Ningaloo Whale Shark Swim on a Sailing Catamaran**
Whale Shark Swim on a Sailing Catamaran - March, April, May, June and July!Ningaloo Discovery is an award winning, eco certified operator licensed to conduct Whale Shark Swim Tours on the Beautiful Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth Western Australia!
Swimming with a whale shark is un unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience that people come from all over the world to do. It is something on everyone's bucket list! Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, growing up to a possible 18 m long! Ningaloo Reef plays host to these amazing animals every year from March until August, it is the only place in the world where they congregate so predictably in such large numbers.
Whale sharks are completely harmless to humans as they filter feed on plankton and other microscopic organisms. Here on Ningaloo Reef, we are lucky to be able to enter the water with them on a daily basis and swim alongside as they cruise about the reef. Swimming with a whale shark in their natural environment is an extraordinary experience, one not to be taken for granted, and as such is conducted with the utmost respect to the whale sharks. Ningaloo Discovery will do absolutely everything possible to have guests swimming in the water with a whale shark! Whale Shark Swim Tours from Exmouth are rated as the worlds best practice. We operate under extremely well managed guidelines to ensure we can continue to enjoy being in the water with minimal impact for years to come.
Ningaloo Discovery's team are extremely experienced and passionate about interacting with these animals in a wonderful, respectful way and we want you to join us! Ningaloo Discovery offers guests a whale shark experience on board a very stable, spacious 60ft sailing catamaran, which provides a 360-degree viewing platform and the opportunity to lounge and relax on the comfortable day beds, bow nets and various seating spots while soaking up and enjoying the beauty of the Ningaloo Marine Park and all the amazing wildlife we may encounter. With the use of our very own spotter plane, our pilot will direct us to whale sharks and any other marine life spotted from above.
Your small group of 10 will enter the waters of Ningaloo Reef and swim with a whale shark. You will be in awe as you immerse yourself in this truly extraordinary experience.
Guests who book on as "observers" are welcome to participate in all itinerary activities except for entering the water with a whale shark.
You will experience warm friendly staff, fun activities, delicious food and memories to last a lifetime from the minute we pick you up to the moment we say goodbye. Our priority is making your day the best we possibly can!
So what are you waiting for? Book now and get swimming with a Whale Shark ticked off your bucket list!
Our amazing itinerary for the day:
- Starting from 7:45am, you will be picked up from your accommodation in our private bus. Listen in or chill out during the drive down the coast as we’ll be telling you all about what you're about to experience before being taken out to the WINDCHEETAH sailing catamaran where you will be greeted by our friendly crew and fitted with masks, snorkels, fins and wetsuits. We’ll take exceptional care of you and ensure everybody is 100% at ease, feeling confident and excited!
- Moments later immerse yourself in the crystal clear waters of Ningaloo Reef at one of our beautiful snorkel spots in the sheltered lagoon. Here you will see an array of corals and colourful fish, sometimes even turtles and rays! Take this time to ask questions, get snorkelling tips, make sure your gear fits and practice getting on and off the boat before your Whale Shark swim. Our guides will be right there with you in the water to steer you in the right direction, and to pay special attention to any modest swimmers. Feel free to grab one of our floating noodles should you feel like the extra bit of flotation.
- Now you can enjoy morning tea as our plane gets searching for Whale Sharks. Our crew will organise you into small intimate groups and as soon as a whale shark is spotted, swimming guests will be directed to put their snorkel gear on and get ready for one of the greatest moments of your life! You are about to swim with the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark!
- Your group and your guide drop in and get up close and personal to the worlds biggest fish, this is your chance to experience wonder and marvel at the sheer size, grace and elegance of the whale shark! Most of these sharks are between 4 and 12 metres long but have been known to grow as large as 18 metres!
- This may not be your only whale shark swim, the pilot has been busy searching for another gentle giant to swim with, and on their call get ready to do it all again… and again!
- After we have spent as much time as possible with the whale sharks you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch as we cruise the reef in search of any other wildlife. Manta rays, dolphins, humpback whales, turtles, dugongs and anything else that may be around.
- Now we head back inside the lagoon where the water is turquoise blue and anchor up at a new special spot on the reef for another snorkel. Weather and time permitting try your hand at one of our stand up paddle boards or a glass bottom kayak during the afternoon snorkel for a different view of the reef.
- Relax with some refreshing afternoon tea and a glass of sparkling wine on our way back to shore before the crew return you safe and sound and full of smiles back to your accommodation.
- The experience lives on as we will provide you with access to all the photos of the day taken by our professional photographer free of charge!
- Whale Shark Swim on a Sailing Catamaran will take you on the Windcheetah sailing catamaran that Chris Hemsworth introduced to the world on Tourism Australia's 2016 Campaign. Watch it here! - you will see our Catamaran from 41 seconds onwards
- Full day tour, 7:45am - 4pm approximately
- Complimentary bus transfers from your accommodation in Exmouth to the boat ramp and return. Flying in to Learmonth on the early flight? No problem, for an extra fee we can pick you up form the airport and take you directly to the boat. You could be swimming with a whale shark the same day!
- Experienced, professional award winning crew on board and supporting you in the water as much as you need. Interesting informative spiels about the area and the marine life will keep you entertained too.
- Spotter aircraft to ensure best possible opportunity of sighting and swimming with whale sharks
- Maximum of 10 swimmers in each group
- In-water experiences with a whale shark
- Snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef
- Quality snorkel equipment including mask, snorkel, and fins of all sizes
- Wetsuits of all sizes
- Flotation aids and life jackets available on board if required
- Marine specialists onboard to answer all your questions and guide you
- Opportunity to assist with hoisting the sails or relaxing on the bow nets, daybeds or bean bags
- Stand up paddle boards and kayaks for use in afternoon snorkel (weather and time permitting)
- Boom net for towing along behind the vessel through the shallows of the lagoon (weather and time permitting)
- Yummy morning tea, buffet lunch and afternoon tea provided, we can cater to dietary needs
- Sunscreen, water, dry area for your belongings and shade on board
- Celebratory glass of sparkling wine
- Whale shark swimmer certificate which also allows you discounts on further tours!
- All government fees and charges included in the price (2% transaction fee applies to credit card payments)
- Complimentary professional photography package of the day. Thats right, ALL THE PHOTOS FOR FREE!
What should I bring?
- Your excitement and positivity!
- Warm clothes for after snorkelling
- Sea sickness medication if you feel like you may need it
See what our guests say about us!
Don't take our word for it! Check out our Tripadvisor Page and see what other travellers have said. We pride ourselves on all our amazing reviews and would love you to take a look for yourself!
Questions and Answers
How Long is the Tour?Our tour departs Exmouth from 7:45am and returns at approximately 4pm. We make the absolute most of the day to ensure we maximise our time on the water to get you swimming with a Whale Shark!
Where does the tour go?Ningaloo Discovery operates from Tantabiddi Boat Ramp on the western side of Exmouth Cape, right in the middle of where the whale sharks congregate around Ningaloo Reef. Our travel time between picking you up and being in the area where the whale sharks are is the absolute shortest possible. We arrive in the area where the whale sharks are early and can stay there longer due to our short travel times. The western side where we operate from is also the location of the Ningaloo Reef snorkel sites and home to all other wildlife such as turtles, dolphins, mantas and humpback whales! Anything around on the day will also be part of your tour.
Where do we snorkel on the reef?There are endless beautiful snorkel sites on Ningaloo Reef. Our skipper and crew will take the Windcheetah to somewhere that they know will be spectacular on the day based on the wind and tide. You will see coral gardens and hundreds of beautifully coloured fish. Keep your eyes open for a friendly turtle or a sleepy reef shark too. You never know what you will see.
Tell me about the Free Photography PackageAs our gift to you, all guests, including those not swimming, will receive all of the professional photographers photos of the day free of charge! A wonderful keepsake to remember the whole experience. Our photographers are very experienced using high quality underwater camera gear to give fantastic clear photos both from above and below. After the tour you will be given link, simply open it up and download!
Swimming with Whale Sharks, how is that done?
Ningaloo Discovery is permitted to get nice and close to the whale sharks due to special permission from Department of Parks and Wildlife allowing us to interact with them. By approaching them nice and close, you will be able to enter the water with our experienced in water guides and enjoy them as they swim close by. We will do all that we can to maximise your chances of an epic swim with a whale shark. With the help of our spotter plane we can find whale sharks that are nearby and be directed to their exact location.
All of our crew have participated in Department of Parks and Wildlife Whale Shark Training Program so they are very qualified and experienced in how to swim with whale sharks. The crew will explain to you how to best swim with your whale shark to increase our chances of a perfect experience.**Please note that you must have basic swimming ability to participate in water activities.**
What is Ningaloo Discovery's success rate?Here at Ningaloo Discovery we are proud to say that in the 2016 and 2017 Whale Shark seasons, we experienced 100% success!!! Every single person that came out with us experienced the thrill of swimming with a Whale Shark! Often swimming with more than one whale shark a day! While we cannot guarantee whale sharks will always be found on every tour, our success over recent years speaks for itself!
Observers? What does that mean?As an alternative, you can also join the tour as an observer. Observers are encouraged to participate in all activities such as snorkelling the reef, riding the boom net, relaxing on the day beds, use of the glass bottom kayaks and stand up paddle boards or even swimming with a manta ray if we find one. An observers only restriction is that they will not enter the water with a whale shark, but rather observe the action from the bow of the Windcheetah. If an Observer were to decide on the day that you would like to try swimming with a whale shark after all, just have a chat to the crew. If there are spaces available you can upgrade! *Please note that there are only limited spots available for swimming with a whale shark. If these are all filled, observers will not be able to upgrade on the day.
What is the policy if I don't swim with a Whale Shark?
While Ningaloo Discovery will do anything and everything in their power to provide you with an in water experience, we cannot guarantee the whale sharks will be found on the day, it is nature after all and they are not contained in any way. If you don't get to see a whale shark from under the water while snorkelling we will provide you with a voucher* allowing you to return and try again for free! This return voucher will be valid for 2 years!! *This voucher is subject to availability and non transferrable between individual persons or companies.
Why Ningaloo Discovery?
Ningaloo Discovery prides itself of 5 star service, quality and experiences. Here are a few things that make us special:
- No age limit! All ages welcome to participate.
- Only sailing catamaran offering this experience
- Our swim platform is the lowest, below the water level, making it the easiest vessel to get off and on when snorkelling
- The catamaran is the most stable style of vessel, less likely to feel the effects of sea sickness
- Our crew are all qualified, trained, experienced and incredibly passionate! They will treat you like royalty!
- We are a multi award winning company. Multiple WA Tourism Awards, Tripadvisor Certificates of Excellence and we have been awarded certification in Advanced Eco Tourism by Eco Tourism Australia
- No hidden costs. Our tour is all inclusive of government fees and charges!
- Family owned and operated. The owners of Ningaloo Discovery have years of experience, hold an Honours Degree in Marine Resource Management, have worked in Marine Safety and have travelled the world operating vessels and working in marine tourism.
What if I get Sea Sick?Sea sickness is always a risk when spending a day on the water. Our sailing catamaran Windcheetah is the best option for anyone worried about feeling unwell on the tour due to its twin hull design. Catamarans are renowned for being the most stable on the water which helps to keep motion sickness away.
Ways that you can avoid illness form affecting your day are:
- Avoid drinking alcohol the night before your tour
- Eat a small non greasy breakfast prior to arriving
- Purchase yourself some sea sickness medication from a pharmacy and take it as per the instructions
- Once onboard, sip water and keep your eyes on the horizon as much as possible
- Sit out in the breeze, don't confine yourself inside
- Try not to think about it, sometimes your own mindset is the best preventative
We offer water and assistance on board to anyone who may feel unwell.