43. Go kite surfing

Exmouth Surf Centre offers beginner and advanced kitesurfing lessons and clinics so you can feel the wind in your hair and the waves at your feet.

Kitesurfing Exmouth

44. Snorkel Oyster Stacks

Check out Oyster Stacks at high tide for a shallow snorkel with lots of fish near the shore. The entrance is a bit rocky, though, so exercise caution on entry and exit from the water!

45. Satisfy a sweet tooth

Check out the best sweets in town at one of Exmouth’s top spots for dessert. Freakshakes haven’t made it there yet, but I’m still hopeful!Exmouth, Western Australia's Best Desserts

46. Get in touch with the wildlife of the National Park

Take a drive inside the National Park and look for local wildlife. Check out the osprey nest at the Milyering Discovery Centre. Watch for kangaroos who always want to cross the road at the same time as you. And even tougher to find than Waldo… the echidna. I have it on very good authority that their nose feels like a sausage.Milyering Discovery Centre osprey Exmouth

47. Get Social at Social Society

Be good to your body and to the world. Social Society is a wellness and lifestyle cafe with amazing vegetarian food. The acai bowls are beautiful and the Turkish fried eggs with halloumi are so good, I didn’t even wish for bacon. And that’s saying something!

acai bowl social society

48. Beach BBQ

If you haven’t had a beach barbecue, are you even in Australia? Build a bonfire, bring the meat pack from the Truscott’s meat raffle, and invite all your friends. As an American, I highly recommend getting graham crackers (you can find them in the Indonesian section of the IGA), marshmallows, and Cadbury chocolate to make s’mores!

Beach bonfire Exmouthhow to make S'mores in Australia

49. Have a beer at Whalebone

Who would’ve thought this tiny town would birth not one, but TWO breweries? Check out Whalebone Brewing Company for locally brewed beer and homemade pizza.

50. Food truck frenzy

Check out the Visitor Centre’s parking lot for traveling food trucks. Play your cards right and you might be able to snag a spud or some refreshing coco whip!Spud Van ExmouthKONA JOES coco whip Western Australia

51. Make like Tom Petty and do a little free… freediving!

Some of my awesome Exmouth friends gave me the gift of a freediving lesson for my birthday. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and I’m kind of the worst at it, but I plan to continue with more lessons! It was magical diving beneath the water to hear the songs of the humpbacks without the bubbles of scuba diving. And my longest breath-hold happened when we followed a giant manta ray cruising beneath us. The waters of Exmouth hold some incredible things! What will you find there?

Freediving Exmouth

52. Experience a cyclone

Ok, so I don’t recommend *actually* experiencing a cyclone. In case of a real one, listen to the authorities and take cover. But in the Ningaloo Discovery Centre, step back in time as you enter the Cyclone Room and discover what it was like to be in Exmouth during Vance in 1999. That cyclone still holds the record for the strongest gusts over mainland Australia. 

53. Visit the Krait & Potshot Memorials

Learn about the submarine refueling station established in 1942 and a daring attack on a Japanese warship in WWII.

Potshot Memorial Exmouth

54. Scuba dive

Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef system and scuba diving there is one of the best things to do in Exmouth.  Book your dive trip here

Scuba Exmouth

55. Visit for the 2023 total solar eclipse in Exmouth

On April 20, 2023, Exmouth will experience a total solar eclipse. The tiny town will swell with astro-enthusiasts, so be sure to book your stay early. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event you’ll have to experience for yourself! 

56. Check out the Megalodon tooth

Whale sharks haven’t always been the biggest shark in the ocean. Get a local to take you to see the megalodon tooth— this fossil is proof I would NOT have gotten in the water 23 million years ago. Cue Taylor Swift: This is why we can’t have nice things! Someone stole the Megalodon tooth, but you can enjoy the photo here! Exmouth Australia fossil magalodon tooth

I moved to Exmouth on the word of two Australians I met in Queenstown who promised Australia’s best diving happens on the Ningaloo Reef. What I discovered was so much more than scuba diving. I found community in friends who became family, adventure under and above the sea, and I even got that second-year visa!

I fell in love with this town, and I know you will, too. What magic awaits you in Exmouth, Western Australia?

Heading north? Don’t miss Karijini National Park! And here are my top tips for Broome!

Don’t forget a single one of these awesome things to do in Exmouth, Western Australia! Pin this post!

50+ awesome things to do in Exmouth Western Australia microlight 50+ awesome things to do in Exmouth Western Australia whaleshark



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Robert M Ryder

Friday 30th of March 2018

I'm an American who was stationed at the base in 73/74. Obviously things have changed very much since then but it was my greatest adventure.

Brittany

Sunday 1st of April 2018

It's still an amazing place for adventure!!

Kirstin Street

Saturday 10th of February 2018

I seriously need to get here ASAP after reading this!

Brittany

Saturday 10th of February 2018

<3 I'll be there from June - August... let me know if you make it over!

Vicki Louise

Sunday 21st of January 2018

You has me at Whale Shark! And I had no idea they had microlights over there - I did one over Victoria Falls in Africa and it was very cool. I'm hoping to get over the WA for a few months this year so hopefully I'll be able to make full use of all your tips!

Brittany

Monday 22nd of January 2018

I'd love to fly over Victoria Falls-- the microlight flight in Exmouth got me hooked!! Let me know when you make it to WA-- I might just see you there! :)

Amy Alton

Sunday 21st of January 2018

I'm going to WA in March!! Bookmarked!

Brittany

Sunday 21st of January 2018

You've timed it perfectly!! March is an amazing time to visit-- I'm sure you'll fall in love with the town just like I did!

Soumya Nambiar

Sunday 21st of January 2018

Wow, this is an incredible list and I definitely need to visit Australia again. I loved cuddling the Joeys too.

Brittany

Sunday 21st of January 2018

Aren't they the cutest!?