Each year the whale sharks are drawn to Ningaloo Reef to feed following the mass coral spawn which occurs in March and April. The filter feeding whale sharks stay in the reef area to feed from April to July, swimming close to the surface, giving you the opportunity to experience a unique wildlife interaction.
Daily Mid March to August
|Start||Exmouth @ 07.15 am|
|Finish||Exmouth @ 05.00 pm|
Your day starts at approximately 7.15am when the Three Islands' air conditioned courtesy bus picks you up from your Exmouth accommodation for the 36 kilometre journey to the Tantabiddi Boat Ramp departure point. During the drive to Tantabiddi, an informative and factual commentary on local points of interest is given, including the Cape Range National Park. The day's program is also outlined, helping to ensure you feel relaxed, informed and comfortable about the upcoming day's events.
From the boat ramp you are transferred to the 17 metre "Draw Card" on board Ningaloo Ecology Cruise's glass bottom boat. Once on board, wetsuits and snorkel equipment are fitted, the crew are introduced and a vessel safety brief is given.
A short cruise through the lagoon and the marine adventure begins with an introductory snorkel on the beautiful inner Ningaloo Reef. If required, assistance and snorkel tuition can be provided by your tour guides. Have the chance to see a turtle swim past, a ray resting in the sand and a myriad of colourful fish amongst the coral.
Following the morning snorkel, a whale shark interaction briefing is given over morning tea where the code of conduct is explained by one of your guides.
At the conclusion of the brief the vessel fires into life and you can feel the anticipation build as we head to the outer reef waiting for the spotter plane to notify us that a whale shark has been found.
The radio crackles and the adventure is about to begin, the deck starts to buzz as the crew and passengers get ready. A mix of sheer excitement with a hint of apprehension is visible on even the most experienced swimmers' faces.
"What am I about to do? I'm jumping in the ocean with the world's biggest fish!?"
As the skipper lines up the boat, what awaits our first group of swimmers? Faces down, you see it emerging from the distance with it massive mouth wide open, as it gets closer and swims past, apprehension becomes amazement and the excitement builds as you swim along with your own big spotty fish! Groups are rotated through the water to snorkel alongside; always with the company safety zodiac following behind if anyone requires assistance.
Guests often let out a cheer while waiting to be picked up, ready to do it again and again. Our photographer is always there capturing images and moments that will long be remembered for the complimentary CD.
During all the excitement, a delicious lunch is served buffet style, catered by award winning Chelsea Jade Catering. If time permits, we head back to the inner reef to conclude the day with a reef snorkel. You may have the opportunity to swim with manta rays if spotted (from late May) and see humpback whales from the boat (from late June).
A fruit and cheese platter finishes off the day then back to the moorings and beach for the journey back to your accommodation.
* No Sighting Policy
Whale Sharks are wild unpredictable animals and all tours are conducted in their natural habitat. Although very rare, no sightings can occur from time to time and we regret there can be no full refunds for no sightings.
We understand that everyone's travel plans are different and not one 'no sighting policy' can fit all situations. At 3 Islands we give you three options to try and fit your plans;
Child: $265 (12-16 yrs)
Children under the age of 2 are not accepted on this tour