Whale sharks arrive in Ningaloo Reef, Australia

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The whale sharks have arrived in Ningaloo Reef in Australia and Western Australia is preparing for another successful whale shark season. The whale shark is the world’s largest fish, and one was spotted at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia’s Coral Coast in early March.

Whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Australia / photo by Michael Wigram

WHALE SHARKS IN NINGALOO REEF

Over 29,197 people visited the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef in 2017 to swim with the whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea, who migrate to the shores of Western Australia between March and July each year to feed on plankton and krill.

2017 had a whale shark sighting success rate of 94 per cent.

Whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Australia / photo by Sean Scott

WHALE SHARK SWIM TOURS

Whale shark swim tours have begun operating from Coral Bay and Exmouth, and will continue through until late June in Coral Bay and late July in Exmouth, allowing visitors the opportunity to have a face-to-fin encounter with the friendly whale sharks which are around six to 11 meters in length.

The nutrient rich waters of the Ningaloo Marine Park are considered one of the best places to swim with whale sharks due to reliability of numbers and accessibility to interact with them.

Swimming in Ningaloo Reef / photo by Tourism WA

ABOUT NINGALOO REEF

At 300 kilometers long, UNESCO World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef. Visitors can walk straight off the beach and snorkel in the underwater wonderland of Ningaloo Reef, which is teeming with brilliant coloured coral, manta rays, sea turtles and over 500 species of tropical fish.

Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia / photo by Sean Scott

The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area covers over 600,000 hectares, with scenic stretches of coastline with towering cliffs, beautiful beaches and plenty of wildlife; and includes the rugged canyons and gorges of the Cape Range National Park to explore.

Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia / photo by Jewels Lynch

HOW TO GET TO NINGALOO REEF

Exmouth, the northern gateway to Ningaloo, is located 1,250 kilometers north of Perth. Qantas operates direct daily flights from Perth in just under two hours, or visitors can self-drive over two to three days and explore other highlights of Western Australia including Coral Coast such and Geraldton, Kalbarri and Coral Bay.

Exmouth also plays host the annual Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival, which celebrates the season with a family festival day, gala cocktail evening, movies under the stars and live music at the end of May.

Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range National Park / photo by Jewels Lynch

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