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www.travelwrighter.com, April 2018

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While concerns grow about the health of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s Indian Ocean coast boasts one just as grand but far less well-known. Whether viewed from a surface snorkel, a swim with whale sharks, a fishing boat or a microlight, Ningaloo Reef rewards the effort required to get there
The microlight bobs and lurches just a little as it takes to the massive sky, then steadies and climbs in the burning air over Exmouth, Western Australia. The earth beneath is sun-baked dust-crusted brown, a parched furnace of a landscape, but suddenly it is replaced by the twin textures of the Ningaloo Reef and the Indian Ocean. They are so very… so very…
The trouble with Western Australia is that it shows up how inadequate your vocabulary is. There just aren’t enough variations of ‘blue’ to explain the infinite range of colours on the Ningaloo Reef, the aquas and turquoises and indigos and azures. Tim Winton’s built a lifelong career out of finding the right words for these submerged landscapes.
Take one single patch of the reef, viewed from the air, and try to convey the variety of its shades and nuances, the darkness of the clusters of brain and table coral and the lightness of the gaps between them, the subtle shifts that come with different depths. They say painters, though utterly addicted, have a tough time with this landscape: there are just so many shades to create.
Never heard of Ningaloo?
Ningaloo is the reef that isn’t dying.
Chris Wright
Chris Wright
Chris is a journalist specialising in business and financial journalism across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. He is Asia editor for Euromoney magazine and has written for publications including the Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Forbes, Asiamoney, the Australian Financial Review, Discovery Channel Magazine, Qantas: The Australian Way and BRW. He is the author of No More Worlds to Conquer, published by HarperCollins.

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