Sal Salis

Where the Outback Meets the Reef

 2023 Rates Available and Open for Sale

 

On a remote stretch of Western Australia’s Ningaloo coast, lies our exclusive eco-friendly luxury camp.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is an exclusive beach safari camp nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth in Western Australia. Each of the fifteen eco-luxe wilderness tents offers views of the surrounding bush and over the Indian Ocean and the fringing Ningaloo Reef.

Your safari style tent is the ultimate in bush luxury. Wake to the song of a butcher bird, the raucous squawks of a galah or the thump of a wallaroo passing by. At night fall asleep to the sound of the waves on the beach and under a blanket of hundreds of thousands of stars.

Fill your days however you choose, relax in your tent’s hammock and watch the world go by, or laze on the beach and paddle in the warm Indian Ocean waters. Our most popular experiences are in the water, as here on the Ningaloo Reef you can swim alongside the majestic whale sharks and the magnificent humpback whales.

Right off the shores of our camp, you will have access to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef where you will find more than 500 species of colourful fish, 250 coral species, rays and turtles. Our guides want you to fall in love with this little patch of paradise and will tailor activities to suit the weather and tides. Let us take you into the rugged landscapes of the Cape Range National Park and introduce you to Australia’s unique flora and fauna. You’ll spot red kangaroos, wallaroos, rock wallabies, goannas, echidnas and more than 100 bird species of all the colours of the rainbow.

The heart of Sal Salis
On arrival to our camp, you will be welcomed by the team at our main lodge – and this really is the heart of the Sal Salis experience. We are here 24 hours a day, ensuring your stay is as perfect as possible.

The main lodge is the centre of camp life, raised above the sand and coastal scrub with views out onto the reef and Indian Ocean, it is the place to gather for meals and relaxation.
Our lodge includes a small reference library with a variety of board games and a comfortable lounge area with self-service bar – an ideal spot for relaxing during the heat of the day with a cold drink and good book.

We believe in sharing stories and sundowners, so we dine together in the lodge.

Every evening we gather for sundowners and canapes and toast the sunset over the ocean. You’ll get to know your fellow guests and experience those famous WA sunsets whilst sipping a cool drink and putting your feet up.

Dinner is served by candlelight and with lanterns so you can take in the breath-taking beauty of our starry sky. Our chef prepares delicious meals based on the season and uses locally sourced ingredients. Meal times are special here; we chat, break bread and soak up the unique atmosphere.

After dinner, sit in the open air and look up – the number of stars is simply astonishing, and the location is known to be one of the best places to see the Milky Way. Our lodge guides bring to life the myriad of stars and point out the many different constellations filling the night sky.

Accommodation

  

 Wilderness Tents

Eco-luxe in the Great Outdoors
Hidden in the dunes overlooking the pristine beach, Sal Salis brings a touch of eco-luxe style to this remote and beautiful wilderness. Designed to blend with the environment, Sal Salis’ spacious wilderness tents sit on raised platforms and offer wonderful views of the natural surrounds and the ocean beyond, as well as comfortable beds and an eco-en suite bathroom.

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Sal Salis provides a unique and natural place from which to explore and take in the extraordinary environment and wildlife that surrounds it. Imagine waking to the song of birds as you catch a glimpse of kangaroos grazing among the dunes, or the spectacle of breaching whales as you tuck into breakfast or enjoy a morning swim in Ningaloo’s crystal-clear waters. Sal Salis ensures an exclusive experience that is both intimate and personal.

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Your spacious, airy tent is an oasis of comfort that allows you to take in the sounds of the surrounding bush and nearby ocean. The handmade jarrah beds are fitted with quality cotton sheets giving you an incredible night’s sleep drifting off listening to the sound of the ocean.

Nightly Accommodation Rates Include:
All meals, alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks from a select open bar, National Park fees, use of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and all snorkel gear including wet-suits as well as Sal Salis guided wilderness activities: guided walks in the Cape Range National Park, reef snorkels, kayaking and kayaking snorkels.

(Please be aware that all activities are tide & weather dependent. They do not need to be pre-booked).

Experiences 

Swim with the World’s Largest Fish
Each year between mid-March and July these slow-moving, gentle, filter-feeding giants migrate past Ningaloo Reef. The world’s biggest fish can grow to lengths of 12 metres or more and has a healthy appetite in order to sustain its immense size. Fortunately for most sea-dwellers (and for us) they feed primarily on plankton and krill, taking in huge gulps of water and filtering out their microscopic meal.

Whale sharks are found in tropical and warm oceans world-wide and can live to almost 70 years. Snorkelling alongside their huge 1.5 metre-diameter mouths is a once in a lifetime experience! Ningaloo is one of the only places in the world whale sharks appear regularly in large numbers, with over 235 individuals recorded. Each year scientists photograph the whale sharks as they pass through our area and some have been identified as having visited Ningaloo for 17 years and counting.

 Sal Salis offers whale shark swims with select local partners and you can expect an up-close-and-personal view of these gentle giants. Your whale shark experience begins with us transferring you to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp (about 25 minutes’ drive) where you will meet your experienced skipper and crew for the day.

 Morning tea is usually served as you motor out into the Indian Ocean to begin the search for the whale sharks, this is aided by a spotter aircraft that relays sightings to our skipper. The crew will help you get kitted out in wetsuits and snorkel gear; they will also provide a thorough briefing.

During the course of the day your crew will keep an eye out for turtles, dolphins, dugongs, rays and sea birds and there is usually time for a snorkel at the back of the Reef. A delicious lunch featuring fresh Western Australian produce is provided.

Whale Shark swims are available from mid-March – 31 July each year and they do need to be pre-booked as the boats do fill up months in advance. Our reservations team will book your accommodation and assist with booking your whale shark swim experience.

Swim Humpback Whales
Every year between August and October, the magnificent humpback whales swim through the waters of the Ningaloo Marine Park. We used to revel in seeing these creatures in the ocean from our camp, but since 2016 you can now experience a swim right alongside them. We can report it as being a truly ‘transformative’ experience … for all nature lovers, this is ‘bucket-list-stuff’ at its very best!

Humpback whales are one of the larger baleen whale species and adults’ range in length from 12 to 16 mtrs. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is well known for breaching and other surface behaviours. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time; parts of this song are audible to human ears in the water.

From June to November, an estimated 30,000 humpback whales migrate along the Ningaloo Coast on their way to and from their breeding and birthing grounds in Exmouth Gulf and sheltered waters north as far as the Kimberley.

We can organise a Humpback Whale Swim experience with our local partners. Your day will begin with the 25-minute transfer from Sal Salis to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp. Once onboard you will be kitted out with a wetsuit & snorkel gear; enjoy morning tea as you motor out of protected waters and into the Indian Ocean.

The whales are easy to spot as they breach, lunge, slap the water and blow. They will continually move so swimming is required during the interaction; you will need to be a confident swimmer, able to snorkel and swim freestyle. The whales are found in the open ocean so you may be swimming in current and swell.

In addition to swimming with humpback whales, the spotter plane will be searching for opportunities to interact with whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins, dugongs and sea birds. Depending on the day you may return to the calm waters of Ningaloo Reef for lunch & snorkelling. Return to camp will be in the mid-afternoon.

Humpback whale swims are available from August to 31 October each year and they do need to be pre-booked as the boats do fill up months in advance. Our reservations team will book your accommodation and assist with booking your whale shark swim experience.

Guided Gorge Walks
Our daily activities are decided on based on the weather and tides, so we often suggest hikes and walks in the National Park first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon to avoid the hot sun. Our guides will take you out into the National Park to explore these beautiful, ancient gorges and ranges.

Mandu Mandu Gorge
Mandu Mandu Gorge is located 2km behind camp and is a step back in geological history with fossil bearing limestone formations and spectacular views back to the coast and over the Ningaloo Reef. The history of 30,000 years of human habitation in this area is slowly unfolding from studies of artefacts, middens and rock shelters found among the Acacia trees, spinifex, kurrajong and rock fig.

Records have been found of two, possibly three Aboriginal groups occupying the Ningaloo Coast, with the Jinigudira people thought to have inhabited the areas along and adjacent to the northern end of Cape. Evidence of the historical Aboriginal occupation is found throughout the Cape Range, with over 100 sites being identified and the Baiyungu people still have a strong presence in the area today.

Walking through the gorge provides an to spot the black-footed rock wallaby – these timid creatures tend to seek shelter on ledges along the gorge walls resting during daylight hours and coming out to feed later, in the cool of the night.

Yardie Creek Gorge
Walk along the top of the spectacular multi-coloured Yardie Creek Gorge, looking out for black-footed rock wallabies, honeyeaters and emus while learning about the formation of the range and the adaptations the flora and fauna have made in order to survive in such an arid environment. At the top of the Gorge are some great photo opportunities with breath-taking views of the creek and out to the ocean.

This interesting ecosystem supports sturt desert pea, succulents and lemongrass as well as sturt mangrove areas that provide roosting sites for pied cormorants, eastern reef egrets, crested pigeon and gallahs, while the sheltered waters are a sanctuary for many marine animals like shovelnose rays and turtles.

Kayaking
Once our guides have checked the tides and weather, they will prepare the next day’s activities. One of these is normally a kayak trip across the Ningaloo Reef.

Hop in your kayak and you’ll find an array of colourful reef residents – fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, rays and corals. Kayaking is the perfect way to explore the reef, and you will be shown how to do so without interference to the ecosystem.

Our guided kayak-snorkels on the reef take you further off shore where we drop an anchor in the sand to snorkel some of the deeper lagoons. The lagoons in the Reef are some of the best snorkelling spots, they showcase the life-cycle of the reef as well as marine life interaction. Look out for soft corals, sponges, wobbegong sharks and hundreds of marine fish. Between August and October, you’ll see humpback whales migrating along the coast, just metres beyond the Reef.

Experience a Star Studded Night at Sal Salis
Whilst our daytime activities are the main drawcard for our guests, something special happens at camp as the sun sets. If you’ve never seen a truly dark sky; you have no idea just how amazing the night sky is. We are located in a designated Dark Sky area, where uninterrupted views of the milky way will astound you. We keep lighting to a minimum, dining by candle light and giving guests a lantern to find their way back to their tents; so you can really experience the stars and the Milky Way in all their glory. So beautiful, you won’t want to go to sleep!

Getting There

TRANSFERS BOOKINGS Road and Scenic Air Transfers must be pre-booked. It is the guest or travel agent’s responsibility to ensure Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is advised of flight times and numbers. Please be sure to advise of schedule changes and check all final documentation. LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE Scenic Air Transfers have luggage weight restrictions of 15kg per person in soft sided bags. TRANSFER DURATION Road Transfer Learmonth Airport – Sal Salis is approximately 1.5 hours. Road Transfer Exmouth Town – Sal Salis is approximately 1 hour. Road Transfer Tantabiddi Boat Ramp or Yardie Airstrip to Sal Salis approximately 30 minutes. Scenic Air Transfer Learmonth Airport to Yardie Airstrip 30 minutes with road transfer from Yardie Airstrip to camp 30 minutes.

 Honeymoon Tent

If you’re celebrating a special occasion like your honeymoon or anniversary, our Honeymoon Tent is the most romantic and luxurious option.

This extra special tent is situated a little further away from camp, so you’re guaranteed solitude. The long, wide front deck has a double hammock, perfect for reading, snoozing or canoodling. The honeymoon tent gives you a perfect view over the seemingly private white sand beach, with Ningaloo Reef just beyond.

Step inside and a four-poster bed is draped with mosquito netting – to be truthful it is more about romance than mozzies as in our semi-arid environment there is so little fresh water that mosquitos are never a problem. You’ll soon discover that those wonderful ocean views can be enjoyed from that romantic bed and from the shower

Nightly Accommodation Rates Include:

All meals, alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks from a select open bar, National Park fees, use of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and all snorkel gear including wet-suits as well as Sal Salis guided wilderness activities: guided walks in the Cape Range National Park, reef snorkels, kayaking and kayaking snorkels.

(Please be aware that all activities are tide & weather dependent. They do not need to be pre-booked).

2023 Pricing

2022 Pricing

What to see and when

Whaleshark swims – March to August
100% sighting guarantee & good swim guarantee
Maximum of 23 guests on board – 20 swimmers + 3 observers
Maximum 10 guests in the water any one time with guide & videographer
We use a spotter plane to find the whalesharks and other awesome marine life like spinner dolphins & manta rays.
At Ningaloo we operate to world best practice – conservation is always key – we are observing the wildlife in the wild!
Safety is paramount – we have exclusion zones for guest to whaleshark; and the boats to the whaleshark too! We are not allowed above or in front of whaleshark – so that we are not interfering with their normal behaviour. We must be 3m from the Whalesharks side, and 4.5m from its tail; & we are definitely not allowed to touch the Whaleshark.

Humpback Whale Swims – mid June to Late October
These tours are even more exclusive than the Whaleshark swim – there are a maximum of 7 guests in the water at any one time – with the videographer & guide.
We use a spotter plane to help us find the whales that are most conducive to having a swim with. Again safety is paramount – we have exclusion zones for the guests & the boats to the humpback whale. The boat is allowed closer alongside the whale on swim tours – than on whalewatching tours – so all guests will get a great look! The swimmers, guide & videographer are allowed up to 30m next to the whale! We only swim with resting or slow moving whales!

Outer Reef or Muiron Islands Dive & Snorkel Tours
A full day tour on the water exploring this world heritage area famed for gorgeous colourful soft corals. This is a great tour for snorkelers and divers of all levels who can enjoy the diversity of marine anemone fish. A fresh lunch, drinks and snacks are provided along with our experienced crew to guide you on your adventure! Free Nitrox for all certified divers.

Ningaloo Reef Dives
Over 250 species of corals and over 500 species of fish including aggregations of larger fish species like trevally, cod and snapper, plus turtles, reef sharks and sea snakes will amaze divers of all levels on your Ningaloo Reef double dive tour! We’ll take you to two of our many favourite dive sites and your experienced guide will help you navigate this incredible underwater world. A fresh buffet lunch and all drinks and snacks are provided. Free Nitrox for all certified divers.

Explore With Exmouth Dive and Whale Sharks

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