The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, the longest ever was recorded at over 13.5 metres. But before your adventurous side deserts you, remember that whale sharks are slow-moving filter-feeding carpet shark. Which basically means they are more interested in plankton than you. Doesn’t mean that they aren’t completely astounding to see in their natural environment. So where can you swim with these gentle giants?
Australia is the home of this jaw-dropping experience! The trip takes planning, preparation and a plane. Your first introductory dive is in the beautiful Ningaloo Reef. You will swim amongst stunning coral and sea life. While you’re out there learning the ropes, a scout plane is up high looking for the whale sharks. Once they find the giants, it’s time to start preparing yourself for the real dive.
Whale Shark is a peaceful creature and the ones you’ll swim with range between 4 – 12 metres long. They’ll weigh up to 11 tonnes with mouths opening a metre wide. They have over 300 rows of 6mm thick, razor sharp teeth. Whale sharks are one of only three fish in the world to filter feed through their gills. Don’t worry too much about being bitten or attacked though, but try and avoid touching them. Whales sharks don’t want to eat you but they probably want you to mind your own business.
If you’re looking for a secluded resort to complete your adventure, you’re in luck! Sal Salis is a remote beachside retreat right on Ningaloo Reef. Relax outside one of their sixteen wilderness tents while they take care of everything for you as part of their whale package.
Whale Sharks often swim and hover beneath the surface of the water. So get your cameras ready because photo opportunities like this don’t come around very often. They can also dive to depths greater than 1000 metres. But don’t try to follow them down that far with a snorkel and some flippers.
The snorkelling adventure begins at 7:30am and lasts all day. If you’re travelling with someone who would prefer to observe rather than jump into the water, they can!
There’s a photographer with you to snap every magical moment of your trip. And you get cheese and fruit after your whale shark experience. We at Unmissable love an experience that hands out cheese at the end.
Ningaloo, Exmouth on Western Australia’s Coral Coast
Whale Sharks are most prominent between March and August.
What you need to know:
Sal Salis is closed from November to mid March, which gives a good indication to the best time for this incredible swim.