What do you think of swimming next to the greatest shark alive? Sounds scary? Don’t worry, these sharks are plankton eaters and have no teeth. On several places in the world like Phillipines, Mexico and Australia there is the thrilling opportunity to swim/snorkel with whalesharks. I visited the whalesharks in Exmouth, Western Australia and would do this every day if I had the chance (if you have a job offer let me know haha)
Whale shark tours around Exmouth operate from half March to half September each year. The chance of actually seeing end swimming with whalesharks is quite big so you will not be disappointed.
Where do you book and which tourcompany?
As there are many different companies that offer these tours, there are a few things you should consider before booking:
– Eco friendly
– Small groups
– What’s included / value for money
These trips are not cheap (around 370 AUD) but totally worth it. I booked my tour at the Ningaloo Visitor Centre in Exmouth. Some of the best rated boattrips are Ningaloo Blue Dive, Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours and Ocean Eco adventures.
Pick up time is around 7.15 am from your accommodation. Don’t forget to bring your camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and if you burn easily some protective clothing. Smart move: Take a seasickness tablet so you don’t get seasick.
Because it’s officially not whaleseason yet (end of february) there are no guarantees of seeing a whaleshark but we take the change. With a minivan we drive to a nearby harbour and hop on the comfortable and spacious boat. To find a whaleshark, a spotter plane goes up and in the meanwhile we have our briefing and some coffee/tea. First we visit a nice snorkelspot on the reef. The corals look healthy and there is plenty of colourfull fish. As the captain gets a sign a whaleshark is spotted, we all are very excited. We are READY!
I hurry to put my mask and fins on and wait at the end of the boat. A guide gives the sign to jump and from then it’s chaos. The adrenaline rushes in the moment I jump and there he/she is: A nine meter whaleshark is swimming around the boat. It’s practictally a baby as whalesharks can get up to 18 meters and it’s so calm, gracefully and curious. The feeling is indescribable but I feel so privileged and in awe to meet this beautiful whaleshark. It doens’t mind us at all and even swims towards and around us to check us out. We hang around for almost 30 minutes before we go back on the boat. We visit another snorkelling spot and even spot a Manta Ray. When the day ends at 4.30 pm and I feel like the luckiest person on earth. You don’t want to miss this experience!
Exmouth Cape Holiday Park
In Exmouth we stayed on the Exmouth Cape Holiday Park and I must say, it was one of the best places for backpackers or midrange accommodation. It is situated on a quiet and relaxing location with an amazing tropical pool to cool off. A few minutes away there are some restaurants and beach & towncentre are close as well. The holiday park is set up very spacious and the campkitchen is one of the best I have ever seen!