Swim with Whale Sharks on WA's Ningaloo Reef, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will see you in the water, swimming next to the whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef in complete safety and comfort.
The best Whale Shark Eco-Tour on the Ningaloo Reef!
After you've been picked up from your accommodation, your whale shark eco tour begins with an introduction to your boat for the day; a tourism award winning state-of-the-art boat with a friendly, knowledgeable crew.
You'll then enjoy a delicious morning tea whilst our spotter plane searches for whale sharks, and when they do we head out there. The whale sharks swim very slowly, so you have plenty of time to get a magnificent view and some of your most awesome holiday photos.
This package does not include a swim (more information on Whale Shark Swim here). In general, the season lasts from August to the March.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are Whale Sharks dangerous?
A. No they are not. They are a totally harmless filter feeding fish, this means they can not eat humans!
Q. How do you find the Whale Sharks?
A. We locate the Whale Sharks using a spotter plane. We share a spotter plane with other companies, this basically means that we can have the plane in the air for longer and have up to 3 spotter planes looking for Whale Sharks at any one time! Not only does this mean a better success rate, we also have a better chance of locating multiple whale sharks.
Q. What if I don't see a Whale Shark?
A. This is an uncommon occurrence. There were only 8 days out of the whole 2005 season we didn't see a Whale Shark! In the unlikely even that no Whale Shark is sighted, one FREE tour is offered to all passengers on board.
Q. Are Exmouth and Coral Bay both the Ningaloo Reef?
A. Yes, Exmouth and Coral Bay are both situated on the Ningaloo Reef, however are on opposite ends of the reef. There is an approximate 1hr drive between Coral Bay and Exmouth.
Whalesharks are the largest fish in the ocean. A fully grown Whale Shark can reach up to 18m in length. Whale Sharks encountered on the Ningaloo Reef are most commonly between 4-12m long. A male Whale Shark is sexually mature at about 8.5m in length.
Whale Sharks can weigh up to 15 tonnes and have mouths over a metre wide. Yet they survive by filtering zooplankton such as copepods and krill through thousands of tiny teeth arranged in 300 rows located in their gills. These are known as gill rakers.
Whale Sharks are found in warm temperate seas between the latitudes 30 degrees north and 35 degrees south. The seasonal aggregation of Whale Sharks in the Ningaloo Marine Park is linked with an increase in the productivity of the ocean around the time of the mass coral spawning in March/April each year. Ningaloo Reef is one of the few places in the world where Whale Sharks appear regularly in numbers.
Very little is known about the breeding cycle and mating habits of Whale Sharks. Whale Sharks however do have internal fertilization and produce live young. Males can be distinguished by the presence of two claspers near the pelvic fin. These are absent on female sharks.
Whale Sharks are fish and obtain their oxygen by filtering sea water through their gills. They do not need to come to the surface to breathe. It is believed that they come to the surface to feed but their feeding habits and normal behaviour remain a mystery. At the first sign of danger Whale Sharks will dive for the bottom. They have been known to dive to depths of 700m.
Whale Sharks have 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins, an anal fin, a very wide mouth, small eyes and a spiracle, which is a round hole behind the eyes. Whale Sharks are closely related to bottom-dwelling sharks such as the Wobbegong Shark, there scientific name is Rhincondon typus.
The skin on the back of the Whale Shark is about 7cm thick. It provides the Whale Shark with protection and it will always bank towards the swimmers when threatened to protect its relatively soft under belly. The pattern of lines and spots seen on a Whale Shark helps them to blend into their oceanic surroundings. These unique patterns can be used to identify individual sharks.