“The most incredible thing I’ve ever done.”
Jump off the back of the boat and straight into a bucket-list must-do. Gliding next to the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, feeling its majesty and surprising gentleness.
You’re fearless — intoxicated by life, and something so overwhelmingly beautiful.
Breaking the surface, you can’t wait to share your experiences with fellow swimmers. You know you’ve just witnessed something indelibly rare.
Each year, between mid-March and August, these slow-moving, filter-feeding whale sharks migrate past Ningaloo Reef. Up to 12 metres long, these giants have a hugely healthy appetite… for plankton and krill.
Taking swimming pool gulps, filtering their microscopic main course, whale sharks love warm tropical oceans, living up to 70 years, and Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places in the world where Whale sharks appear regularly in large numbers, with over 235 individuals recorded.
Scientific photography shows that some whale sharks have visited Ningaloo Reef for 17 years. It seems Sal Salis is a place both humans and whale sharks share a love for.
Your whale shark experience begins with a transfer to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp, approximately 25 minutes from your luxury Ningaloo Reef accommodation, meeting your experienced skipper and crew. Morning tea is served as you cruise out into the Indian Ocean, on your search for these gentle giants. With a spotter aircraft relaying sightings to your skipper too, it’s time to don wetsuits and snorkel gear.
There is usually time to snorkel the back of the reef, amongst turtles, dolphins, dugongs, rays, and sea birds. You’ll refuel during the day with a delicious lunch spread, celebrating the best of West Australian produce.
Whale shark swims are available from mid-March to August and book out months in advance. Pre-booking as early as possible is advised, as this is a very popular experience. Contact Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef to secure your spot.
The best time to go whale shark swimming at Ningaloo Reef is from March to July when the whale sharks migrate to the area.
A typical whale shark swimming tour lasts around 6-8 hours, with approximately 3-4 hours spent in the water with the whale sharks.
The likelihood of seeing a whale shark during a tour at Ningaloo Reef is high, with a success rate of over 90% during the peak season.
Previous swimming experience is not necessary, but it is recommended that participants are comfortable swimming in open water and can snorkel.
If the weather is bad on the day of your whale shark swimming tour, the tour may be rescheduled for another day or cancelled with a full refund.
Whale shark swimming tours can be booked through various tour operators in the area, either online or in person. It is recommended to book in advance during the peak season to ensure availability.