Swim alongside the biggest fish on earth for a truly extraordinary experience!
Swimming with the massive whale sharks of the ocean is an experience of a lifetime. It is an astonishingly unique activity, with only a few lucky people able to swim up close to these extraordinary animals. If you are seeking out this activity, hoping to turn your holiday into an unforgettable adventure, read our guide to find out where this can be done within Australia.
About Whale Sharks
The Whale sharks are the largest sharks (and fish) in the world, growing to an average of 5.5 to 10 metres in length, and weighing around 18 tonnes. The whale sharks are a dark blue, with a series of white spots dotted along its body. The spots are unique, with each shark having its own pattern much like a human’s fingerprints. Their heads are wider and flattened, but their most recognisable feature is their largemouth that stretches out to around 1 and a half metres.
Have no fear for these massive creatures, as Whale Sharks are harmless filter feeders, with no desire to eat us, humans. They instead use a water filtration system to eat, specially named a crossflow filtration. Where the whales open their mouths and let both water and food come in, releasing the water and any debris back into the ocean while swallowing their fishy snack. Plankton is their main food source, but they are also known to eat shrimp, algae, small fish, and even fish eggs.
Where you can see the Whale Sharks
Whale sharks tend to enjoy the warmer areas of the ocean, travelling about the tropical waters throughout the world. Every year from March to August, the world’s biggest fish comes to the picturesque region of Ningaloo Reef. This particular reef is one of the only places on the planet the Whale Sharks appear regularly in large numbers, as usually, these sharks are solitary creatures. However, the widespread amount of food within this reef is too good to pass up, with herds of sharks heading to the region during the colder months of Australia.
How to Join in on the Fun
Join one of the whale sharks watching or snorkelling tours from either Exmouth or Coral Bay. It is the ultimate wildlife encounter, swimming up close with the gentle giants of the ocean as they congregate in the Ningaloo Marine Park. The Whales are no threat to the snorkellers, as they show no aggression to any marine mammals, and sometimes can even be quite friendly, with many occurrences where the whales have been playful with the divers and snorkellers who visit them.