Guests on our 2016 Humpback Whale Swimming Tours described the experience as ‘life-changing’ and ‘the best thing I’ve ever done’. Do you want to have this unforgettable experience?
New – Swim with Humpback Whale and Adventure Day Tour
The chance to swim with humpback whales is an opportunity that has only been offered in Western Australia since 2016 when selected operators were granted licences on a preliminary trial. From being an endangered species, conservation efforts are estimated to have boosted the migrating population of Humpbacks to around 30,000, resulting in the species being delisted as endangered – great news for the whales and for those who are passionate about wildlife. The licences to offer humpback whale swimming experiences were extended to selected operators in 2018, allowing us to offer you an intimate swim with humpback whales experience again this year.
When can you swim with Humpback Whales?
Each year, humpback whales begin their epic migration northwards from the cold waters of Antarctica, to the tropical waters of Broome, Western Australia. Their migration is one of the longest of any mammal in the world at approximately 6,700km long, and lasts for up to 8 months. The Exmouth Gulf, where all life on Ningaloo Reef starts, provides an important resting area for the whales and offers one of the best chances to see them up close. We will be offering our Humpback Whale Swimming Tours as part of a limited trial from 1 August to 31 October 2017, when thousands of Humpbacks are expected to again pass through the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Why choose our Humpback Whale swimming tours?
Our focus at Live Ningaloo is on offering bespoke small group tours. We host a maximum of 10 guests on our humpback whale swimming adventures so you can benefit from an intimate and high-quality tour experience. We are one of only a few operators who have been licenced to trial humpback whale swimming tours again in 2017. On our tour, you’ll be able to interact closely with magnificent Humpbacks, the acrobats of the ocean. We will escort groups of five at a time to snorkel and swim within a safe distance of them. The whales, measuring up to 18m long and weighs as much as 40 tonnes, and are easy to spot as they exhibit behaviours such as breaching, slapping the water with their tales (flukes) and fins, and blowing streams of water up to 6 metres in the air.
What’s included in the Swim with Humpback Whales Adventure?
Our bespoke Swim with Humpback Whales Adventure Day includes:
- Complimentary transfers to and from Exmouth township to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp departure point
- Full day (7 hour) excursion shore to shore
- Luxury vessel ‘Wave Rider’ with qualified skipper, deckhand, photographer and marine scientist guide
- High-quality wetsuits and snorkel gear
- Educational ‘pre-swim’ session
- Light Morning tea and beverages
- Delicious lunch, snacks, cheese and fruit
- A glass of sparkling at day’s end to toast your adventures
- Spotter plan guidance
- Professional digital photography on deck and underwater supplied at no additional cost
- Afternoon coral reef snorkel (conditions permitting)
The Ningaloo Reef is home to abundant sea life and you may also spot dugongs, turtles, whale sharks, blue whales, minke whales, orcas, dolphins, manta rays, stunning tropical fish and many types of coral on your adventure.
Who are our Bespoke Humpback Whale Swimming Tours suitable for?
Our humpback whale swimming tours are suited to a range of ages and swimming abilities and we accept confident swimmers from 10 years of age. You do not need to be able to SCUBA dive to swim with humpbacks. Swimmers should be able to snorkel, swim freestyle and cope with currents and swell in the open ocean, and we can also provide flotation devices to assist those who require. We may accept younger children who are very competent swimmers to swim and can also cater to some special needs and movement restrictions – please contact us to discuss. Do keep in mind that humpback whales can exhibit exuberant behaviour such as lunging and slapping while in the water. Passengers can participate in our tours as an ‘observer’ and view these amazing mammals from the comfort of our vessel deck. Please note that one parent must accompany the children onboard the boat at all times. We also offer Humpback Whale Watching and Lagoon Snorkelling Tours for those who prefer to observe these magnificent creatures from our vessel.
Can you guarantee I’ll interact with Humpback Whales on my tour?
We work closely with an experienced spotter plane pilot, who lets us know where the Humpbacks appear, so we can get you there quickly and efficiently. Because humpback whales are wild animals and we are above all sensitive to their needs, we cannot guarantee that you will interact with one on your tour. We compare the tours to an African Safari, where we search for animals in the wild. Once our trained crew deem it same, a group of seven people (maximum) will be guided into the water at 50 to 150 metres from the whales. Swimmers are allowed near mothers and young whales 1/2 the size of their mum or larger. Interactions will always be guided by the whales, who may approach swimmers if curious. You may be lucky enough encounter more than one humpback during the tour, however, you should set your own pace and may choose not to swim each time. If you are not comfortable doing the swim you can participate as an ‘observer’ and view these beautiful creatures from the deck, or take part in our Ningaloo Marine Life Viewing and Snorkelling Tour. The duration of each swim will be determined by the whales’ willingness to be seen and interact with you, for a maximum of 60 minutes.
Where can I join this tour?
Our luxury vessel, Wave Rider, departs from Tantabiddi Boat Ramp just north of the Cape Range national park entrance in Exmouth. Complimentary transfers are provided to and from Exmouth township for your tour.Advance Bookings for all tours are essential. Due to the small, intimate scale of our tours with a maximum of 10 places, we recommend booking several months in advance to avoid disappointment.
Please note: we are currently taking bookings for the 2019 Swim with Humpback Whale and Adventure Day Tours. We are still awaiting final details (rules) from Parks and Wildlife if the trial will be extended.