Ningaloo Reef Scientific Expeditions




Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing coral reef and a biodiversity hotspot.  Its 5000 square kilometre area is home to hundreds of types of coral, fish, molluscs, sea stars, urchins, manta rays, dugongs, marine turtles, dolphins and many more lifeforms.  UNESCO has declared the Marine Park a World Heritage site due to its exceptional marine biodiversity, so it’s no wonder scientists are drawn there.

Tailored Ningaloo Reef Expeditions

Our vessel, Wave Rider, is available for Ningaloo Reef Scientific Expeditions in May and in August each year.  Our experienced crew will assist you to conduct the research you need which may include:

  • marine seabed surveys
  • specimen collection or study
  • species tagging
  • conservation research
  • water quality monitoring

and other scientific research. We also offer charters for film crews and other requirements.

Extended Scientific Tours

The experienced Live Ningaloo Crew has developed two six-night itineraries for those wishing to delve deeper into the science and environment of Whale Sharks and Humpback Whales.  This intensive week of investigation is suited to marine biologists, environmental scientists, conservationists, teachers and members of the public who would love to understand more about these incredible creatures and how we can protect them. The Whale Shark Scientific tour will take place for the first time in May 2018 and Humpback Whale Scientific tour in August 2018.  Please enquire for details and see our sample itinerary below.

Sample Itinerary – Whale Shark Scientific Tour

Day 1 – Arrival and Preparation

2:30pm – Transfers from Exmouth (Learmonth) Airport to your accommodation 6:00pm –  Cocktail hour and welcome presentation, meet the crew 7:00pm – Group Dinner

Day 2 – Whale Shark Food Day

7:00am – Breakfast 8:00am – Transfer from your accommodation to your vessel ‘Wave Rider’ at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp

  • Introduction to Whale Sharks – general biology, current research, behaviours that can be observed whilst swimming with them
  • Whale Shark Swim
  • Collecting water samples to analyse the plankton “food”
  • Lunch and refreshments provided on board

5.00pm – return to boat ramp and transfer to township 6:00pm – Group dinner, discussion about the day’s findings

Day 3 – Reef to Range Day

7:00am – Breakfast 8:00am – Depart for National Cape Range Park in minivan

  • Mylering Centre
  • Fossil viewing
  • Yardie Creek Boat Tour
  • Picnic Lunch and refreshments in national park

6:00pm – Group dinner, discussion on natural history and world heritage.

Day 4 – Spot Pattern Analysis

7:00am – Breakfast 8:00am – Transfer from your accommodation to your vessel ‘Wave Rider’ at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp

  • Introduction to photo ID and Whale Shark spot pattern analysis
  • Undertake analysis
  • Lunch and refreshments provided on board

6:00pm Group dinner

Day 5 – Beach Hopping

9:00am – Transfer by minivan from your accommodation to Turquoise Bay for options snorkelling 1.00pm –  Restaurant lunch 2.00pm – Free afternoon for guests 6:00pm – Group dinner and preparation for Acoustic Tags

Day 6 – Acoustic tag day

7:00am – Breakfast 8:00am – Transfer from your accommodation to your vessel ‘Wave Rider’ at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp

  • Acoustic tagging

3.00pm – return to boat ramp and transfer to township 5:00pm – Group farewell dinner, star gazing interpretive talk

Day 7 – Departure Day

8:00am – Breakfast 10:00am – Transfer from your accommodation to Exmouth (Learmonth) Airport