Travel Life

Whale Shark Tours Exmouth

Exmouth, located on the North West coast of Australia, is one of the premier locations to experience whale shark tours. Whale sharks are gentle giants of the sea and a unique sight. Exmouth offers a range of whale shark tours for visitors worldwide, ranging from full-day trips to extended overnight excursions. Depending on the season, visitors are likely to see an abundance of these majestic creatures in their natural environment.

What is Whale Shark Trip

exmouth whale shark tours

Whale shark tours Exmouth is an incredible opportunity to witness and swim with one of the world’s most magnificent creatures, the whale shark. Situated in the Ningaloo Marine Park, Whale Shark Tours Exmouth offers visitors a unique experience to marvel at the beauty of marine life, including tropical fish, manta rays, and humpback whales, in their natural habitat.

At Ningaloo whale shark tours, you can embark on a full-day tour that includes a morning snorkel in the coral garden, a spotter plane ride to locate the magnificent whale sharks, and a chance to swim and snorkel with these majestic creatures. The tours are led by an experienced crew who provide informative whale shark briefing sessions and assist confident swimmers in diving with the whale sharks.

On board the tour, you will receive snorkeling gear and morning and afternoon tea. If you wish to capture memories of this lifetime experience, you can opt for a professional photographer at an additional cost. You will also receive a whale shark swimmer certificate as a souvenir of your experience.

Whale shark tour Exmouth operates during the whale shark season, which runs from March to August. Its location in the Ningaloo Marine Park provides pristine waters for visitors to explore its natural habitat and incredible creatures.

A Whale Shark Tour Exmouth is worth considering if you’re an ocean lover or want to experience something unusual. Join the iconic Whale shark tours and be amazed by the biggest fish in the ocean while experiencing the beauty of Western Australia’s coastal town of Exmouth.

Overview of Exmouth & Ningaloo Reef

whale shark tours exmouth

Exmouth is a coastal town located in the northwest region of Western Australia. It is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, peaceful turquoise waters, and white sandy beaches. However, what indeed draws people to this area is the Ningaloo Reef.

The Ningaloo Reef is one of the most extensive fringing coral reefs in the world, stretching over 260 kilometers along the coast of Western Australia. It is home to many marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, humpback whales, tropical fish, and much more.

One of the best ways to experience the Ningaloo Reef is through a whale shark tour. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, known to gather in the Ningaloo Reef from March through August. During this time, visitors can tour with experienced guides who will take them to the reef and help them swim with the whale sharks.

There are also tours available to see humpback whales, which migrate through the Ningaloo Reef from August through October, and manta rays, which can be seen year-round.

Aside from the marine life, visitors can also explore the stunning natural landscapes Exmouth offers. The Cape Range National Park is just a short drive from Exmouth and offers dramatic gorges and canyons, scenic lookouts, and walking trails with breathtaking views.

Preparing for your Tour

ningaloo whale shark tours

Preparing for your whale shark tour in Exmouth can be an exciting experience, but ensuring you’re adequately prepared for your adventure is essential. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your once-in-a-lifetime experience:

Book your tour in advance: It’s essential to book your whale shark tour in advance, especially during peak season when spots can fill up quickly. This will also give you ample time to plan other aspects of your trip.

Check the weather: The weather in Exmouth can often be unpredictable, so it’s essential to check the forecast a few days before your tour. Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and ocean conditions.

Bring the right equipment: Your tour operator will most likely provide snorkeling gear, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own if you have it. This includes a wetsuit or rash guard, swim fins, sunscreen, a hat, and a towel.

Follow the briefing: Before heading to the reef, your tour operator will provide an informative briefing on how to safely observe and swim with whale sharks. It’s essential to pay attention and follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of both you and the marine life.

Be a confident swimmer: While you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to go on a whale shark tour, it’s essential to be a confident swimmer. This will allow you to enjoy the experience and swim comfortably with majestic creatures.

Be respectful of marine life: It’s important to remember that you are a visitor to the whale sharks’ natural habitat. It’s crucial to be respectful and not touch or harass the animals. Follow the lead of the experienced crew and enjoy observing these amazing creatures from a distance.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are fully prepared and ready to have an unforgettable experience on your whale shark tour in Exmouth.

Safety Precautions

whale shark tour

Regarding Ningaloo Reef whale shark tours, safety is a top priority. While swimming with these majestic creatures can be an exhilarating experience, it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

First and foremost, it’s essential to listen carefully to the safety briefing given by the tour operator. This briefing will cover important information about the whale sharks and any potential dangers or risks associated with swimming in the area.

It’s also important to be aware of your physical limitations. Swimming with whale sharks can be physically demanding, especially if you’re not an experienced swimmer. Ensure you’re comfortable in the water and confident in your swimming abilities before embarking on a tour.

Another essential safety precaution is to stay in a group and follow the direction of your tour guide. Your guide will be familiar with the area and know the safest places to swim with the whale sharks. They’ll also be able to provide tips on approaching the creatures without disturbing them.

It’s also essential to wear appropriate safety gear, including a life jacket and any necessary snorkeling or diving equipment. If you need to become a confident swimmer, a flotation device can help you stay afloat while observing the whale sharks from a safe distance.

Finally, follow all rules and guidelines set forth by the tour operator. These may include restrictions on touching or interacting with the whale sharks and guidelines on how to dispose of waste and protect the local marine environment.

Things to Consider Before Booking a Tour

The first thing to consider is the reputation and experience of the tour operator. Look for reviews and recommendations from other travelers, and make sure the company has a track record of providing safe, ethical, and professional tours. Ideally, the company should have experienced guides, well-maintained boats and equipment, and a commitment to environmental conservation.

It’s also important to consider the logistics of the tour. Some tours may include transportation, while others require you to provide your vehicle to the departure point. Ensure you know what’s included in the tour package and what additional costs you may need to budget.

Consider the duration of the tour as well. While some terms may offer shorter half-day options, others may be full-day tours that require a significant time commitment. Ensure you’re comfortable with the length of the period and the itinerary before booking.

Another important consideration is the seasonality of whale shark sightings. While Exmouth has a relatively long whale shark season (typically from March to August), sightings can still be unpredictable. Some tour operators may offer a “no sighting, no fee” policy, while others may not. Ensure you understand the tour operator’s policy on whale shark sightings before booking.

Consider what other marine life you may encounter on the tour. Exmouth’s Ningaloo Reef is home to many marine species, including manta rays, humpback whales, and tropical fish. Some may also offer opportunities to swim with these creatures, while others may focus exclusively on whale sharks. Consider what marine life you’re most interested in seeing and choose a tour that meets your preferences.

During the Tour

whale shark tour exmouth

During the tour, you’ll witness some of the most amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Whale sharks are the tour’s stars, but you may also encounter manta rays, humpback whales, and other tropical fish.

As you sail out to the Ningaloo Reef, watch for spotter planes that help guide the boats to whale shark sightings. Once a whale shark is spotted, the ship will position itself ahead of the shark, and you’ll be given a thorough briefing on safety and etiquette before entering the water.

Swimming with whale sharks is a truly exhilarating experience. These majestic creatures can grow up to 40 feet in length and are the biggest fish in the sea. You’ll be left in awe of their size and grace as you swim alongside them. You may even receive a whale shark swimmer certificate as a souvenir of your incredible experience.

After swimming with whale sharks, you may have the opportunity to snorkel at the coral garden, a colorful and vibrant underwater world teeming with tropical fish. Watch for manta rays and humpback whales, often appearing in these waters.

During the tour, you’ll be well cared for by an experienced crew that provides snorkeling equipment, morning tea, and afternoon tea. Some terms may even include a professional photographer who captures your underwater moments.

Spotter Plane Ride

If you’re looking for a unique and thrilling experience during your whale shark tours Ningaloo Reef, then consider taking a spotter plane ride. Spotter planes are small, single-engine planes that fly over the Ningaloo Reef, searching for whale sharks and other marine life from above.

During the flight, you’ll be guided by an experienced pilot who knows where to look for the giant seas and astonishing creatures. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the coral reefs, turquoise waters and maybe even spot a humpback whale or two.

But the real highlight of the spotter plane ride is witnessing a whale shark from the air. Imagine looking down from the plane’s window and seeing a giant, spotted, 40-foot-long whale shark swimming gracefully in the ocean below. It’s a breathtaking and unforgettable sight you’ll likely remember forever.

Once the spotter plane locates a whale shark, the crew signals the whale shark tour boats via radio to let them know where to find the shark. This helps the ships quickly reach the spot, maximizing your chances of a successful and magical swim alongside the majestic creatures.

Spotter plane rides are usually an optional add-on to whale shark tours and may come at an extra cost. But the experience is worth it, especially if you’re a nature lover and want to witness the beauty and magnificence of marine life from a new perspective.

Snorkeling with Whale Sharks or Manta Rays

whale shark tours

Snorkeling with Whale Sharks or Manta Rays is an unforgettable experience no nature lover should miss. Exmouth, WA, is one of the best places in the world to get close to these fantastic creatures, and many whale shark tours and manta ray tours are available that cater to beginners and experienced snorkelers.

These tours take you to the Ningaloo Marine Park, a pristine area of coral reefs, clear waters, and abundant marine life. Whale sharks are the main attraction, visible from March to August each year. These gentle giants can reach up to 40 feet long, making them the largest fish in the sea. Swimming with them is safe and easy, as they are filter feeders without interest in humans. The experienced crew on the tours will provide you with all the necessary snorkeling equipment and teach you how to snorkel if you’re a beginner. They’ll also give you a comprehensive whale shark briefing, so you’ll know what to expect and how to behave around these fantastic creatures.

Manta rays are another highlight of the Ningaloo Reef. These graceful creatures can grow up to 23 feet wide and are famous for their beautiful acrobatic displays. They are visible all year round and can be seen during manta ray tours, including snorkeling and reef exploration. You’ll get to see coral gardens and tropical fish, and if you’re lucky, you might also spot some humpback whales, dolphins, or turtles.

The whale shark and manta ray tours usually last a full day, including morning and afternoon tea, lunch, and a professional photographer who will capture all your adventures. Some times also offer a whale shark swimmer certificate and fish identification cards.

Professional Photography & Videography Options

best whale shark tour exmouth

Professional photography and videography options are available from many tour companies if you want to capture your whale shark tour experience. These options allow you to relive your adventure and share it with friends and family for years.

Professional photographers and videographers will accompany you on your tour, capturing every moment of your whale shark encounter. They will provide high-quality photos and videos showcasing these majestic creatures’ beauty. They’ll also take pictures and videos of other marine life you might encounter during your tour, such as manta rays, dolphins, and turtles.

Many tour companies offer this service at an additional cost, which can be worth it for the memories and stunning visuals you’ll get to keep. Additionally, having a professional photographer or videographer on board means you can fully immerse yourself in the experience without worrying about capturing the perfect shot.

These photos and videos will also remind us of the importance of protecting our oceans and marine life. By experiencing their beauty firsthand and sharing it with others, we can inspire more people to take action to preserve these precious ecosystems.

Morning Tea and Afternoon Tea Included in Package

ningaloo reef whale shark tours

When it comes to whale shark tours in Exmouth, one of the things that can make your experience even more enjoyable is having some downtime to relax and recharge. That’s where morning tea and afternoon tea come in. Many tour companies include these breaks in their packages, so you can enjoy refreshments while enjoying the stunning scenery.

During morning tea, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a light snack and some coffee or tea while the boat is moving to the following location. This is the perfect time to socialize with fellow travelers and share your excitement about the upcoming whale shark encounter. You can also use the time to review any safety information or ask your guide any questions about these fantastic creatures.

Afternoon tea is also an excellent opportunity to take a break from the day’s activities and enjoy snacks and beverages. Like morning tea, this break allows you to relax and prepare for the next move, whether snorkeling with manta rays or watching humpback whales. It’s a chance to fuel up, hydrate, and take time to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of the Ningaloo Reef.

While morning and afternoon tea are included in many packages, some tour companies may charge an additional fee. It’s always a good idea to check the details of your chosen tour beforehand so you know what to expect.

What to Bring

When going on a whale shark tour in Exmouth, there are a few essential items you should bring with you to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some things to consider packing:

  1. Swimwear: You’ll need swimwear for your whale shark tour. A comfortable swimsuit or wetsuit and a rash guard are recommended to protect your skin from the sun and potential jellyfish stings.
  2. Snorkeling gear: While most tour operators will provide snorkeling gear, it’s always a good idea to bring your own if you have it. This can include a snorkel, mask, and fins. Ensuring your gear fits well and is comfortable for an extended period is essential.
  3. Sun protection: Exmouth can get quite hot, so protecting yourself from the sun’s rays is essential. Bring sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  4. Water and snacks: You’ll be on the water for several hours, so staying hydrated and nourished is essential. Bring plenty of water and snacks, such as fruit, nuts, or energy bars, to energize you throughout the day.
  5. Camera: You’ll want to capture the incredible swimming experience with whale sharks. Bring a waterproof camera or GoPro to capture and share the memories with friends and family.

By packing these essential items, you’ll ensure you’re comfortable, prepared, and able to fully enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming with whale sharks in their natural habitat.

Observing Humpback Whales in their Natural Habitat

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, consider observing humpback whales in their natural habitat on a whale-watching tour. These majestic creatures are a sight to behold, with their massive size and acrobatic movements.

One of the best places to witness humpback whales is in Exmouth, Western Australia, where they migrate to breed and give birth in warmer waters. From June to November, you can join a tour led by experienced crew members who know where to find the whales and ensure a safe and respectful encounter.

The tours typically take place on spacious and comfortable boats equipped with snorkeling equipment so that you can view the whales from above or below the water’s surface. You may also spot other marine mammals, such as dolphins and sea turtles, as they swim alongside the whales.

Safety is paramount on these tours, so you’ll receive a briefing on the boat and how to interact with the whales without disrupting their behavior. It’s essential to give the whales enough space, maintain a quiet and calm demeanor, and avoid touching them.

Apart from the excitement of seeing these magnificent creatures up close, you’ll also learn about their behavior and biology from knowledgeable guides. Humpback whales are known for their elaborate songs, social bonding, and unusual migration patterns, spanning the polar regions to tropical waters.

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While you don’t need to be an expert swimmer, it’s essential to be comfortable in the water. The tours involve snorkelling, and being a confident swimmer will enhance your experience. Tour operators often provide safety briefings and equipment to ensure your comfort and safety.
Yes, safety is paramount. Use the snorkelling equipment that has been provided, pay close attention to the tour operator’s safety briefing, and remain near your guide. Also, it’s crucial to respect the wildlife by not touching or disturbing the whale sharks.
Yes, you can bring your camera, preferably a waterproof one like a GoPro, to capture the experience. Some tour operators also offer professional photography and videography services for an additional fee.

The whale shark season in Exmouth typically runs from March to August. This is the best time to visit if you want to maximise your chances of seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Essential items include swimwear, sun protection (such as sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses), water, snacks, and if you have them, your snorkelling gear for comfort. Also, consider seasickness medication if you are prone to motion sickness.