When you are in love, it's hard to pinpoint what makes your beating heart seem like it will explode out of your chest. It is simply a "feeling", tough to convey. We have all been to that special place, known that incredible person, seen an act of kindness, which literally moves you. For me, this is Western Australia. I am sure you have guessed by now, I am simply gaga over the entire area, especially that of the Coral Coast, and that of the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Ningaloo Reef. Vast and unassuming, with incredible marine life and horizons which go on forever. Blue skies, red earth, white sand. Little to no people. Which of course equates to little or no services, and more often than not, sub par services to what you would receive in a population center. Having said that, I was eager to try out the luxury accommodation of Sal Salis.
Latin for Salt Salty, this Department of Parks and Wildlife collaboration of 16 luxury tents situated along the Ningaloo Reef in a somewhat remote setting, is set to change that concept. This Heritage Site is one of the longest Fringe Reef Systems in the world, and by far the easiest accessible, with simply a short walk into the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Accommodation here is lacking and everything is expensive. Coral Bay allows easy access to the reef and all of it's incredible creatures, but has limited accommodation. Exmouth has a variety of room types, but is nowhere near the water.....You are pretty much smack dab in the middle of a coastline which is over 13,000 kilometers long, with the closest city a good 13 hour drive either North or South.
Glamping. That's what we call it in the US. With boardwalks to and from to provide for the least impact on local wildlife, Sal Salis is looking to give you a taste of the remote outback, while also giving you upscale linens, incredible views and a tremendous gastronomic experience. Yes, you are right off a paved road, which is hidden by a handful of sand dunes, popular snorkeling spots are a few kilometers away, as is the local jetty and information center for the region, but the feel is quite remote.
This is a hot and arid place. Water, water everywhere....but none to drink. The salinity of the sea and the dryness of the desert landscape quickly evaporates any standing water the skies may provide. H2O is of course key to survival and the Sal Salis crew allot 2 liters of water per person per day for washing and of course as much as you need for drinking. The main lodge, where everyone mingles for meals,is a great place to sit and read, chat with other guests and stay out of the sun, also provides a full bar and water spigot for your daily hydration needs.
A short walk away you have a long beach full of white sand, pink and red rocks, a variety of shells and ghost crabs to watch skitter here and there. High tide allows for snorkeling and kayaking, low tide brings the roar of the ocean crashing over the reef, only a few hundred meters away. For someone who has already experienced the reef from Bill's Bay, or taken a Whale Shark or Manta tour from Coral Bay, the setting may not live up to expectations. The food however, is incredible. By far the best meals I have ever had whilst traveling the Coral Coast. The location is certainly a unique experience along the shoreline, the tented cabins in harmony with the dunes. Marine tours are offered with an operator in Exmouth and you can take an early morning hike with a guide into the Cape Range National Park, the sky here, like all of WA, is so full of stars it will make your head spin. Relax - Refresh - Restore.