Swimming with whale sharks – Ningaloo Reef
Ningaloo Reef’s whale shark season has started early with the first guests swimming with whale sharks today, on tour with Exmouth-based operator Ningaloo Discovery.
Ningaloo Discovery are now running whale shark tours daily, while other whale shark operators will commence their tours from Coral Bay and Exmouth over the coming days and weeks. Ningaloo’s whale shark season typically occurs between March and July, triggered by the annual coral spawning during the full moon. However whale sharks have been sighted around Ningaloo over the past couple of weeks. Following a successful extended whale shark season in 2020, this year some operators will be offering their tours through until November.
The UNESCO Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is situated at the northern end of the Australia’s Coral Coast region and is home to Australia’s largest fringing reef system, Ningaloo Reef, stretching 300kms from Red Bluff, just north of Carnarvon, to the Muiron Islands off the coast of Exmouth. It is one of the only places on the planet where these huge but completely harmless fish reliably congregate on an annual basis. It is also the only place in Australia where you can swim with the “marine big three” – whale sharks, manta rays (year-round) and humpback whales (June to October) – in a single location. Ningaloo is also one of Australia’s newest Hope Spots, with the Coral Coast region home to two of the seven Australian Hope Spots. Hope Spots are global locations considered critical to the health of the ocean. The world heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef and adjacent Exmouth Gulf were designated as having global significance by international marine science organisation, Mission Blue.
Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo is a bucket-list experience. Those who are interested in this experience should book their tour and accommodation early to avoid disappointment. Children aged over 5 years old and who can swim can join a tour accompanied by their parents. For more information and travel itineraries, visit Australia’s Coral Coast.
About Australia’s Coral Coast
The Coral Coast starts just under 2 hours’ drive north of Perth in Cervantes and runs for 1,100km north to Exmouth, and inland via Wildflower Country. The region is tied together by one world-class road trip from Perth to Exmouth, the Coral Coast Highway, or accessible via plane from Perth with airports in Exmouth, Carnarvon, Shark Bay and Geraldton. Australia’s Coral Coast is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) responsible for branding and marketing the Coral Coast region of Western Australia. Plan your Coral Coast experience at australiascoralcoast.com
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