By Graeme Kemlo

The Coral Coast – many Australians don’t know that stretch of coastline that has the world’s longest fringing coral reef. No, it’s not Queensland. It starts two hours north of Perth and stretches 1100 km north to Ningaloo.

CEO of Australia’s Coral Coast, David O’Malley, believes the upgraded coast road, The Coral Coast Highway, which passes through a series of unique landscapes, will eventually rival Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.

And if that’s not enough, the region looks forward to miner Andrew Forrest’s $85 million eco-tourism resort over the next five years in the sand dunes near Exmouth, currently the site of a caravan park. The luxury resort will have a spectacular location with hotel rooms and public spaces designed to maximise the waterfront views.

A Ningaloo Marine research centre is also being established and is expected to host international conferences.

Meanwhile David O’Malley says his tourism region has a problem: “A very good problem… with the border closure we’re finding West Australians not able to travel out of the state are travelling out into the country here in their droves.”

He said accommodation was tight, hospitality staff were hard to find and “…you cannot buy or hire a caravan or RV here until well into 2021.”