WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S FAMED NINGALOO COAST HAS JUST BEEN LISTED AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE ON MONDAY 27 JUNE 2011!
HAVING VISITED NINGALOO COAST THRICE, I ALWAYS ASSUMED IT WAS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE LIKE ANGKOR WAT SO I WAS SURPRISED TO DISCOVER ONLY NOW HAS IT BEEN LISTED.
OH WELL, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER BUT NINGALOO COAST IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES YOU MUST VISIT BEFORE YOU ENTER HEAVEN AND IT IS SO CONVENIENTLY NEAR TOO---THE FLIGHT FROM KLIA TO PERTH IS UNDER 4 HOURS! AND FROM PERTH JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND BOOK A TOUR!
THIS BEING AUSTRALIA, YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY IF YOU ARE GETTING FLEECED AS ALL TOUR OPERATORS ARE VETTED AND CLEARED AND ALMOST ALL TOURS COST THE SAME.
Swimming above the bizarre stromatolites which were alive during the days of the dinosaurs is a grand experience
| Swimming with whale sharks is even more awesome! |
The Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia has just been given the highest level of international recognition with its inclusion on the World Heritage List for its natural beauty and biological diversity.
The World Heritage Committee endorsed the nomination at its meeting in Paris over the weekend.
Snorkelling to view the abundant marine life
Wind surfing is fun fun fun
Beautiful marine life!
View the hawksbill turtle up close
If you have a head for heights, stand where the couple is
Swimming above a manta ray although this looks like she is hitching a ride on a manta ray as touching it is forbidden
Emu in Cape Range National Park
Kayaking in the azure waters of Coral Bay
WA Premier Colin Barnett and Environment Minister Bill Marmion today welcomed the World Heritage listing and said it gave proper recognition of the area's outstanding natural beauty and biological richness.
The Premier said the Ningaloo Coast had been nominated for World Heritage listing by the Federal Government with the support of the Western Australian Government.
The listing covered an area of 604,500ha and included Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park, as well as the Learmonth Air Weapons Range, Bundegi and Jurabi coastal parks, the Muiron Islands and Muiron Islands Marine Management Area.
The Premier said the World Heritage listing of the Ningaloo Coast was recognition of the striking natural landscapes of Cape Range and Ningaloo Reef and the high biological diversity of the reef.
"Visitors to the region have the opportunity to encounter one of the world's largest aggregations of whale sharks, as well as marine mammals, turtles and manta rays, and many rare and diverse plants and animals found within Cape Range," Mr Barnett said.
The Premier acknowledged that Ningaloo Reef was one of the most beautiful and accessible coral reefs in the world, which ranked seventh on the world's list of coral reef biodiversity ‘hotspots' and second in terms of the number of species found within a limited range.
"Cape Range peninsula emerged from the sea over a period of 26 million years and is essentially built from the skeletons of ancient marine creatures," he said.
"Today, the Ningaloo Coast presents the best opportunity in the world to encounter whale sharks, the world's largest fish, together with internationally significant populations of manta rays, dugongs, turtles, humpback and other whales, rays and sharks."
Mr Marmion said the World Heritage listing was recognition of the comprehensive management arrangements in place for the area based on a network of marine and terrestrial conservation reserves.
The Minister said the State Government would remain principally responsible for management and decision making in the area, in consultation with local governments, pastoralists, landholders and the community.
"The ownership of land, and the way lands and waters are managed, will not change under the World Heritage listing," Mr Marmion said.
"World Heritage listing is the highest global recognition of a site's importance. The listing presents an opportunity for the community and governments to work together, to ensure the area is protected and the benefits of sustainable nature-based tourism flow to the community.
"The listing of the Ningaloo Coast means the area ranks alongside sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, Egypt's Pyramids, Yellowstone National Park, Stonehenge and Tanzania's Serengeti National Park."
Mr Marmion said Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park attracted more than 250,000 visits a year, with visitors injecting about $141million into the Gascoyne region's economy - according to the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre.
Shark Bay, Purnululu National Park and Fremantle Prison are the only other WA sites which are World Heritage listed.