Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

World Heritage listing for Australia's Ningaloo Coast

Media release
24 June 2011

Western Australia's stunning Ningaloo Coast has been added to the World Heritage List.

Environment Minister Tony Burke welcomed the decision by the World Heritage Committee to inscribe the Ningaloo Coast to the prestigious list.

The Ningaloo Coast is the 19th place in Australia to be recognised on the World Heritage List.

Other iconic World Heritage List sites include the Wet Tropics of Queensland, the Tasmanian Wilderness and Kakadu National Park.

The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage area offers a stunning contrast between rich coral reefs and arid landscapes.  The annual coral spawning at Ningaloo Reef attracts the largest number of the world's largest fish - the whale shark - anywhere in the world.

Visitors will also see manta rays, dugongs, marine turtles, humpbacks and ancient wave-swept coral structures off the rugged limestone peninsula.

The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is on the easternmost point of the  West Australian coast covers more than 600,000 hectares and stretches for more than 200 kilometres.

"This is a major achievement and provides international recognition of the outstanding natural values of a truly spectacular Australian landscape," Mr Burke said.

"I welcome the World Heritage Committee's decision to provide world heritage status to Ningaloo Coast and congratulate everyone in the community who has supported this nomination.

"The Ningaloo Coast's striking land and seascape tells a dramatic story about the formation of oceans, movement of continents and changes in our climate.

"With more than 200 kilometres of spectacular coral reef off a rugged limestone peninsula, the Ningaloo Coast is a stunning and unique contrast between reef and arid landscape."

More information is available at http://tiny.cc/u0pwb , www.environment.gov.au