Western Australia is celebrating the first whale shark sighting of the season at Ningaloo Reef.
The gentle giants migrate to the state’s Coral Coast region every year between March and July. In 2017, Ningaloo Reef and the state’s Coral Coast region attracted more than 29,100 visitors hoping to swim with the world’s largest fish, which typically grows between six and 11 metres long.
The arrival of the first whale shark is good news for tourists and tour operators alike. The pristine waters of the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Marine Park are protected by 300 kilometres of fringing reef, making it easy for families to snorkel with the resident manta rays, sea turtles, tropical fish and whale sharks.
Ningaloo Marine Park’s nutrient rich waters are considered one of the best places to swim with whale sharks due to reliability of numbers and access to up-close interaction.
Shark swim tours depart from Coral Bay and Exmouth and operate until late June and late July respectively.
Qantas flies directly from Western Australian capital Perth to Exmouth, but the scenic route is equally enjoyable on a two- or three-day drive. Visit other Coral Coast gems, such as Geraldton, Kalbarri, Coral Bay and Cape Range National Park before diving in for your whale shark encounter.