The Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia
The Ningaloo Coast is located on Western Australia‘s remote coast along the East Indian Ocean. The interconnected ocean and arid coast form aesthetically striking landscapes and seascapes. The coastal waters host a major near shore reef system and a directly adjacent limestone karst system and associated habitats and species along an arid coastline.
The property holds a high level of terrestrial species endemism and high marine species diversity and abundance. An estimated 300 to 500 whale sharks aggregate annually coinciding with mass coral spawning events and seasonal localized increases in productivity. The marine portion of the nomination contains a high diversity of habitats that includes lagoon, reef, open ocean, the continental slope and the continental shelf.
Intertidal systems such as rocky shores, sandy beaches, estuaries, and mangroves are also found within the property. The most dominant marine habitat is the Ningaloo reef, which sustains both tropical and temperate marine fauna and flora, including marine reptiles and mammals.
The main terrestrial feature of the Ningaloo Coast is the extensive karst system and network of underground caves and water courses of the Cape Range. The karst system includes hundreds of separate features such as caves, dolines and subterranean water bodies and supports a rich diversity of highly specialized subterranean species. Above ground, the Cape Range Peninsula belongs to an arid ecoregion recognized for its high levels of species richness and endemism, particularly for birds and reptiles.
The landscapes and seascapes of the property are comprised of mostly intact and large-scale marine, coastal and terrestrial environments. The lush and colourful underwater scenery provides a stark and spectacular contrast with the arid and rugged land. The property supports rare and large aggregations of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) along with important aggregations of other fish species and marine mammals.
Tags: Australia, Beach Vacation, Biology, Cape Range, Family vacations, Flora and Fauna, Ningaloo, Ningaloo Reef, Scuba Diving, sightseeing, travel, vacation, Western Australia, Whale shark, world heritage sites