When can you swim with Whale Sharks?
Between March and August each year, Whale Sharks journey to the Ningaloo Reef to feed on plankton attracted by the mass spawning of coral. We lead guided small group tours offering the chance to swim with the Whale Sharks from April to July when you have the best chance of seeing a Whale Shark up close. The clear waters and visibility of the North West make for perfect conditions to swim with a Whale Shark as the they cruise just below the surface, allowing you the opportunity to snorkel alongside them.
Why choose our Whale Shark Tours?
If you are wondering which Whale Shark experience to select on the Ningaloo Reef, the difference between us and everyone else is numbers. Our focus at Live Ningaloo is on offering small group tours, to allow the greatest amount of interaction between you and the Whale Sharks. We host a maximum of 10 guests on each Whale Shark swimming adventure, giving you the most intimate and bespoke tour experience, the greatest flexibility, and the most time in the water. You’ll be able to interact closely with these beautiful creatures as you snorkel and swim beside them in the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The Ningaloo Reef is home to abundant sea life and you may also spot dugongs, turtles, Humpback Whales, blue whales, minke whales, orcas, dolphins, manta rays, stunning tropical fish and many types of coral on your adventure.
Our bespoke swim with Whale Sharks adventures include:
- 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 wet suits and snorkel gear
- Educational ‘pre-swim’ session
- Light Morning tea and beverages
- Delicious lunch, snacks, cheese and fruit
- Glass of champagne 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)
Who are our Bespoke Whale Shark Tours suitable for?
Although huge, with adults measuring between 12 to 18 metres long, Whale Sharks are completely harmless. Our Whale Shark 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 Whale Sharks, as they swim close to the surface. 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 with Whale Sharks and can also cater to some special needs and movement restrictions – please contact us to discuss. Passengers can also participate in our tours as an ‘observer’. Please note that one parent must accompany children on board the boat at all times.
Can you guarantee I’ll interact Whale Sharks on my tour?
We work closely with an experienced spotter plane pilot, who lets us know exactly where and when the Whale Sharks appear, so we can get you there quickly and efficiently. Because Whale Sharks are wild animals and we are above all sensitive to their needs, we cannot guarantee that you will interact with a Whale Shark on your tour. We compare the tours to an African Safari, where we search for animals in the wild. However, for the 2016 & 2017 Whale Shark seasons our Whale Shark swim rate was 100% compared to the industry level of 94 – 97% so we will always do our very best to facilitate this amazing experience for you. Government regulations allow a maximum of 60 minutes swimming with one shark and the duration of each swim is completely determined by the Whale Shark. If the Whale Shark “dives” we send the spotter plane up to search for another shark. You may be lucky enough to swim with more than one Whale Shark during the day, 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.
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 particularly during peak periods including Easter Holidays and July.