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2021 Humpback Whale season on the Coral Coast, Western Australia

2021 Humpback Whale season on the Coral Coast, Western Australia

Live Ningaloo Whales Credit Chris Jansen
Ningaloo reef Whale sharks image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia
Ningaloo reef Whale sharks image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia and Chris Jansen

Humpback whale season has commenced on Western Australia’s Coral Coast

An estimated 40,000 humpback whales annually migrate along Western Australia’s coastline, and the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is the only place in the state where people have the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants.

Small group tours from Coral Bay and Exmouth

Small group tours run from Coral Bay and Exmouth, with up to seven guests entering the water. The start of Ningaloo’s humpback whale season coincides with the latter half of the whale shark season, meaning guests may be lucky enough to swim with both megafauna on a single tour. For those who would prefer a softer adventure, all tour operators who offer in-water interactions also offer a whale watching option, and dedicated whale watching tours run from Shark Bay, Kalbarri and Geraldton.

The UNESCO Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area, celebrating its 10th anniversary of being inscribed on the World Heritage list this year, 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.

The reef stretches 300kms from Carnarvon’s Red Bluff in the south to the Muiron Islands in the north and Exmouth Gulf’s Bundegi Beach in the east, and is the only place in Australia where you can swim with the “marine big three” – whale sharks (March to August), manta rays (year-round) and humpback whales – 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.

Swim with humpback whales at Ningaloo Reef

Swimming with humpback whales at Ningaloo is a bucket-list experience. Children who can swim can join a tour accompanied by their parents, however minimum ages vary depending on the individual operator. It is recommended that families confirm the terms and conditions and minimum age requirement directly with their preferred operator before booking. For more information on swimming with humpback whales, visit Australia’s Coral Coast.

The Coral Coast region of Western Australia

The Coral Coast starts just under 2 hours’ drive north of Perth at 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.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book an incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

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