I had been following Tourism Western Australia’s popular @WesternAustralia Instagram account for a long time. So, when I finally began planning my trip to WA, crystal-clear water and sandy beaches were among my list of expectations. There was just one catch — my visit was to occur during July, Australia’s winter, so the beaches in Perth and Rottnest Island would not suffice. Instead, warmer lands in Western Australia were calling my name, so I did as the whale sharks do: I headed to the city of Exmouth in the Coral Coast region.
Though the whale sharks were what lured me in, I was pleasantly surprised to find a smorgasbord of accessible beaches at Exmouth’s Cape Range National Park. The park is filled with several park-and-swim stops, and each one is stunning, pristine and optimal for snorkeling and swimming. Turquoise Bay, which was called one of the South Pacific’s best beaches by TripAdvisor in 2015, is probably one of the most popular and busiest spots in Cape Range. But when I arrived — immediately discarding my sandals to feel the cushy white sand — it was just me and the pelican, whose white coat contrasted magnificently against the blue seascape.
It was even better in real life than on Instagram.