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Rangers Reef Snorkel

by Caitlin Grace

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Rangers Reef Snorkel

LOCATION Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia

DEPTH 3-8 Meters

WATER TEMP 24-30 Degrees

DIFFICULTY Medium

Access is via private/hire boat

FEATURE

Stingray

Google Map data © 2024 Imagery © Airbus, CNES / Airbus, Maxar Technologies

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Rangers Reef Snorkel

LOCATION Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia

DEPTH 3-8 Meters

WATER TEMP 24-30 Degrees

DIFFICULTY Medium

Access is via private/hire boat

FEATURE

Stingray
Ranges Reef
Ranges Reef © Caitlin Grace Photo

Rangers Reef Snorkel

Rangers snorkel site is located within Ningaloo Reef Marine Park’s World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Lagoon. Explore its coral bommies, diverse marine life including turtles and reef sharks, and keep an eye out for stingrays and deeper-water encounters with leopard sharks.

What can I see?

What Can I See?

  • Turtles
  • Sharks
  • Stingrays
  • ClownFish
  • Octopus
  • Leopard Sharks
  • Wedgefish
Getting There

Getting There

Exmouth is a remote town 1200 km north or Perth in Western Australia. Tantabiddi Boat Ramp is a 30 minute drive from Exmouth.

Access to rangers is via private/ hire boat or equipped sea kayak. There are no moorings at this site, so a sand anchor is required.

If launching a boat, the nearest boat ramp is Tantabiddi Boat Ramp.

If launching a kayak from shore, National Park Pay Station beach access is the closest beach. Rangers is approximately 1.5km due East of the beach.

Snorkel Entry

Where & How do you get in?

Access to rangers is via private/ hire boat or equipped sea kayak. There are no moorings at this site, so a sand anchor is required.

Best Season

Best Season

Snorkelling Rangers is great all year round, but be mindful of tides, currents and winds.

Autumn is typically warm water and warm daytime temperatures great for boating a swimming. Be aware of stingers this time of year and be fully covered. Winter will see a greater chance of swiming with Mantarays.

During summer temperatures average around 37 degrees so it is likely to be very hot from November – February. Temperatures are much more pleasant during the winter months of May – September with an average temperature of 24 degrees.

  • Turtles all year round but nesting from November to March
  • Whale Sharks – March – August
  • Manta Rays all year round but very active from April to November
  • Humpback Whales – June – October
  • Turtle Nesting – November – February
  • Turtle Hatching – January – March

Current Australian Sea Temperature

Tips

Potential Hazards

  • Boat Traffic
  • Currents
  • Jellyfish / Marine Life

Recommended Gear

  • Wetsuit or Stinger Suit
  • Camera
  • Boats appropriate to acces this site can be hired from Exmouth township if you don’t have your own

How Busy / Crowds

  • Rangers snorkel site is a popular site with local tour operators, usually between 9:00-10:00, and between 12-3pm. If a commercial operator is using the site, please either wait or anchor a respectable distance away to avoid interfering with operations.

Parking

  • Parking is available at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp
Cost

If you need to enter Cape Range National Park there is a pay station at the entrance to the park.

The cost is $17 per day per standard vehicle.

The information for each snorkel spot is provided by people who have snorkelled there. However, snorkelling conditions change daily. Please be aware that wind, swell, tides and cloud cover can all affect visibility and your experience in the water.

Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Snorkel Spots Website.

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Tours

There are numerous tour operators in town that include this site in their regular rotation, whilst visiting can not be guaranteed as they select from a range of sites.

Best Conditions

Best conditions at rangers would be a forecast of less than 10 knots, after a period of sustained low winds. Swell should be less than 1.3m, with larger swells stirring up the sites visibility especially at high tide. Large tidal movement can result in current so small tidal movement or the change of tides would be preferred.

Windy Map Instructions – Click on the wind icon in the top right to see other conditions such as swell, temperature, rain. To clear the four day forecast click and close the wind icon.

Facilities at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp

Toilets

Toilets

Car Parking

Parking

Boat-Ramp

Boat Ramp

About the Snorkel

Rangers is a snorkel site located within the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park and is in what is coined the Ningaloo Lagoon. Rangers is a series of coral bommies surrounded by sand stretching approximately 150 metres long with the northern side of the site a shallow 4m deep, and the southern side situated on a drop off reaching up the 8m deep. The drop off side can often feature poorer visibility. There is also a set of shallow bommies set amongst the sand flats to the west of rangers, a great option if the site is taken, better visibility is often found here.

The site featured huge ancient porites boulder, and a variety other coral species including plate corals, branching corals and encrusting corals.

The reef itself boats a diverse collection of fish with the most common being parrot fish, damsel fish, puffer fish and chromis. It is also possible to see anemone fish and their respective anemones tucked into gaps in the coral. It is not uncommon to see a friendly hawksbill turtle at Rangers especially in the early mornings. A keen eye can also spot octopus and a resident cuttlefish, but as masters of camouflage take it slow to spot them!

When snorkelling Rangers you can often spot stingrays including cowtail rays, marble rays, Jenkins whiprays or honeycomb whiprays buried in the sand on the sand flats. Harmless whitetip reef sharks often shelter under coral ledges.

On the deeper side of Rangers it is possible to encounter leopard sharks, wedgefish and shovel nose rays and stingrays resting on the seafloor.

Rangers also experiences visits from larger sharks including tiger sharks, hammerheads and lemon sharks that whilst usually avoidant of humans, have the potential to cause harm if provoked, so be shark aware, don’t snorkel at dawn or dusk and don’t seek out interactions with other larger sharks unless trained to do so.

YouTube video
Video added by Natalie Klein

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Caitlin Grace
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