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Whale Shark Tours Exmouth

Discover the unbelievable majesty of whale sharks with a tour in Exmouth, Western Australia – the ultimate destination for thrill seekers and ocean lovers alike! With Ningaloo Reef near, Exmouth is the perfect destination for visitors looking to experience an unforgettable wildlife adventure. Whale shark tours provide a unique opportunity to observe these gentle giants up close in their natural habitat – something that cannot be experienced anywhere else.

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What is a Whale Shark

Whale sharks are one of the most exciting creatures found in the ocean. These majestic creatures are the largest fish species in the world, growing up to 40 feet in length and weighing over 20,000 pounds. Despite their massive size, whale sharks are gentle giants known for their peaceful nature and low-speed swimming.

A whale shark’s body is identical to other sharks, with iconic dorsal fins and sleek bodies. However, one notable feature sets them apart: their enormous, flattened head with a wide mouth that can stretch up to four feet across.

The largest fish species are commonly known as “whale” sharks, despite not being classified as whales. They are found in tropical waters around the globe, with a significant population residing in the Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia.

Whale sharks are filter feeders, meaning their diet primarily consists of plankton, krill, and small fish. Because of their large size and dietary preferences, they are often found near the ocean’s surface, where they can easily filter feed on the abundant tiny prey.

Despite their size, whale sharks are slow-moving giants, typically swimming 3-5 miles per hour. This slow movement is considered an energy conservation mechanism since their diet is concentrated near the surface.

Whale sharks are known for their calm and docile nature and are often sought out by divers and snorkelers seeking a chance to swim alongside these magnificent creatures. However, it is essential to note that whale sharks are still wild animals and should be treated respectfully and cautiously.

Background on Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef is a stunning coral reef located off the coast of Western Australia, spanning over 260 km of coastline. It is the most extensive fringing reef system in the world, meaning it sits right alongside the coastline rather than being situated further out in the ocean. This convenient location makes the reef easily accessible from various points along the coast, including Exmouth.

The reef is teeming with marine life, from colorful tropical fish species to more giant creatures such as manta rays and even whales. The vibrant coral gardens within the reef system provide critical habitat for these marine animals, making the Ningaloo Reef an important area for conservation efforts.

In recognition of the reef’s ecological significance, the Australian government established the Ningaloo Marine Park in 1987. The park encompasses over 5,000 square kilometers of marine habitat, with strict conservation efforts in place to protect the reef ecosystem. Visitors to the park can enjoy various recreational activities, including snorkeling, diving, and whale watching, all while participating in responsible tourism practices.

Beyond its natural beauty and ecological importance, the Ningaloo Reef is also steeped in aboriginal history. The area has been home to the local indigenous peoples for over 30,000 years, and they continue to maintain strong cultural ties to the land and sea. Visitors can learn about the region’s fascinating history through various cultural experiences and tours, offering a well-rounded appreciation of this spectacular location.

Overview of Exmouth

ningaloo whale shark tours

Exmouth, located in Western Australia, is a coastal town that boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and an abundance of wildlife. It is the gateway to the Ningaloo Reef, one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, making it a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the beauty of marine life.

Aside from the reef, Exmouth is also home to the Cape Range National Park, a haven for hikers and adventure seekers. The park offers scenic trails that meander through breathtaking landscapes, from rugged limestone ranges to deep canyons, and lead to hidden gorges. It is also home to diverse wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and emus.

For those interested in history, Exmouth has its fair share of stories to tell. The town was initially established as a US Navy base during WWII and has grown into a thriving community. Visiting the Exmouth Navy Pier offers a glimpse into the town’s past and role in defending the Australian coastline.

Accommodations in Exmouth cater to all types of travelers, from backpackers to luxury seekers. Visitors can choose from camping sites, budget-friendly hotels, and high-end resorts that offer breathtaking ocean views.

Exmouth offers something for everyone, from adventure seekers to animal lovers and history buffs. It’s stunning natural beauty and diverse range of experiences make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Western Australia.

What to Expect from a Whale Shark Tour in Exmouth

If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in Western Australia, a whale shark tour in Exmouth should be on your list. Exmouth is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the largest fish in the sea, the gentle and majestic whale shark. Here’s what you can expect from a whale shark tour in Exmouth:

Firstly, you’ll start your day early with a pick-up from your accommodation, where you’ll be taken to the boat that’ll take you out to the Ningaloo Marine Park. During the boat ride, you’ll be given a safety briefing and a short introduction to the area and the animals you’ll encounter.

Once you reach the designated spot, the tour company’s spotter plane will scout for whale sharks and other marine life, such as manta rays and humpback whales. The crew will prepare you with snorkeling equipment, including full wetsuits and fins. You’ll also be given a marine life briefing, where you’ll learn about the creatures you’ll encounter and their natural habitats.

Next, it’s time to get into the water. Don’t worry if you’re not a confident swimmer, as the tour companies’ experienced crew will be there to guide you and ensure your safety. Throughout the day; you’ll have multiple chances to swim with a whale shark, each encounter lasting about 20 minutes. The crews will make sure to give everyone in the tour group the opportunity to have a turn, so everyone will get multiple chances to have this fantastic experience.

Between whale shark sightings, you’ll have time to snorkel in the pristine waters of the Ningaloo Reef, where you’ll see a wide array of tropical fish and other marine creatures. The tour companies also provide morning tea, afternoon tea, and a packed lunch on board the boat, so you won’t have to worry about bringing your snacks or meals.

Tours run from April to August, Exmouth’s peak whale shark season. During this time, you can also have the opportunity to swim with humpback whales, another fantastic experience that is available for an extra cost with some tour companies.

You’ll be dropped off back at your accommodation with a lifetime of memories to cherish. Book in advance, as spots are limited, and this iconic whale shark experience is in high demand.

Exmouth offers tours to see whale sharks.

Exmouth, Western Australia, is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the largest fish in the sea – the gentle and awe-inspiring whale shark. Every year between April and July, these magnificent creatures migrate through the waters of Ningaloo Reef, offering adventurous travelers the chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With a range of tour operators offering whale shark tours, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best terms on offer to help make your decision easier.

Ningaloo Discovery

Ningaloo Discovery offers a full-day whale shark tour with a spotter plane to increase the likelihood of whale shark sightings. Their experienced crew provides all necessary snorkeling equipment, and they also offer a professional photographer to capture your memories. A bonus includes morning and afternoon tea and a buffet lunch.

Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours is a tour company.

Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours offers a full-day tour focusing on all gardens, manta rays, huck whales, in an ad, and sharks. They offer an educational briefing before departure and provide all necessary snorkeling equipment. The tour includes a delicious morning tea and lunch.

Exmouth Diving Centre

Exmouth Diving Centre offers half-day and full-day tours, emphasizing small groups and a more personalized experience. They provide all necessary snorkeling equipment and offer an informative briefing before departure. The half-day tour includes morning tea and snacks, while the full-day tour includes a buffet lunch and afternoon tea.

Three Islands Whale Shark Dive

Three Islands Whale Shark Dive offers a full-day tour with optional extras such as diving with whale sharks and humpback whale swimming. Their experienced crew provides all necessary snorkeling equipment and offers an informative briefing before departure. The tour includes morning tea, lunch, snacks, and a souvenir whale shark swimmer certificate.

When choosing a whale shark tour in Exmouth, research and select a reputable tour operator with an experienced crew. It’s important to remember that whale shark tours are a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can be relatively expensive. Still, the memories and the awe-inspiring marine life you’ll experience are worth every penny. With a range of tour options available, there’s something for everyone – from the more adventurous to those looking for a more personalized, low-key experience. So why not go to Ningaloo Reef this whale shark season and have an unforgettable adventure with these majestic creatures?

Planning Your Trip for the Best Experience Possible

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If done right, planning a trip to experience the majesty of the whale shark tours in Exmouth can be an exciting and unforgettable experience. Here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy your trip thoroughly.

First, consider the time of year. Whale shark season in Exmouth is from March to August, so plan your trip to increase the likelihood of seeing one of these gentle giants.

Next, choose your tour operator carefully. Look for experienced and professional crews with knowledgeable guides and quality equipment. Consider the reputation of the operator and read reviews from past customers.

When choosing your tour, consider your personal preferences and comfort level. Some terms provide a spotter plane to increase the chances of seeing a whale shark, while others focus on exploring coral gardens and swimming with manta rays. Choose the tour that aligns with your interests and swimming ability.

Remember to bring suitable clothing and sunscreen to protect you from the sun and to keep you warm in the water. Also, carry a waterproof camera to capture all the fantastic memories.

Finally, enjoy the experience. Take in the beauty of the Ningaloo Reef and its tropical fish and other marine life. Listen to the informative whale shark briefing and use the opportunity to learn more about these fantastic creatures.

Whale shark tours in Exmouth are a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll always remember. With some research and planning, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable trip that will stay with you forever.

When Is the Best Time to Visit?

If you’re planning to go on a whale shark tour in Exmouth, one of the questions you may ask is: when is the best time to visit? The answer to this question largely depends on the whale shark season in Exmouth.

Get ready to witness one of nature’s greatest spectacles! Exmouth is the place for unforgettable whale shark sightings from March to August. During this period, the waters of the Ningaloo Reef attract these gentle giants, allowing visitors to swim and interact with them. May to July is generally considered the peak of the whale shark season, with most sharks being spotted during this time.

However, it’s worth noting that while the whale shark season runs from March to August, the exact timing of the season can vary from year to year. Factors such as water temperature and food availability can affect the presence and behavior of whale sharks. That being said, visiting during the peak season gives you the best chance of seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Another factor to consider when planning your trip is the weather. While the whale shark season falls in the Australian winter, the weather in Exmouth remains relatively warm, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. However, weather patterns can affect visibility and water conditions, so it’s worth checking weather forecasts before you book your tour.

What Should You Bring?

When planning your whale shark tour in Exmouth, it’s essential to make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some things you should consider bringing:

  1. Swimwear: This may seem obvious, but bringing appropriate swimwear for your tour is essential. Ensure your swimwear fits well and is comfortable, as you may be in the water for several hours.
  2. Sun protection: The Australian sun can be harsh, even in winter. Bring sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved shirt for protection.
  3. Snorkeling gear: While many tour operators provide snorkeling gear as part of the tour, bringing your is an excellent idea if you have specific preferences or concerns about hygiene.
  4. Camera: You’ll want to capture memories of your once-in-a-lifetime experience swimming with whale sharks and other marine life. Bring a waterproof camera or case to ensure you can catch the moment without damaging your equipment.
  5. Water and snacks: Most tours provide morning or afternoon tea, but bringing one water bottle and some snacks is always a good idea if you are energized throughout the day.
  6. Motion sickness medication: If you’re prone to motion sickness, bringing medicine’s a good idea. The waters around Exmouth can be choppy, so it’s better to be prepared.

Who Can Participate?

whale shark tour exmouth

If you’re considering a whale shark tour in Exmouth, one of the first questions you might have is whether or not you can participate. Fortunately, these tours are open to a wide range of people, with few restrictions.

First and foremost, you must be a confident swimmer. While you don’t have to be a competitive athlete, you do need to be comfortable and capable in the water. This is because you’ll be snorkeling alongside some of the world’s most enormous creatures in the open ocean.

In addition, participants must be at least ten years old. This age limit is in place for safety reasons, as younger children may be unable to handle the tour’s physical demands or understand and follow safety instructions.

Additional restrictions may be based on individual tour operators and their specific policies. For example, some operators may require participants to be in good physical health or have no pre-existing medical conditions that could affect the activities on tour could always aggravate an excellent idea to check with your chosen tour operator to confirm any restrictions or requirements and ensure that the time is a good fit for your individual needs.

The Actual Whale Shark Tour Experience

Regarding once-in-a-lifetime experiences, swimming alongside a whale shark is high on the list. Exmouth, Western Australia, is one of the few places where you can embark on a whale shark tour and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Before the tour begins, participants will receive an informative briefing on the behavior and biology of whale sharks. This is a crucial aspect of the time, as it helps ensure that all participants sincerely appreciate fantastic creatures and understand how to interact with them safely.

Once the briefing is over, the tour will head out to Ningaloo Reef, a tine marine reserve home to life. As you reach the spotter plane, keep your eyes peeled for manta rays, humpback whales, tropical fish, and coral gardens.

The spotter plane plays a crucial role in the tour, allowing the tour operators to locate the whale sharks from the air and guide the boat to their vicinity. This helps ensure participants have the best chance of encountering these fantastic creatures.

When a whale shark is spotted, the boat is maneuvered into position, and participants are given the signal to enter the water. The experience of swimming alongside a whale shark is genuinely awe-inspiring – these creatures can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh as much as 20 tons. Despite their size, they are peaceful filter feeders that do not threaten humans.

Throughout the tour, participants are accompanied by an experienced crew who ensure their safety and comfort. Snorkeling gear and equipment are provided, and professional photographers are on hand to capture the unforgettable moment.

After the morning swim with the whale sharks, the tour heads back to shore, where participants can enjoy a delicious morning tea and reflect on their fantastic experience. For those who want to continue their marine adventures, many tour operators offer afternoon excursions to see humpback whales and other marine life.

Overall, a whale shark tour in Exmouth is a pet activity one those that love nature, adventure, and excitement. While it’s essential to be a confident swimmer, the experience of swimming alongside the world’s largest fish is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that should be noticed.

Spotting the Sharks from a Spotter Plane or Boat

When it comes to whale shark tours in Exmouth, spotting the majestic creatures can be a challenging task. These massive creatures can be elusive and difficult to find in the vast expanse of the ocean. One way that tour operators increase their chances of seeing whale sharks is to use a spotter plane or boat.

A spotter plane is a small aircraft that flies over the ocean, scanning the water for signs of whale shark activity. This includes looking for the shadows of the whale sharks from above and observing their surface behavior, such as feeding or swimming. Once the pilot spots a whale shark, they radio the location back to the boat, allowing the tour operator to head directly to the shark’s site.

A boat is another effective tool for spotting whale sharks. Tour operators rely on experienced crew members who know the habits and movements of the whale sharks to locate them. Crews may even use binoculars to search for whale sharks near the water’s surface. Once a whale shark is spotted, the boat is carefully maneuvered into position to ensure safe and respectful whale-shark interactions.

Both methods of spotting whale sharks have their advantages, and many tour operators use a combination of both to increase their chances of finding these amazing creatures. Spotting the whale sharks from a spotter plane or boat is just the beginning of the adventure; swimmers must enter the water carefully to ensure the safety and well-being of the whale sharks and themselves.

Morning Tea and Snorkeling with the Sharks

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Imagine sipping on a hot cup of tea while surrounded by the pristine waters of Exmouth, Western Australia. As you bask in the early morning sunshine, you are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience: snorkeling with the gentle giants of the sea, the whale sharks.

Before you jump into the water with these majestic creatures, you’ll need to fuel up with a delicious morning tea. Your tour operator will provide a spread of snacks and drinks to ensure you have enough energy to enjoy the experience and sip on your tea fully; you’ll receive a comprehensive briefing about what to expect, how to behave in the water, and the importance of respecting the natural habitat of the whale sharks.

Equipped with snorkel gear and your newfound knowledge, you’ll spend the morning exploring the crystal-clear waters of Ningaloo Reef, one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. The reef is home to an astounding variety of marine life, including tropical fish, manta rays, and iconic whale sharks.

You’ll feel excitement, awe, and respect as you approach a whale shark. These incredible creatures can grow up to 40 feet long and are the largest fish in the sea. Despite their size, they are gentle and peaceful, gliding through the water with elegance and grace.

Your professional photographer will capture the moment as you swim alongside the whale shark, and you’ll receive a whale shark swimmer certificate to commemorate this unforgettable experience.

After a morning of snorkeling with the sharks, you’ll return to the boat for a well-deserved afternoon tea. You’ll have a chance to review the incredible photos captured during the day and exchange stories with fellow travelers.

Afternoon Tea and More Snorkeling With Beautiful Creatures

After fueling up with a delicious morning tea, you’ll be treated to another set of incredible snorkeling experiences in the afternoon. As you dive back into the crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounding Ningaloo Reef, you’ll be surrounded by a vast array of marine life, including tropical fish, manta rays, and many more beautiful creatures.

As you explore the pristine waters, you may spot some species I’ve never seen, from colorful coral gardens to playful humpback whales; there is a wide range of incredible Marine life in the area. The experienced crew members leading your tour will help you identify the different types of fish and other creatures, so you can fully appreciate the diversity of the Ningaloo Marine Park.

And, of course, the highlight of the day will be swimming alongside the iconic Whale shark. These gentle giants are one of the most majestic creatures in the world, and seeing them up close and personal is an experience of a lifetime. Despite their size, these creatures are peaceful and move gracefully through the water. Your professional photographer will be there to capture the moment and provide you with a whale shark swimmer certificate so that you can remember this unforgettable day forever.

As the day winds down, you’ll return to the boat for a well-deserved afternoon tea. You’ll be able to relax, enjoy some refreshments, and review the incredible photos captured throughout your journey. This is an excellent time to exchange stories with your fellow travelers, relive the highlights of your adventure, and reflect on the fantastic experience you’ve had so far.

Online Bookings


The ideal time for whale shark tours in Exmouth is during the whale shark season, which typically runs from March to August. The peak months, offering the highest likelihood of sightings, are May to July.
Essential items include swimwear, sun protection (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses), snorkelling gear (if prefered over using provided gear), a waterproof camera, water and snacks, and motion sickness medication if susceptible.
Whale shark tours are open to confident swimmers aged 10 and above. Individual tour operators may have additional requirements regarding physical health or swimming ability, so it’s advisable to check with them before booking.
A typical tour includes a safety and marine life briefing, a boat trip to Ningaloo Reef, snorkelling with whale sharks guided by a spotter plane, and opportunities to see other marine life. Tours often provide morning and afternoon tea, snorkelling equipment, and professional photography services.

Whale sharks are primarily spotted using spotter planes, which scout from above and direct the boat to their location. Boats may also have experienced crew members who use their knowledge and binoculars to locate whale sharks near the surface.

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