Exmouth Water Spray Ground
Opening Times Daily from 9.00am to 6.00pm
Elements of the Water Spray Ground
The Federation Park Water Spray Ground was completed in July 2013. An opening event was enjoyed by the children of Exmouth during the July School Holidays with smiling parents watching on. It is a fantastic and unique representation of our regions natural and cultural heritage values and a new fun filled attraction for Federation Park.
This project would not have been possible without the generous financial contributions from Department of Regional Development through their Royalties for Regions funding program, Landcorp, Variety WA, Caring for our Country, Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Program and the Shire of Exmouth.
In June 2011, the Ningaloo Coast was bestowed the highest level of international recognition with its inscription on the World Heritage List for its natural beauty and biological diversity.
The listing covers an area of 604,500ha and includes the State and Commonwealth Ningaloo Marine Parks, Cape Range National Park, the Learmonth Air Weapons Range, Bundegi and Jurabi coastal parks, the Muiron Islands and Muiron Islands Marine Management Area.
The lush and colourful underwater scenery provides a spectacular contrast with the arid and rugged land. The Ningaloo Coast supports rare and large aggregations of whale sharks along with important aggregations of other fish species and marine mammals. An annual mass coral spawning leads approximately 300-500 whale sharks to gather, making this one of the largest documented aggregations in the world.
The waters of the Exmouth Gulf and the Ningaloo Coast are becoming increasingly important to the study of Humpback Whales. These majestic animals can be seen around May easch year migrating north to their breeding grounds. From June to September they are often seen close to shore and are also often seen in the shallow waters of the Exmouth Gulf where they rest and play before their long journey south around October. Other whales found in this area are Pygmy Whales, Pilot Whales, Killer Whales and False Killer Whales.
Turtles are extremely common on the Ningaloo Coast and there are 3 species that regularly frequent the beaches. The most common is the Green Turtle followed by the Loggerheads and Hawksbills. Between the months of October and April the Turtles mate close to shore. The females then come ashore to lay their eggs which are soft shelled and look like table tennis balls. During this time it is very important that the females are not disturbed. The sex of the hatchlings is determined by the temperature of the sand in which they are buried. Generally if the sand is warm the hatchlings will be predominately female.
Ningaloo is home to a large variety of species of dolphins. Large pods are seen regularly both on the west coast and within the Exmouth Gulf. They are extremely friendly and playful creatures that are often seen swimming along-side boats and jet skis and surfing at local wave spots.
The Ningaloo Coast is famous for its Whale Sharks and this was a key reason for the World Heritage listing.
Whale sharks aggregate at Ningaloo but do not form social groups. The Ningaloo population has been estimated by the scientific photo ID program to be around 300 sharks.
The Cave represents the Cape Range and its highly unique and beautiful natural landscape in and fauna and flora. The majority of subterranean species, including aquatic species in the flooded caves are rare, characteristically diverse and not found elsewhere in the southern hemisphere. The combination of relict rainforest fauna and aquatic invertebrates within the cave systems is exceptional. The cave fauna of the peninsula has the highest diversity in Australia and one of the highest in the world. Above ground, the diversity of reptiles and vascular plants in the drylands is also significant.
The Cape Range also plays host to a wide variety of fossils. Such fossils include sharks teeth such as a tooth of the prehistoric Megalodon and various forms of sea life such as corrals and sea urchins fossils believed to be 35 million years old. Some of these are represented in the cave feature.
Wildlife and Wildflowers
Cape Range is a diverse landscape composed of rugged limestone ranges, deep canyons, a flat coastal plain and sand dunes. The area is rich in wildlife including a high proportion of reptiles, birds and flowers that are found nowhere else in the world. This diversity is a result of an overlap of tropical, temperate and desert regions.
The boat represents the maritime history, past and present industries and our recreational lifestyle. The wreck of the SS Mildura in 1907 led directly to the construction of the Vlaming Head Lighthouse, which commenced operation in December 1912. Fishing, Pearling and Whaling were major industries in the early settlement of the North West Cape and later, Exmouth. Fishing is still a major industry with the addition of the increasing oil and gas and tourism industries.
Due to the beauty that surrounds our town, locals and visitors alike make the most of it by getting out on the water for a variety of recreational activities including fishing, diving, snorkelling and water sports. Majority of locals own boats and many visitors hire boats or bring their own boats to Exmouth for annual holidays and fishing trips.
One of the most sought after and ultimate tourism experiences Exmouth has to offer is to venture out on a Whaleshark tour between March and August and swim with these gentle giants of the Ningaloo Reef.
VFL Towers Water Feature
The star shaped feature at the base of the whale tail represents the VLF Towers located at the tip of the North West Cape.
Built 1965-67 the VLF Transmitter and Antenna System are symbolic of the very reason that the town of Exmouth exists today. Exmouth was established in the late 1960’s primarily to service the then U.S. Naval Communications Station now known as Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt (NCSHEH).
The station is sited on the northern most tip of the peninsula known as North West Cape. The Very Low Frequency (VLF) antennas are large spider webs of wire forming an array supported in a top hat arrangement. The VLF transmitter and antenna system is used to relay communications with U.S, Australian and allied submarines.
The centre tower ‘Tower Zero’, rises to a height of 387.9 metres and to date remains the second tallest man made structure in Australia. The other towers are spread out in two concentric rings around Tower Zero; the towers of the inner ring are 364 metres high (3rd tallest structure in Australia) while those of the outer ring are 304 metres high. Buried in the ground beneath the antenna array is 386 kilometres of bare copper ground mat. The antenna array covers one thousand acres - the largest in the world.
What to do in Ningaloo
The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage area is an internationally recognised, just see destination because of its remote, untouched nature and wildlife.