Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef
Where: Off the coast of Exmouth, roughly 1200km north of Perth, WA
Ningaloo Reef is home to an abundance of fascinating sea life and colourful coral, with plenty of snorkel and dive tours to choose from. Between April and July thousands of whale sharks descend upon these tropical waters, enabling visitors to come face to face with these fascinating creatures. They are the world’s largest living fish with mouths are up to one metres wide and lined with up to 350 rows of teeth but don’t let that scare you – these gentle ocean giants feed mainly on plankton, not snorkelers. Ningaloo Reef is one of the few unique spots in the world where large numbers of whale sharks regular appear. It’s also the only place in Australia where it’s possible to swim with these fascinating creatures – all the more reason to add this experience of a lifetime to your must-do list.
Swimming with wild dolphins
Where: Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, 48km south of Perth
IT is often said there’s a deep connection between humans and dolphins. These self aware, compassionate creatures have even been known to defend people from shark attacks. Multi-award winning marine wildlife cruise company, Rockingham Wild Encounters, allows visitors the incredible and unique experience of swimming within a metre of wild dolphins in a natural environment. You simply link up with everybody in your tour group and jump straight into the water and dolphins emerge from the distance to join in for a play and a splash. For between 75 to 90 minutes you can witness dolphins catching their dinner, mothers nursing their calves or even showing off right in front of your eyes in what is said to be “the ultimate wildlife encounter”. Founder Terry Howson says this fascinating wildlife encounter is open to anybody. “It’s an unforgettable type of experience. The youngest I’ve put in the water is about 3 and the oldest was a 91-year-old Japanese lady.”