Tourism Wellington

Exmouth Whale Shark Tours

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Exmouth is home to one of the world’s most unique and breathtaking animal encounters – whale shark tours. Drawing visitors from around the globe, these tours give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close with one of the largest fish on Earth. Exmouth’s Ningaloo Reef is home to many marine life, including the majestic whale shark.

Swim with Whale Sharks in Exmouth - Review

exmouth whale shark tours

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Western Australia, swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth should be on your bucket list. The Ningaloo Reef, where these gentle giants can be found, is one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world and offers pristine waters for an unforgettable experience.

The tours in Exmouth typically start early in the morning with a warm morning tea and a quick briefing about the time, followed by a short ride in a charter boat out to the reef. The crew members are knowledgeable and professional, always willing to provide the best experience possible.

Once you arrive at the reef, it’s time to gear up and get into the water. As you start to dive, the feeling is indescribable. The calm water and amazing corals surround you as you eagerly await the arrival of the whale sharks. Suddenly you will see the shadow of the enormous creature in the water, and excitement sets in.

Swimming alongside a whale shark is a lifetime opportunity, and it’s clear why they are called the gentle giants of the ocean. They move slowly in the water, making it easy to keep up with them without disturbing their natural habitat. The experienced crew members, who work hard to ensure the safety and comfort of the guests, provide snorkelling gear and give you the best chance to see these magnificent creatures up close.

In addition to the whale sharks, there is so much more to see in the area. You may encounter other intriguing diving spots, such as coral gardens, manta rays, and tropical fish. There’s always something new to discover, and each moment is an unforgettable experience, leaving you with lasting memories you will cherish forever.

Overall, swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth is an iconic and unforgettable experience worth the additional cost. Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours, one of the most reputable tour operators, runs whale shark tours to the region. With so many positive reviews, you can trust that you will find the same fun, friendly, and experienced crew dedicated to ensuring that each guest has the experience of a lifetime.

What is a Whale Shark?

whale shark tours exmouth

Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the sea and a fantastic sight to behold. Although they might be called “whale sharks,” they are not whales. Instead, they are a type of shark that belongs to the Rhincodontidae family.

Whale sharks can grow up to 40 feet in length and weigh up to 20 tons, with an average lifespan of around 70 years. They have a unique spotted pattern on their skin that is as distinctive as a human fingerprint. These spots result from the shark’s underlying body colour, ranging from light to dark shades of blue, grey or brown.

Despite their massive size, whale sharks are known for being gentle giants. They are filter feeders, meaning they eat mainly plankton and small fish, and they use their giant mouths to scoop up vast volumes of water and then filter out the edibles through their gills. This process is efficient enough to allow a whale shark to eat up to 21 kilograms (46 pounds) of food daily, despite their relatively small throat size.

Whale sharks typically inhabit tropical waters and are found in open-sea areas worldwide. They are known for being highly migratory and have been spotted crossing entire oceans in search of food.

In recent years, whale sharks have become a popular attraction for tourists seeking to swim alongside these gentle giants. Countries such as Australia, the Maldives, and the Philippines have developed specific whale shark-watching tours for tourists who want to witness one of nature’s most fascinating creatures up close and personal.

What Is Exmouth & Ningaloo Reef?

ningaloo whale shark tours

Exmouth is a picturesque coastal town located on the northwestern coast of Australia. The city is situated at the tip of the stunning Ningaloo Reef, which stretches over 260 km along the Australian coastline, making it one of the most extensive fringing reefs in the world.

The Ningaloo Reef is a thriving marine ecosystem, well-known for its diverse range of sea life, including the iconic whale sharks and manta rays. It is also a breeding ground for humpback whales, and visitors can witness these majestic creatures from June to November.

The coral gardens of the Ningaloo Reef are teeming with tropical fish of all shapes and sizes, making it a snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise. The waters around the reef are crystal clear and calm, providing excellent visibility for visitors to view the vibrant underwater world beneath them.

For those who are not confident swimmers, glass-bottom boat tours are available, providing a different perspective of the marine ecosystem without getting wet. Visitors can also take charter boats to explore deeper sections of the reef, gaining access to a more diverse range of marine life.

In addition to the rich marine life, the Ningaloo Reef is fringed by white sandy beaches and is home to the small, friendly town of Exmouth. Visitors can enjoy various activities, from exploring the surrounding national parks to the town’s local cuisine.

Why Should You Go on a Whale Shark Tour in Exmouth?

whale shark

If you’re planning a trip to Western Australia, there’s one experience you will take advantage of swimming with the biggest fish in the world, the whale sharks, in the pristine waters of Exmouth. Here’s why you should add a whale shark tour to your itinerary.

Firstly, Exmouth is one of the only places in the world where you can see and swim with whale sharks in their natural habitat. These gentle giants, which can grow up to 12 metres long and weigh over 20,000kg, migrate to the Ningaloo Reef yearly between March and August to feed on the plankton that blooms near the surface. If you go on a whale shark tour during this season, you’re guaranteed to see these fantastic creatures.

Secondly, the tours are arranged in small groups, meaning your experience will be intimate and tailored to your needs. Each group is accompanied by knowledgeable tour guides happy to share their expertise and answer any questions about the reef and marine life there. On top of that, many tours include a professional photographer to capture the special moment you encounter a whale shark.

Thirdly, you don’t need to be an experienced swimmer to participate in a whale shark tour. The water around Exmouth is calm and shallow, and all guests are provided with snorkelling gear to help them float comfortably and get a good view of the surrounding marine life.

Finally, going on a whale shark tour is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember. Seeing these magnificent creatures swimming gracefully beneath you is genuinely awe-inspiring, and many visitors have said it’s a moment they’ll cherish forever.

So if you want to add a unique and unforgettable experience to your trip to Exmouth, book a whale shark tour and prepare for the time of your life.

The Best Time to Visit Exmouth for a Whale Shark Experience

whale shark tour exmouth

Exmouth, located on the western coast of Australia, is a fantastic destination for nature and marine life enthusiasts. One of the main reasons for this is the opportunity to swim and interact with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, in their natural habitat.

If you’re planning a trip to Exmouth for a whale shark experience, knowing the best time to go is essential. The whale shark season in Exmouth runs from March to August, during which these gentle giants migrate annually to the Ningaloo Reef. The peak season for whale shark encounters is between April and July, when the waters around the reef are warmer, and plankton concentrations are at their highest.

If you want to maximise your chances of encountering whale sharks during your trip, it’s recommended that you plan your visit between May and July. During this time, hundreds of whale sharks can be found feeding on the surface among the Ningaloo coral gardens, offering visitors the chance to snorkel up close with these magnificent creatures.

The best time for whale-shark encounters is generally early morning when the water is calm and clear. The late afternoon can also be a great time to spot whale sharks but bear in mind that weather conditions can be more unpredictable. It’s worth noting that weather conditions can also affect the quality of your experience, especially if you’re hoping to capture some stunning marine life photographs or videos.

In conclusion, the best time to visit Exmouth for a memorable whale shark experience is between May and July, when you’ll have the best chance of encountering these magnificent creatures up close and personal. Combine this with the calm and clear waters of the early mornings for the most enjoyable experience, and make sure you capture your once-in-a-lifetime experience with the help of a professional photographer.

How Much Does an Exmouth Whale Shark Tour Cost?

whale shark tours

If you plan to experience the thrill and wonder of swimming with whale sharks, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost. Whale shark tours in Exmouth can range from relatively budget-friendly to expensive, depending on your preferences and budget.

The cost of a whale shark tour in Exmouth typically depends on the type of tour you choose. A range of options is available, from half-day excursions to full-day and private boat charters for those who want a more exclusive experience. Prices also vary depending on the level of service provided, such as hiring a professional photographer or having access to additional snorkelling gear.

On average, a standard whale shark tour in Exmouth costs around $400-$500 per person. This typically includes a guided tour, snorkelling gear, morning and afternoon tea, lunch, and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks and other marine life.

If you want a more luxurious experience, you may opt for a private charter boat tour. This tour lets you enjoy a more personalised experience with your crew, snorkelling gear, and catering. These tours can start from around $1,800 and go up to $5,000 or more, depending on the level of luxury and customisation that you desire.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the cost of a tour can also vary depending on the time of year you choose to visit. The peak season for whale shark tours is between April and July, which tends to be more expensive due to high demand.

Things to Consider Before Booking a Tour

best whale shark tour exmouth

Exmouth, on the Western Australian coast, is one of the most popular destinations for whale shark tours. Every year, hundreds of whale sharks gather in the pristine waters of Ningaloo Reef, creating a unique opportunity for tourists to swim with these magnificent creatures.

But before you book your tour, consider a few things to ensure you have the best possible experience.

Firstly, timing is everything. However, whale sharks can be seen in Ningaloo Reef from March to August; the best time to visit is between April and July, the peak season for whale shark tours. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider booking your tour in March or August.

Secondly, choose a reputable tour operator. Look for tour companies with knowledgeable tour guides, experienced crews, and positive reviews. A good tour operator should also provide snorkelling gear and ensure all safety measures are in place.

Thirdly, consider the type of tour that suits you best. Think about how much time you want to spend on the water, what activities you want to do, and what level of service you require. Different tour packages, from half-day excursions to full-day and private boat charters, are available.

Fourthly, be aware of the extra costs. For an extra fee, some tour operators offer additional services, such as hiring a professional photographer or access to more snorkelling gear. Ensure you know what’s included in your package and what you must pay separately.

Finally, be prepared for the experience. Swimming with whale sharks is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it can be daunting for some people. Ensure you’re comfortable swimming in open water and wearing snorkelling gear. Also, consider taking motion sickness medication if you’re prone to seasickness.

In conclusion, planning and researching can help you make the most of your whale shark tour in Exmouth. Considering these factors before booking your trip, you can ensure an unforgettable experience with these gentle ocean giants.

What Kind of Boat Will You Be On For the Tour?

ningaloo reef whale shark tours

One of the most exciting aspects of going on a Whale Shark Tour in Exmouth is getting to experience the beautiful Ningaloo Reef up close. And what better way to do it than from the comfort of a charter boat? But what kind of boat will you be on for the tour?

Most Whale Shark Tour operators in Exmouth use purpose-built vessels with specific features designed to enhance your experience. These boats come in different sizes, ranging from smaller, more intimate ones to larger ships for bigger groups. But no matter the size, all boats have safety features to ensure your well-being.

Many of these boats have a spacious deck area where you can relax, breathe in the fresh sea air and soak up the spectacular view. You’ll have ample space to move around and enjoy the scenery. Some boats also offer shaded areas for those who prefer to avoid direct sunlight.

Another essential feature of these boats is an onboard restroom, ensuring guests’ comfort during the tour. Some of them even offer freshwater showers to help you freshen up after a swim.

Importantly, these boats are skippered by experienced and knowledgeable crew members who will help you make the most of your tour. They will offer insights into the Ningaloo Reef and its inhabitants and provide expert guidance throughout your Whale Shark swim.

In addition to whale sharks, the Ningaloo Reef offers abundant marine life, making the boat ride to the different sites part of the fun. You’ll likely spot turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales if you’re lucky!

Are Professional Photographers Available During Tours?

whale shark tours ningaloo reef

If you plan to go on a Whale Shark Tour in Exmouth, you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Swimming with the gentle giants of the sea is a moment you’ll never forget. But what if you want to capture that moment on camera? Are professional photographers available during tours?

The good news is that many Whale Shark Tour operators in Exmouth offer the services of a professional photographer. These photographers are experienced in capturing the perfect shots of the whale sharks, and you interact with them.

Hiring a professional photographer is an excellent option for those who want to ensure they have high-quality photos of their experience. The photographer can take underwater and above-water shots using professional-grade camera equipment to capture every detail.

Some Whale Shark Tour operators offer the services of a professional photographer at an additional cost. This cost can vary depending on the length of the tour and the number of people on board. However, paying for the memories you’ll take home is a small price.

If you choose not to hire a professional photographer, you can still take photos using a waterproof camera or a GoPro. However, it’s important to remember that taking pictures can be distracting and may take away from the overall experience.

Is Food Provided During the Tour?

One of the most exciting things about taking a whale shark tour is the opportunity to experience the beauty of these gentle giants in their natural habitat. However, while enjoying the awe-inspiring sights, you might start feeling hungry. The good news is that many whale shark tour operators provide food and refreshments on their tours.

Most tours offer guests a light breakfast before setting off on the water. This might include cereal, muffins, fruit, and yogurt. It’s important to note that the exact breakfast provided will often depend on the tour operator.

During the tour, you’ll likely work up an appetite from all the swimming and excitement. That’s why most tours provide morning and afternoon tea, which might include snacks such as sandwiches, fruit, and biscuits. These light refreshments are included in the cost of the tour, so you won’t need to bring your food.

If you have any dietary requirements or allergies, it’s essential to inform the tour operator in advance. They’ll often be able to provide alternatives or make special arrangements to ensure you enjoy the tour to the fullest.

You might feel tired and hungry at the end of the tour. That’s why some tour operators provide guests with a post-tour lunch. This can be a great way to refuel after a morning of swimming and snorkelling.

You must check with your tour operator to see what food and refreshments are included in your tour. While some operators provide several meals and snacks, others may only offer a light breakfast. It’s always a good idea to bring your snacks and drinks, just in case.