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Back on Highway 1, 140km north of Carnarvon, the Northwest Cape Road turning 6km past Minilya Roadhouse leads to beautiful CORAL BAY, an idyllic spot from which to enjoy Ningaloo Reef. The tiny, laid-back community stretches for little more than 150m down one side of the road, with a stunning beach almost taking the place of a pavement on the other. At the northern end of the beach, reef sharks gather in season at Point Maud, while just south of the beach past the lookout there's good snorkelling at Purdy Point and beach-lounging spots on Paradise Beach. Hot salty bore water and a lack of available land have kept tourism fairly low-key, and the resort remains little more than a couple of caravan parks which between them own all the associated shops, services and cafés.
You can have fun in Coral Bay just hanging out, strolling down the white sand and having an occasional dip. There are enough tours and activities to keep more active sorts occupied for weeks, though.