Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Sal Salis

Price per night from$1,355.26

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD2,050.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Seaside safari, barefoot luxury


Cape Range coastal dunes

Fringed by coruscating coral and lapped by the lusciously warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sal Salis is a remote, beachside bush camp nestled snugly in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park near Ningaloo Reef. Sleep under canvas, dine under the stars and spend long, wonder-filled days underwater mingling with the manta rays, whale sharks and sparkling shoals of fish that also call this remarkable place home.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One chilled bottle of sparkling Australian wine served with canapés on the guest’s own deck or at the beach deck (weather and other guest usage permitting)


Photos Sal Salis facilities

Need to know


Sixteen tents, including one family tent.


11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm.


Double rooms from £1050.83 (AU$2,050), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include all meals, a selection of drinks, snorkelling equipment and guided activities (snorkelling, kayaking and gorge walks in the Cape Range National Park). Rates exclude a surcharge of 1.6 per cent a stay, for Visa, MasterCard and Amex payments.


Swim, snorkel or kayak out to Ningaloo Reef, a teeming rainbow of fish, dolphins, turtles and spawning corals just metres from shore. It’s the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks, huge but hippie-peaceful beasts that migrate past from April to July (the hotel can hook you up with local boat trips to see them, at extra cost). You can also swim with manta rays and spot humpback whales (August to October). On shore, stroll the pure white beaches or opt for a guided walk in the Cape Range National Park, a wild hinterland of rock, gorges and desert.

Hotel closed

The camp is closed annually from 1 November–14 March inclusive; in the case of unscheduled closure (the odd cyclone, say), a full refund is given.

At the hotel

Library, snorkelling gear. In rooms: 500-threadcount organic cotton bedlinen, hand-made native-herb soap, eco-friendly toiletries, ensuite with Nature Loo (composting toilet) and 20 litres of water per person per day in the bathroom, hammock. Techies should note that there is no WiFi access or mobile phone reception.

Our favourite rooms

Set in the dunes about 30 metres from the sea, the nine spacious tents are all perched on individual wooden platforms with ensuites at the back and a private deck out front (jostle with visiting kangaroos for the shade). Tents 4, 5 and 6 higher on the dunes – giving a better view of the sea but slightly further away. Our top tips are 1 or 5 for maximum privacy as they only have one neighbour. Although comfortable, this is ‘wild bush luxury’, so don’t expect all mod cons.


There's no pool at Sal Salis except the pristine marine wonderland on your doorstep.

Packing tips

Designer board shorts, your favourite Crocs and a fish-spotter's manual.


There’s a minimum two-night stay. If you’re planning an intimate beach wedding, hire out the whole camp and throw a romantic reception on the deck of the main lodge, lit by lanterns with ocean views.


Sal Salis welcomes kids aged ten and over, contact the hotel to add extra beds (for an additional cost).

Sustainability efforts

It's not every hotel that has composting toilets. Sal Salis also manages water tightly and does not allow any waste to enter into the neighbouring Park's fragile ecosystem. And the hotel is almost entirely reliant on solar power.

Food and Drink

Photos Sal Salis food and drink

Top Table

Swapping stories round the communal table is all part of the fun here, but if you fancy romantic dining à deux, ask to eat out at the little lantern-lit table atop a nearby dune under the stars.

Dress Code

Bush basics not bling – pack Steve Irwin-style shorts and fleeces, rather than fancy threads.

Hotel restaurant

Guests dine together, hosted by staff, in the intimate main lodge, decked out with driftwood and shells. But just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to eat beans on toast; in fact, you’re more likely to be feasting on teriyaki emu rice paper rolls, baked Exmouth ruby snapper with wild lime beurre blanc or grilled lamb with blackberry sauce. Chefs whip up bush-influenced fare using local ingredients whenever possible.

Hotel bar

Help yourself to soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits from the informal bar in the main lounge.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10.30am; lunch from noon to 3pm and dinner from 6.30pm till late.

Room service

There’s no room service, but the main lodge dining area is just a short walk away.


Photos Sal Salis location
Sal Salis
Yardie Creek Road, Cape Range National Park
Ningaloo Reef

Sal Salis is set beside the beach at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia's Cape Range National Park, an hour's drive south of Exmouth.


Exmouth’s Learmonth Airport is about 74 minutes away by car. International travellers should fly to Perth then catch a connection, which takes around an hour. Our Smith24 team can help organise your flights, and arrange a transfer for AU$125 a person each way.


Driving the 1,270km from Perth to Exmouth will take about 16 hours, so most folk fly in. If you want independence, hire a car at Learmonth Airport, or in Exmouth. Call our Smith24 team to arrange a set of wheels.

Worth getting out of bed for

It's also not all about the water at Sal Salis. Two kilometres behind the camp, a walk up Mandu Mandu Gorge makes for an inspiring three-kilometre return ramble. When you’re not cooing over ancient limestone formations and fossils, you’ll be sneaking peeks at the too-blue coastline. A guided cruise or one-and-a-half-kilometre round-trip walk to Yardie Creek, a red limestone-lined, water- and mangrove-filled gorge that draws birds, marine animals and thirsty black-footed rock wallabies, is also a treat. Find it at the end of the sealed Yardie Creek Road or contact Exmouth’s DEC–Yardie Creek Tours (+61 (0)8 9947 8000) or Ningaloo Safari Tours ( for cruises. When all's said and done, of course, Ningaloo is swimming and snorkelling heaven, with pristine beaches and reefs at your flipper-tips. Expect to spy anemones, clownfish, rays, staghorn coral and sponge gardens below the waves. To snorkel with whale sharks you’ll need to join a boat trip from Exmouth or Coral Bay. Try Ningaloo Blue Charters (+61 (0)8 9949 1119), which also offers fishing, or Ningaloo Reef Dreaming (+61 (0)8 9949 4777), which uses a spotter plane to locate whale sharks, and can also take you scuba diving. To view the eye-popping coral, we suggest a glass-bottom boat trip: Ningaloo Ecology Cruises (+61 (0)8 9949 2255) leaves from Tantabiddi Beach near Exmouth. Outside the waters of the marine park, you’ll find Australia’s best bonefishing: see what you can catch with Blue Horizon Fishing and Dive Charters (+61 (0)8 9949 1620). Scuba is also rated round here, with the Navy Pier dive a favourite: Ningaloo Whaleshark ’n’ Dive (+61 (0)8 9949 1116, offers dives, plus swimming with manta rays and humpback whale spotting. If kayaking’s more your speed, contact Capricorn Sea Kayaking ( for one-day or longer reef trips where you can encounter turtles, dugongs and dolphins.

Local restaurants

It’s seriously remote here, so unless you plan to start hunting and gathering your own bush tucker, your only option is to eat in. The nearest town, Exmouth, is an hour’s drive to the north. In Exmouth, fine-dining enthusiasts should head to Mantaray’s Restaurant (Novotel Ningaloo Reef, Madaffari Drive, +61 (0)8 9949 0000) for Modern Australian fare, including just-landed Exmouth barramundi with kipfler potatoes, and Shark Bay Scallops with cauliflower puree. Ningaloo Heath Foods (3A Kennedy Street, +61 (0)8 9949 1400) is home to wholesome breakfasts, healthy lunch options and luscious fresh-squeezed juices. Grace’s Tavern (829 Murat Road, +61 (0)8 9949 1000), the town’s local watering hole, offers pub meals with international flair, such as Asian curries and wood-fired pizzas. Experience relaxed alfresco dining at Whaler’s Restaurant (5 Kennedy Street, +61 (0)8 9949 2416), where regional produce is given the global treatment thanks to Mediterranean, Mexican and New Orleans influences. If authentic Italian flavours are what you’re craving, hightail it to Pinocchio Restaurant (1112 Murat Road, +61 (0)8 9949 4905), where Milan-born chef Salvatore Rampi turns out homemade pasta and pizzas.


Photos Sal Salis reviews
David Grant

Anonymous review

By David Grant , Events guru

This review of Sal Salis in Ningaloo Reef is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.
You know that scene in the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert where the three drag queens are wheeling their designer luggage down a dirt trail in the middle of nowhere? That was us arriving at Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef. Mercifully, our guide Mike appeared over the hill in a golf buggy and drove our bags down the long track to the campsite. We, however, opted to stroll, and a good choice too. The walk was perfect foreplay: the heavy breathing of the ocean breaking on the distant reef, the sexy panting of the kangaroos and emus that padded across our path, the teasing salty sea spray off the beach. Then, as we rounded the last dune, it was love at first sight, as flawless sand met wild bush.
Now, I’m no camper, but Mrs Smith is. I think camping is seat 2B on the plane, and had considered eco to be bleako. Until Sal Salis, that is. The rustic romance of our very large, airy tent re-educated me. Polished timber floors, soft rugs, a Depression-era set of cane drawers, an old tree trunk hung with plush bathrobes, and what turned out to be one of the best beds we’d ever slept in... anywhere. Best of all, there was a bathroom, with a lantern-lit mirror, a solar-heated shower and a luxurious, eco-friendly composting loo.
Soon Mrs Smith was decked out in her new cossie, I’d slipped on the budgie-smugglers and we were in the warm lagoon, be-snorkelled and drifting with the tide across corals of every colour as turtles, fish, stingrays and reef sharks whizzed by. Unfortunately, we’d just missed whale shark season – those massive gentle giants only migrate through here between April and July.
The landscape at Sal Salis is a striking convergence of environments, where the rugged ancient limestone ridge of Cape Range, red earth and white desert dunes meet the beach, with a reef that starts just five metres off the shore. It’s the only place in the world where coral meets mainland like this, which means you can just swim out or kayak short distances to experience more diverse marine action than a spa party at the Playboy Mansion.
We escaped to our tent for a quick read and a dribbling nap in the two-person hammock on our veranda, followed by a hot shower and an audience with a kangaroo joey (strangely exciting for a Freudian who enjoyed Skippy as a child). Then it was time for canapés in the ‘glamping’ mothership, which looked like a shearing shed with its side blown off by Cyclone Tracey. This open-air living room is also the home of the camp kitchen, and has plenty of places to hide away for a snooze, browse through the library’s reference books, or challenge the unsuspecting to a hand of cards. That’s the great thing about Sal Salis – it’s all about space, peace, remoteness, you and what you feel like doing. You can be private one minute, social the next; sporty in the morning, comatose in the arvo.
Our chefs kept the canapés and cocktails coming. I had to remind the lobster-scoffi ng Mrs Smith that dinner was still to come as we enjoyed a glass of bubbly, barefoot, watching an Hawaiian shirt sunset over the water. We then walked the exhausting two metres to a table that twinkled with lanterns, coral, shells and wildflowers. There was nothing Outback about the food, with local delicacies turned into dishes that felt more gourmet restaurant than canvas café.
Mrs Smith and I took our nightcaps to the top of the highest sand dune. There, we were befriended by a kangaroo with a bit of sparkling mica sand stuck to his fur. ‘The only grey in the village,’ we mused. Soon, we were joined by a couple of other guests and our guide Mike, who whipped out some astronomy gizmo that humanised the million points of light above us. You simply flashed the glowing red box at any random star (well, it’s worked for Madonna for decades), the machine identified it and printed out everything there was to know about it, both the technical and the mythical. Does Uranus look big in this? Actually, it did.
The camp’s resident butcherbird woke us early the next morning for a sunrise walk through Mandu Mandu Gorge. The name means ‘many rocks’ in the local indigenous language (how do they come up with them?), and they weren’t bloody kidding. But it was well worth it – serene, crammed with petite wildfl owers and native mistletoe (perfect for a bush pash, I’ll miss that guide Carly!), black-footed rock wallabies and, atop the gorge, a rewarding view down over the beach and reef on one side and the desert on the other.
But we didn’t need the mistletoe to fall in love with Sal Salis. Apart from the obvious physical attraction, there was the staff who were just so friendly and genuinely passionate about eco-tourism, the area and its wildlife. Seriously, our guide almost cried when he narrowly missed a kamikaze emu heading for our four-wheel drive on the way back to camp. Me? I was thinking, ‘Could you get a belt AND a wallet out of that? Or do we need to run over two of them?’
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Price per night from $1,355.26