When I met Murray, I was fascinated by his stories of Exmouth WA and the infatuation he had with ‘the little prawn.’ He had an extensive knowledge of the sea, wildlife (African, Australia, sea land, and air creatures), boats, farming, history. He’s an interesting character if you spend the time to listen. Mystified by his logic of following ‘the little prawn.’ He told me, “It doesn’t matter what the large wildlife is doing. It’s all about what the smaller fish is doing, and then the smaller, and the smaller, until I get down to that prawn and then the coral. I need to know more about the bottom of the food chain so that I know how to predict everything else.”
Murray Pattison, the Owner / Operator of Live Ningaloo, finishes the crew series of our featured blogs this week and he’s likely going to be a bit embarrassed by this post. He makes every effort to stay out of the limelight, rather highlighting the wildlife and his crew, but he’s the heart and soul of the operation and deserves a high note sung. Before I get into the thick of it, a bit of background:
We’ve been going over all the businessy side of things lately to ensure we had been hitting our goals (aiming for a 5-star rating in the month of April) and realised that we lost our way a little bit since starting this wild adventure. We began Live Ningaloo after conducting in-depth conversations with Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef guests in 2015. The feedback shaped what we do and why we do it today. He saw a massive hole in the oceanic touring options in the area and Murray decided to take the leap. Be different. Do different.
Taking the leap and offering something wildly different is scary. It stretches you and makes you second guess everything because sometimes other people don’t understand it. It’s a beautiful thing to see him come home after a tour date – still giddy with the excitement from the guests. He’s buzzing knowing he and his crew have made the impact – a lasting memory that will likely carry over generations over the dinner table, ‘I remember when I swam with the most magnificent enter here (e.g. turtle, whale shark, humpback whale, manta ray, etc.) ever.’
His aim is to help make that memory with the adventure he has crafted by the unwavering belief that small group tours allow for the best interactions. True the crew have been carefully selected. The food is handcrafted fantastic. The boat has had more love poured into it than he can measure. The aviation company used is top notch. The focus is the education of wildlife and conservation, but, the numbers don’t lie. Small group (10 people max) is the soap box he is unwilling to step down from because THAT is what makes the difference. You get more time in the water with wildlife, and the wildlife is less agitated by fewer people. Better interactions = better experiences.
Check out The Adventure tab on our website – you’ll find all the tours you can book there.
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Murray, Sonia & Live Ningaloo Crew!
The Titbits: “a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information.”
Murray is originally from Zimbabwe but has been a citizen for over 13 years.
He loves Exmouth so much; he wouldn’t live anywhere else in Australia.
He digs rock melon – loves it and it’s why we have it in abundance.
He is an accomplished catch and releases fisherman, but rarely does he eats fish, less than a handful of catches every year.