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Ningaloo Reef is one of the few easily accessible places on our planet, where these gentle spotted giants regularly appear in large numbers close to shore at predictable times of the year. Each year the whale sharks are drawn to Ningaloo Reef to feed, following the mass coral spawn which occurs in March and April. This fish, the largest of the shark family and the largest fish in the world, is a harmless plankton eater. Reported to reach 18 metres (60ft) but averages 12 metres (40ft) in length, the whale shark is easily identified by its huge size, wide-mouth and distinctive pattern of white spots. Thought to mainly inhabit temperate and tropical seas, it is rarely seen in shallow coastal waters, but is a daily visitor to the Ningaloo Reef. The filter feeding whale sharks stay in the reef area to feed on minute organisms from April to July, swimming close to the surface, giving you the opportunity to experience a unique wildlife interaction.
All the tours follow the same general structure. They begin with a snorkel on the reef first. This is to make sure that everyone can swim and that everyone is comfortable with their equipment. While you are in the water the spotter planes will head up to try and locate your Whaleshark and hopefully by the time you are finished on your reef snorkel and morning tea a Whaleshark has been spotted and you can begin your journey toward its location.
Only ten people can be snorkeling with the Whaleshark at any given time. A ‘ Whaleshark spotter’ will be in the water with you at all times. You are required to snorkel 3 metres away from the Whaleshark body and 4 metres away from their tail. Please be aware that your Whaleshark swim will be in the open ocean outside the reef, therefore a confident swimming ability is recommended. Companies generally have a videographer onboard, who for a fee, can provide you with a visual record of your day.
These full day charters include transfers from your accommodation, buffet lunches, refreshments and all snorkeling gear. The prices start from $360 per person. All companies do have a NO SIGHTING POLICY which means that if no Whale Sharks are sighted on your tour, you can go out on the NEXT AVAILABLE DAY FOR FREE.
We do suggest that you book your Whale Shark tours well in advance if you are coming during the peak season and that you plan your Whale Shark tour at the beginning of your holiday. This affords you the best possible chance to go out the next available day should you not see any Whale Sharks on your first tour.
We are happy to book your Whaleshark Tour – just ask at our reception. Here are a few to have a look at – Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours, Ningaloo Whaleshark N Dive, Ningaloo Blue Charters, 3 Island Whaleshark Dive, Oceanwise or Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim. So what are you waiting for? This is an experience you will never forget.
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