Sue Baxalle stays at the Novotel Ningaloo Resort, Exmouth, Western Australia.

Getting there:

Learmonth Airport is a two-hour flight from Perth and from there Exmouth Bus Charters operates a shuttle bus service to and from the town - a distance of 36km.

Room: one of the resort's self-catering apartments - it was enormous, with a kitchenette and lounge opening out to a balcony on one side overlooking the marina, and the bedroom and bathroom on the other. Perfect for a longer stay for a couple.

Noise: The sea. Oh, and the noisy cockatoos.


What's in the neighbourhood? Exmouth township is a hot 20-minute walk away, at the mercy of midges and mozzies, so a trip on the hourly shuttle is advised.

Exercise? A small but perfectly formed gym in the the main building offers a good workout for those not exhausted from snorkelling and whale shark watching, then you can jump in the beachside heated pool. Or the heated sea. There was also an option of in-room yoga on the telly.

Minibar? Not in my unit, though there was milk in the fridge, and tea and coffee sachets in the room, replaced as required daily. As was the complimentary water, which was Ningaloo Nectar, what's more.

Food and drink: The breakfast buffet-style is hotel-standard. The coffee is via a self-service Nespresso machine and a selection of coffee pods. For lunch and dinner it's Mantaray restaurant, a classy joint with a good selection of food, including local produce.

The bed: Zzzz. There is a pillow menu available too offering the likes of a "goodnight" curved pillow and a dual support pillow.

Bathroom: After an exhausting day dancing with whale sharks, don't expect to lounge in your bathtub for an hour - however, the shower is enormous and the water pressure perfect.

Toiletries: A selection of shampoos, shower gels and body lotions, soaps, packets of makeup remover and the like.

Perfect for: A stay as a base for snorkelling or whale shark-spotting, which, of course, is what Exmouth is all about.

Would I return? Without hesitation. Everyone was helpful, the room comfortable and the breakfast buffet had all one could desire.