Rise early(ish) to complete the one-hour drive to Turquoise Bay, a gem in the Cape Range National Park. Expect crystal clear water, whiter-than-white sand and, if you get here before 11am, total solitude. To experience the drift snorkel, park at the signposted ‘Drift’ carpark, walk left along the beach until the land turns, then swim out to the reef. The current will gently push you along the beach, allowing for some beautiful, and beautifully lazy snorkelling. (Take note of the sign when it’s time to exit to avoid ending up in a rip.) Alternatively the ‘Bay’ car park offers calmer waters and snorkelling for beginners. From there, return to Exmouth and take the two-and-a-half-hour drive south to Coral Bay – a one-street, palm-fringed oasis surrounded by desert and a gorgeously long, child-friendly beach.
Must see: Walk to the left and around the cliffs before wading into the water to snorkel – like in Turquoise Bay, gentle currents carry swimmers back towards the centre of the beach.
Tip: Coral Resort Bakery is a true, old-school spot with – dare we say it – the best pies on the west coast. Reef and beef (that’s beef and prawn) is the winner.