The landing of the schooner Maud in 1884 is the earliest recorded European activity in the area, although there are shipwrecks that have been discovered along the reef that pre-date this landing. In 1896 a townsite reserve was gazetted, a 500-meter long loading jetty and supply store was also built at the location known as Maud’s Landing which soon became the main loading and supply depot for the many sheep stations being established in the region. However, a town never eventuated. By the early 1950s, the jetty was in need of major repairs and was seldom used as road transport was replacing shipping as a quicker and more reliable option. Eventually, the jetty was dismantled and used in the rebuilding of the Norwegian Bay Whaling Station at Ningaloo Station approximately 80km to the north.
Bill’s Bay, 3km south of Maud’s Landing was becoming very popular with locals and adventurous travellers. In 1968 formal settlement began with the establishment of a hotel, caravan park, and service station. The hotel was named “The Coral Bay Hotel” in reference to the abundance of beautiful corals in the bay, subsequently, the settlement became known as “Coral Bay”. Development of the settlement has been strictly controlled resulting in a very natural and unspoiled feel. Kangaroos, emus, and goannas are a common sight around town and only a few meters walk from your accommodation the amazing underwater wonderland of the Ningaloo Reef awaits you.
The great diversity of corals and marine life, near-perfect weather all year round, crystal clear turquoise waters, and brilliant white sand beaches have made Coral Bay a “MUST DO” destination for adventure travellers as well as those seeking a peaceful and relaxing getaway.
Photo 1: Pt Cloates Lighthouse overlooks the Ningaloo region where pastoral and whaling industry has operated since the late 1800s
Photo 2; Shipwrecks dating back to the early 19th century can be found in the waters of Ningaloo Reef and whilst on tour with Sail Ningaloo
Photo 3; Point Maud leading up to Maud’s Landing, the site of the first gazetted township.