Caroline Clements

Sal Salis
  • Where:Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
  • Why:A treat while on the Western Australia leg of a research trip for a book about the best places to swim in Australia.
  • When:October 2017 (the last week of the season before they close until March).
  • Who:Me and my co-author @helloscruffalo.
Get a

Kicking back in the afternoon sun on the hammock outside our tent.

The hotel sits along a coastline with mind-blowing beaches that look like this. The water is clear and warm and made for coral reef adventures. This is paradise.

The bathroom at the back of the tent with waterless composting toilet and solar heated water for the shower. The most speccy tent you’ll ever sleep in – real indoor/outdoor vibes.

All dinners are communal and served at 7pm. There was only eight guests when were there, a very intimate setting.

The self-serve bar, open all day.

15 tents tucked into the sand dunes, making them feel protected from the elements and very private.

Kayaks are available to take out on the kayak trail on the hotel’s private beach. Tie your kayak up at the buoy and snorkel out in the deeper reef off shore.

From above.

An early 5am walk up Mandu Mandu gorge for a coffee at the top with our guide Alex. Watch out for native rock wallabies along the way.

Resident kangaroos find shade in the day and come out to play at dusk, and they’re not shy.

Turquoise Bay in Ningaloo Reef – the snorkeling capital of Australia.

Highs & Lows

  • The isolation - this place is extremely remote. You leave your car at the car park nearby, are met by a host to take your bags, and make the 700 metres pilgrimage over the dunes to your luxury tent – bliss.

  • The biggest swimming pool out front is the beach. The water is crystal clear and warm, and sand is so white. The reef here rivals the Great Barrier Reef and is World Heritage Listed. This could be the snorkelling capital of Australia.

  • Daily activities available to all guests include snorkelling, kayaking, hikes and whale watching, to places you might not otherwise access. Put you name down on the board in the communal area and guides will take you there.

  • The camp’s environmental credentials means Sal Salis has a minimal footprint in this natural environment.

  • The only low here is the tide, but you can work around it.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 48/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Wild bush luxury on one of Australia’s best beaches. Where the outback meets the reef.

  • Vibe

    Relaxed, Australiana beach vibes with luxury trimmings.

  • Location

    Totally off the grid in the arid North Western peninsula of Ningaloo Reef in WA. The closest town of Exmouth is 80 kilometres away. There is no phone reception.

  • Rooms

    15 luxury tents.

  • Music

    On Human Spectacle by WA band Methyl Ethel

  • Year Opened

    Sal Salis reopened as luxury accommodation in 2016, when more tents were added, the lodge was extended and the kitchen was upgraded.

  • Designed By

    Not sure...

  • Pool/Gym

    No, but the ocean and beach are right on your doorstep and lots of activities to do (snorkeling, kayaking, hiking).

  • Restaurant

    A communal dining area where all guests eat together. A stay at Sal Salis is inclusive of all meals, cooked by in-house resident chefs. The food and drink are Western Australia-sourced, using the best of Australian bush cuisine. Locally caught fish features regularly.

  • Bar

    Yes, in the communal lounge area there is an open bar where you can make yourself a drink at any time. The selection is mostly Western Australian beers, wine and spirits.

  • Minibar

    Not in the tent, but there is an open bar in the communal area.

  • Children

    Are welcome and can be accommodated for, but tents are built for couples.

  • Price

    The very top end for camping.

At Oyster Stacks and Osprey Bay.


Osprey Bay Campground, Yardie Creek Road, Cape Range National Park WA, Australia

At Oyster Stacks and Osprey Bay.

At Turquoise Bay and Sandy Bay.


Sandy Bay, WA, Australia

At Turquoise Bay and Sandy Bay.

Have a coffee at The Social Society and a beer at local brewery Froth.

Visit Exmouth (the closest town)

Froth Craft Restaurant/Microbrewery, Kennedy Street, Exmouth WA, Australia

Have a coffee at The Social Society and a beer at local brewery Froth.

For exploring the coral reef (but if you forget yours the hotel has spares).

A snorkel and flippers

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Yardie Creek Road, Exmouth WA, Australia

For exploring the coral reef (but if you forget yours the hotel has spares).

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