You are backpacking and you want to swim whith whale shark in Australia, but you don’t really when and where to go ? Where to sleep, which tour to take…? All you need to know about whale sharks in Australia is here!
If you travel Australia as a backpacker, swimming with whale shark should be on the top of your list. The best place to see them is in Exmouth – Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia state. This place is a little paradise, clear blue water, amazing beaches, great walk in the Cape Range National Park. But, the best part is still to come!
First of all, you need to know that Exmouth is the last city before the National Park, so get everything you need there (food, water, gas, …). In the Park there is no water, no groceries stores, nothing. Just your camping spot, toilets, the nature and you. Also you have to book your whale shark tour directly in Exmouth.
The day of the tour : your day will start early morning (around 8am) by embarking on the boat of Whale Shark Dive. Check on the side of the boat, some dolphins will probably join your ride to the deep sea. During that time, the instructor will start explaining the day (safety, snorkeling, diving and what you will see). For our first stop, I had the chance to see several turtles, beautiful fishes but the most impressive was swimming 20 meters away from a humpback whale and her baby. For our second stop, we waited for the whale shark to come to the area, a flight spotted two of them swimming close to us. We jumped in the water and…
When I saw the whale shark coming closer, I felt like floating somewhere into the space. My heart stopped beating, my body stopped moving, my eyes were the only thing moving. The pictures and video below speak for themselves. I promise, you will never forget this experience!
When is the best time ? Whale sharks arrive around mid March (usually after the full moon) and stay in the area until July/August. In September, you can still have a chance but you won’t be guaranteed to see them. If you want to avoid the crowd, don’t go there in April and July because it is holiday time in Australia (tours are fully booked for weeks).
Where to stay ? Here again it all depends about the time of the year. There is not much accommodations around Exmouth. My friends and I staid in the National Park but we were lucky as only few spots were available. I highly recommend you to visit the Park and Wildlife Services Website to check and book your spot in advance to avoid surprises!
What tour should I take ? The tour I took was definitely one of the best Tour I’ve ever taken in Australia. Everything was well organized, we were only 15 people on board and the team was super kind and friendly. The food was perfect and our instructors really helped us to find the turtles, the manta rays… Actually, it was thanks to them that I realized the presence of the humpback whale, 20 meters away from me. For more informations : www.whalesharkdive.com
Important notice: this is an eco tour, you must never touch the reef, turtles, stay at a reasonable distance from dolphins, whales and whale sharks in order to protect the nature. Never through anything in the sea (food or trash). Thanks for protecting the environment.