Visitors to Ningaloo Reef have another opportunity to swim up close with Humpback Whales (officially re-introduced for a second season) after an extremely successful trial-season last year.
Every year, travelers from around the globe vacation to Western Australia to see the great Humpback Whale migration, however only in the Ningaloo Reef can visitors have an opportunity to throw on a snorkel and view the majestic creatures underwater for an up-close experience like no other.
Humpback Whale swims were restricted until 2016 when UNESCO world heritage officially listed the region as a public diving site, offering over 16,000 visitors an opportunity to swim with the whales in its 2016 trial. 2017 is anticipating 30,000 Humpbacks to cruise along the coast from June to November making Ningaloo Reef a must-visit destination during this time of the year. Already a well-known destination across Australia for inspiring whale shark diving experiences, Ningaloo Reef extends the whale season with this new annual offering.
Ningaloo Reef is the premier spot to snag the clearest views of the Humpbacks and local tour companies make the fascinating underwater excursions accessible to a variety of travelers. In celebration of in-water Humpback Whale watching’s return, here are some of the best tours in the region:
- Sal Salis Resort – This luxury, beach safari camp located in the Ningaloo Reef (where Pippa Middleton was just seen honeymooning), offers a truly unique opportunity to swim amongst the 40-ton Humpbacks. Exclusively for Sal Salis guests, the day begins with morning tea while divers suit up in complimentary wetsuits and snorkels. Plunging into the water is an easy maneuver with the careful watch of a guide.
Begins: August 1-October 31| $599 for Sal Salis guests
- Exmouth Diving Centre – This Humpback tour provides one of the most exclusive diving opportunities in Australia. With special permission, EDC is allowed to take their boats within 50 meters of the whales, which unheard of in the region. Videographers are on board and ready to take video footage of their visitors’ experience.
Begins: August – November | Adults: $399 | Kids under 16: $330 | Whale Watch only: Adults $175 Kids under 16 $115
- Coral Bay Ecotours – This tour is the best way to get the entire Ningaloo Reef experience. The six-hour excursion begins with a snorkeling session in the reef where visitors can swim above sea turtles, reef sharks, and the beautiful coral gardens. The boat then heads out to find the Humpbacks and conclude its well-rounded itinerary.
Begins: August 1-October 31 | $270 per person
- Ningaloo Reef Dive – This dive is a fantastic choice for families. With excursions tailored to all ages, guests can feel at ease with PADI Dive Masters by their side. Guests will cruise above coral as well as a variety of sea life including manta rays, sea turtles, and dugongs.
Begins: August 1 | Starting at $125 per person