We’ve been in Coral Bay for 3 of 5 nights and we are totally impressed. I mean where else in the world do you park your van, tent, or caravan, just across the road from the beach (and let’s face it, Western Australian Beaches are among the most beautiful in the world) and walk into a world heritage listed coral reef teeming with all kinds of colourful fish? We are paying $47 per night and we feel like we are at a five star resort in one of the most stunning locations in the world. For us, it’s got it all!
We are treating our five days here like we are at our own specially designed fitness and relaxation retreat…(sad, eh?) Okay, it did take us 18,000 km’s to get here and we are sleeping in an 18 year old VW van, but for us it’s perfect, because the weather is a steady stream of blue skies, 27 degrees during the day and 16 at night and we wake up to a glorious sunrise with visiting dolphins. Every night there is a show in the sky as the sun goes down and leaves you with a purple and orange hue sky. You can watch this show from the beach, the lookout, the top of a dune or in the water. I think the creator of NEMO came here on his or her holidays and was inspired: fortunately we’ve not seen Bruce yet!
What we love the most is that there is very little development, but heaps of caravan spots, so that families who have been coming for years can still enjoy this gem. The cost is not prohibitive and we all get to share the beauty of the area and you don’t need to pay big bucks for the experience.
Back to the fitness retreat: we’ve come up with our perfect 5 day mini- fitness retreat, Jack and Jules style!
Location: a beach with stunning views of the ocean, crystal clear waters and safe swimming, the water being great recovery for any aches and pains.
Environment: sand dunes for HIIT sessions (easy on the joints, hard on the cardio system J) and for sitting on to watch the sunset. Bush trails for easy runs across the landscape and no mosquitoes or abundance of flies.
Accommodation: rustic, cheap and cheerful, views of the ocean, self-sufficient so you can make your own meals.
Weather: consistent hot dry weather, nothing above 30 degrees. Cooler at night so that you get a good night’s sleep to recover for the next days activities. No humidity if possible.
Action and adventure: Swim with the biggest fish in the world: the whale shark; dive with majestic mantra rays; snorkel all day with a kaleidoscope of fish over plantations of coral reef; kayak; stand-up paddle board; underwater scooters; see-through boogie boards; Reef shark nursery.
Food and drinks: Healthy, wholesome, plentiful, fresh and natural. In other words, buy fresh food and veggies and make your own healthy concoctions. Coral Bay has two supermarkets serving up fridges of fresh veggies and fruit at reasonable prices, and it’s better than some of the IGA’s we’ve visited in the larger towns. There are also three restaurants serving up fresh, local grilled fish daily.
Alcohol: Daily: but never before sun-downer time. Save the drinks for late in the day as you watch the sun going down.
Noise pollution: Quiet after 10pm and silent until 7am – when the sun comes up!
Cheat meals: A wee place to go if you just feel like a bit of grease and the urge comes up- for a plate of hot chips! Coral Bay has a few options:
Exercise: A good combination of strength, cardio and rehab! Morning jogs over the dunes to get the metabolism going, several swims in the day to shake out the muscles, yoga on the beach to stretch, TRX hanging off a palm tree overlooking the ocean, push-ups and sit-ups in the campsite before beers, walks to check out other parts of the area.
Relaxation: Lie down flat whenever the urge comes over you! Snooze often and read lots.
Coral Bay, you’ve got it all and for $47 per night with BYO drinks and food! Wish we could check in every year!
I'm sure with a 4×4 vehicle we could get to some even more stunning locations along this coastline and we do look with a bit of envy at the off-road vehicles which can access remoter areas, but we also feel grateful for what we've got!