Road into 14 mile camp ningaloo marine park
Coastal access track, Ningaloo Marine Park

Where else in the world can you camp along the coastline with a World Heritage listed marine park on your doorstep, stunning coral reef metres from the shore, and the opportunity to get away from it all?   

The State Government is creating conservation and recreation reserves along the spectacular Ningaloo coast to ensure that this area is protected and remains accessible to the public now and for future generations.

The reserves will be created over the coastal strip of unallocated Crown Land adjacent to Ningaloo Marine Park, where many people enjoy low key recreation each year, as well as State lands that were taken out of pastoral leases in 2015. The Ningaloo coast is part of the Baiyungu, Yinikurtira and Thalanyji peoples' traditional land and sea country and maintains significant cultural values.

What is a reserve and why is the State Government creating the reserves?

A reserve is an area of Crown land set aside for a particular purpose in the public interest.

By creating public reserves along Ningaloo coast, the State Government is ensuring that these lands are given protection under the Conservation and Land Management Act (1984) - that they remain the property of all Western Australians and cannot be sold to private interests.

The public reserves will:

  • ensure continuity of public access to the Ningaloo coast into the future;
  • help conserve the Ningaloo coast’s significant natural and cultural values;
  • increase opportunities for Aboriginal people to work on and continue to manage their traditional lands; 
  • allow the Ningaloo coast to be managed in a way that is integrated with the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park; and
  • enable State Government investments in nature-based tourism that benefit and retain the low-key style of camping that attracts people to the area.

The need to create public reserves along the Ningaloo coast has been identified by State Governments since the 1970s.

Ningaloo Marine Park sanctuary zone sign
Ningaloo Marine Park sanctuary zones sign

What is happening now?

The State Government is seeking to negotiate an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the Gnulli native title party to enable the creation of the reserves.

A review of existing visitor research has been undertaken and has summarised information already collected about what visitors value about the Ningaloo coast, the experience they are seeking and the type of facilities visitors want. Further visitor surveys will be undertaken by Parks and Wildlife to verify these findings and address any knowledge gaps identified during the review.

Upgrades to tracks and trails, installation of toilets and/or waste disposal facilities and interpretive information are proposed only where they are required.  Planning is currently underway to identify sites where improvements are required and wanted.

Parks and Wildlife staff are regularly visiting the coast to address land management issues.

Some pastoralists continue to manage sections of the coast under lease arrangements.  Others have been given licences, which enables them to continue manage camping in the interim until the reserves are created. 

Elles camp ex warroora
Coastal camping, Ningaloo coast

How will the land be managed once the reserves are created?

The reserves will be managed to ensure low key camping and caravanning are retained along Ningaloo coast.  People will still be able to take their dog and have a campfire when camping.

The land is proposed to be managed jointly by Parks and Wildlife and the Gnulli native title party, which will give traditional owners an opportunity to be partners in making land management decisions, as well as allow for Aboriginal employment and training. Joint management will ensure that the area's values are protected in a culturally appropriate way.

Camping will cost the same as other parks managed by the department - $7.50 for an adult, $5.50 for a concession card holder and $2.20 for a child (6-15 years) per night for a camp site with basic facilities.  All fees will go directly to managing the reserves and the adjacent Ningaloo Marine Park.

Have your say

Parks and Wildlife is preparing a draft management plan for the proposed public reserves in collaboration with the Gnulli native title party.  The draft plan is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, pending the progress of ILUA negotiations. It will be released for public comment. This will be your chance to have input to how the Ningaloo coast will be managed.

Find out more
Download the pdfFrequently Asked Questions Future of the Ningaloo coast for more information, or contact Parks and Wildlife’s Exmouth District Office on 9947 8000.

  • Ningaloo Coast

    Ningaloo Coast

    Parks and Wildlife have been collecting your views to help us plan for the Ningaloo Coast for the past several months. People have shared their thoughts on the type of facilities and services they would like to see along the coast by participating in an online survey. We will provide a summary of the results of the survey in the near future.

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