Why do Whale Sharks visit Ningaloo?
Being in the water with the world's biggest fish is exhilarating and serene all at the same time, its an awesome and humbling experience. You'll feel dwarfed by their massive size - lucky for us whale sharks are filter feeders and their curiosity about people has nothing to do with feeding. Plankton, copepods, krill, fish eggs and small fish is the typical diet of a whale shark.
When are Whale Shark Tours run?
|The "core season" is from March until late June (Coral Bay) and July (Exmouth). As this is a natural event, Whale Sharks may arrive early or stay longer than the above-mentioned dates.|
The Tour's format
The tour is a full-day experience - expect to leave your accommodation around about 7am, and be back in the late afternoon.
- Bus will collect you from the designated meeting point or your hotel, to take you to the boat ramp.
- Beginning with a safety briefing and snorkelling the inner reef, whilst spotter planes locate the fish
- 10 tourists will launch into the water with a dive master as your guide, ensuring you swim a safe distance with the fish.
- Small groups are dropped close by these docile giants are they move through the water.
- See their distinctive white spots on their grey bodies with defined ridges which almost look like stripes.
- The ‘jump’ is repeated several times before a late lunch is served and then an opportunity for more snorkelling back in the inner lagoon.
- Additionally, a Ningaloo whale shark experience includes onboard education from dive master/instructors, most of whom are marine biologists
- Bus will transfer you back to town. We think you'll be tired after a big day on the water so enjoy a relaxing evening.
5 Reasons to Swim with a Whale Shark at Australia's Ningaloo Reef
1. We are World Record Holders
Ningaloo Reef currently holds the world’s highest rate of whale shark numbers and accessibility of interaction boasting
- a 97% interaction rate in 2016
- 94% interaction rate in 2017
- 97% interaction rate in 2018
Ningaloo is one of the only places on the planet where these huge but completely harmless fish can be reliably located in large aggregations.
2. Our Eco-Tourism Practices
A percentage of each whale shark tour ticket sold goes towards important whale shark research and conservation completed by Dr Brad Norman of ECOCEAN, who has identified more than 7,500 individual whale sharks in the global monitoring database including over 1,300 from Australia alone. This research helps the world to understand more about the fish species.
3. No Sighting Policy
All tour operators offer a “no sighting” policy, giving guests the next available tour day free of charge. Tourists are encouraged to book a whale shark tour in advance (before your flights and accommodation!) and at the beginning of a holiday with tours running March to August (Exmouth) and March to end of June (Coral Bay).
4. We Capture the Moment for You!
All 11 Ningaloo whale shark operators have an underwater photographer or videographer on board who can provide a lasting memento of the day’s swim. So all you have to do is take in the incredible experience, knowing someone else is going to make you look good next to these big boys!
5. Learn from the Best
Each Ningaloo whale shark experience includes on-board education from dive instructors, most of whom are marine biologists/scientists. Additionally, many tour operators employee staff who are bilingual, so there's a chance they will speak your language (or at the very least, "speak to whale sharks" and make sure you have a great time).