Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park. Image: Tourism WA
Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park. Image: Tourism WA

With higher than usual visitor numbers anticipated during the week of the Total Solar Eclipse, controlled access will be in place for Cape Range National Park and Jurabi Coastal Park to ensure day trippers can safely visit the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast while preserving the region’s unique environment. 

People wishing to visit Cape Range National Park and Jurabi Coastal Park between 17-23 April 2023 will be able to on a first in, first served basis. Traffic management will be in place to manage capacity limits during this period.  

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) project manager Greg Mair said with all DBCA campgrounds booked out, the department wanted to ensure safe access to the parks during this period.  

“Due to car parking capacity limits in the park these measures will be in place to safely manage tourist and emergency vehicle traffic into the area, while also protecting the extraordinary environment of the region,” Mr Mair said.  

“Visitors to the area should prepare for traffic congestion when arriving and leaving these parks.”  

“Other alternative sites in and around Exmouth such as Town Beach and Bundegi Beach are worth visiting and will also provide an excellent viewing spot for the total solar eclipse.”  

“We want all visitors to have a safe and enjoyable experience that sees them return time and time again – please make sure you check out the Explore Parks WA website to help you plan ahead and prepare.”   

Exmouth and Coral Bay residents wanting to enter, Cape Range National Park, Nyinggulara National Park and Jurabi Coastal Park can pick up a free Local Resident Pass from DBCA’s Exmouth office or the Coral Bay Hut. 

Those with valid campground bookings and commercial tour operators will still have access to the park.  

Charles Knife Canyon will be closed on 20 April 2023, the day of the eclipse.  On either side of that date, between the 17 and 23 April, a limited section of the Charles Knife scenic drive will be open.  Vehicles will need to turn around at or before the signposted point.  

For information on the Ningaloo Coast, camping tips and best practice in national parks visit https://exploreparks.dbca.wa.gov.au/ 

Page reviewed 13 Apr 2023