Full Day Tour
Morning Tea, Buffet Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Hot & Cold Drinks Included
All Equipment Supplied
Snorkel the Ningaloo Reef with Humpback Whales in 2018
In 2016, for the very first time in Western Australia and the Ningaloo Reef, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions granted special marine mammal licences to a select few tour operators, including Ningaloo Reef Dive and Snorkel. This license allowed for in water interactions with humpback whales under specific conditions and only during a few months of the year while the whales migrated through the region. The trial period for 2016 and 2017 were a great success with thousands of people visiting the reef and swimming with humpbacks. The high success rate of the swims allowed for a 3rd and final year of trials now in 2018 starting July 1st to the end of October.
Humpback Whale Migration in Western Australia
Humpback Whales begin their migration northward from their feeding grounds in the Southern Ocean around June each year. Their ultimate destination is the tropical waters of Northern Australia where the pregnant mothers will calve their young. These whales can be seen in the waters of the Ningaloo Reef from late June to October on both their northerly and southerly migrations. During this time an estimated 22,000 humpback whales are believed to pass through the Ningaloo Reef, sometimes stopping to rest, play and take shelter in the calm waters off Coral Bay.
What to Expect
This tour takes place on our west coaster style vessel “Sicilia” that has plenty of shaded areas and comfortable seating for you to relax and enjoy your day out on the water. Our day begins with a beautiful snorkel on the amazing Ningaloo Reef where everyone has the opportunity to get in the water and snorkel. During the snorkel you may possibly encounter reef sharks, sting rays, turtles and certainly lots of fish and coral! We will then make our way to the outer reef in search of humpback whales. On the outer reef we can see many pods of whales breaching and slapping their fins on the water, typical of their natural behaviours. With the assistance of our spotter plane we will attempt to locate a suitable whale for an in-water interaction. While every effort is made to locate a whale for an in-water interaction we are dealing with mother nature and animal behaviour, therefore the opportunities will vary from day to day. As nothing in nature is guaranteed, an in-water interaction may not occur but with the use of our dedicated spotter plane to assist in sighting and interpretation of the whale behaviours this gives us the best chance for an in-water interaction!
If the whale is deemed appropriate by the pilot and our skipper for an in-water interaction our highly trained crew members, most of whom are dive masters and instructors, will endeavour to place you in the water at a safe distance from the humpback whale. This may be either from the side or in front of the whale’s path. At this point it is all up to the whales whether or not they swim up to us. These interactions are all on the terms of these highly intelligent, sentient beings. Humpbacks can be very curious and may swim right up to the swimmers or simply swim past. An in-water interaction is defined by the department of biodiversity, conservation and attractions as being in the water within the exclusive contact zone.
Unfortunately, there is no refund or repeat vouchers offered on this tour. We want to be as honest as we can with you, it is an extreme privilege to swim with a whale and at all times the safety of our guests and the welfare of the whales will be our main priority. Therefore, if an in-water interaction occurs, it is an experience you will never forget!
Never the less, we will work our hardest to show you the best of the Ningaloo Reef!
This tour includes morning tea, a full lunch buffet and snacks in the afternoon as well as fresh drinking water, coffee, tea and milo all day long. We also provide all the snorkelling gear necessary including mask, snorkel, fins and a full-length wetsuit to keep you nice and warm all day! The tour runs for approximately 6 to 7 hours but may vary depending on the whale’s behaviour. All participants on board have the opportunity to snorkel on the reef at two different locations as well as watch the humpback whales in their natural environment.
Please note the ‘observer’ rate includes your reef snorkels and whale watching only. If you select ‘observer’ at the time of booking and wish to upgrade to ‘swimmer’ on the date of your tour, only if there are spaces available can we upgrade you to a swimmer. If so, there will be an additional fee of $160.00 for an adult and $130.00 for a child (10yrs-16yrs). If you sign up for a ‘swimmer’, only if an in-water interaction occurs will we charge the additional fee for the swim.
Why We Love Humpback Whales <3
Humpbacks are the noisiest whales!
Males ‘sing’ for up to 15 minutes at a time.
They are excellent swimmers!
Their massive tail fin is called a fluke.
Humpback Whales have two blow holes!
Each lung is the size of a small car.