Our Terms and Conditions

Did you know?

The whaleshark was not officially discovered until 1828 by Dr Andrew Smith, off the coast of South Africa

Our Terms and Conditions

These Terms and Conditions over-ride any and all other Terms and Conditions previously provided to you. Please read them carefully and pass them on to all individuals you have booked this tour for. You or your booking agent or individual booking a tour on your behalf who receive these Terms and Conditions from us have until 14 days before your tour departure time and date to raise any issues of concern with us. At this stage, we will either agree to amend the Term or Condition(s) or provide you with a full refund. If you do not raise any concerns prior to 14 days before your tour departure time and date, you agree to abide by these Terms and Conditions and to be bound by them in your dealings with Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim, its employees, agents, contractors and all parties having an ongoing relationship with the company Ningaloo Reef Dreaming Pty Ltd.

We have tried to keep these very simple and straightforward but if we can clarify what any of them means, or why it is necessary, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Payment Terms

We prefer payment in full to minimise the chances of any complications arising with not receiving payment in full before the start of a tour. When customers book over the phone, our office staff can arrange to take a 20% non-refundable deposit at the time of making a booking as an alternative. This deposit must be paid by credit card. Bank transfers / direct deposits for the 20% deposit are unfortunately not accepted. The balance of your tour payment will automatically be charged to this credit card at this time. If this payment is declined, we will make at least two separate attempts to contact you or your representative via mobile phone and / or email address provided when making the booking to secure the balance owing.

However, if we are unable to secure payment for the 80% balance owing on your tour, we will with a great deal of regret cancel your booking, and refund the deposit to your credit card at this time. (This is unfortunate, but we unfortunately cannot afford to go out with empty spaces that we have not been paid for in full, when we could readily have sold these tickets to other customers.

Rescheduling and Cancellations : You Cancelling or Rescheduling

We can reschedule your tour at any time up to 72 hours before your tour departs. Changes less than 72 hours before your tour are treated as a cancellation – see below for our policy on this.

We do not charge a cancellation fee if we can resell your tickets before your scheduled departure - even if you cancel the day before your tour.

if we can't resell your tickets, our cancellation fees are:

  • cancellations more than 28 days before your scheduled departure no cancellation fee charged
  • cancellations between 28 and 14 days before your departure, cancellation fee of $40 charged
  • cancellations from 14 to 7 days before scheduled departure, we refund you 80% of your booking value.
  • less than 7 days before scheduled departure, no refund will be paid unless we can resell your tickets.

Again, the above only apply if we cannot resell your tickets after you cancel.

Cancellations : Us Cancelling or Rescheduling

Cancelling tours is something we do everything we can NOT to do. However, occasionally due to safety concerns, weather conditions, factors beyond our control, mechanical breakdowns, or minimum passenger numbers required for a tour to depart not being reached, we do have to cancel or reschedule a tour.

When this occurs, we commit and reserve the right to doing everything we can to deliver some form of enjoyable and substitutable tour experience to you for your money, including but not limited to rescheduling you onto our next available tour, or placing you on another company's whaleshark tour (even if we haven't been able to contact you to confirm this).

In those instances where this is not possible before you leave town, we will give you a whaleshark tour voucher valid for the next three years for you to use when you are next in town that is sell-able or transferable to another person. Alternatively, we may give you a full or partial refund for the price of your tour, depending on the circumstances of your tour etc.

However, by booking with us you are agreeing that Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim will not be held liable for any costs incurred by you relating to your holiday in general, that do not specifically relate to the day your tour was scheduled for, if we have to cancel a tour. These costs include any and all costs incurred by you in travelling to and from Exmouth, and any and all accommodation and meal expenses whilst in Exmouth.

Agent Bookings

Booking through a booking, tours or travel agent or some Visitors Centres? In the unlikely event of your tour needing to be cancelled, the Booking Fee payable to the agent for taking your booking is generally NOT refundable to you - it has already been paid to the agent for taking the booking, which they have done when they made your booking with us. (This is generally around 10-20% of your booking price.)


Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim has a Responsible Refunds Policy. Whilst not contradicting any other Terms and Conditions, this basically involves us taking full responsibility for any and all actions that we have taken or failed to take that has negatively impacted on our customers. We will offer a refund that is consistent with our actions, alternative tour experiences that have been providing as a substitute to your tour, and how much of your tour and what components of your tour were completed prior to the tour cessation being necessary.

Under this policy, we also require our guests to each take full responsibility for any and all of their actions that are outside of our control or influence that resulted in them having a less than ideal outcome for their tour with us. Tour refunds are always based on the price actually paid by the customer, not based on the usual price of our whaleshark tours.

We specifically will not provide you with a refund if you do not turn up for your tour because of:

  • medical emergency
  • mechanical breakdown
  • death in the family
  • sleeping in
  • arriving at the wrong pickup location, or arriving late for your pickup after our bus / tour has left
  • etc.

Whilst we will do everything practical to get you out on another of our tours whilst in town standby, free of charge, or at the cost of license fee plus catering ($50), we are not able to pay you a refund or give you a repeat tour voucher in the above situations as they had absolutely nothing to do with us.

We strongly, strongly recommend all guests take out travel insurance to cover themselves for the cost of their tours should something untoward happens. The simple truth is we are not a travel insurance company and cannot be expected to lose money because a guest chose not to take out travel insurance.

Tour Guarantees

The tour guarantees within these Terms and Conditions override all other Tour Guarantees we may have communicated to you.

Our premium Whaleshark Tour Guarantees apply to all whaleshark tours paying full price. This includes you coming out again free of charge on our next available tour to try again, or if unable to do so then get a Whaleshark Tour Voucher valid for the next three years to use when next back in town that is transferable to a third party and sellable, or get a partial cash refund of $160 for the mega-fauna component of the full-day tour you paid for.

Our standard Whale or Whaleshark Tour Guarantees applies to all tours after 1 August that are discounted more than $30 from our tour price that we have charged until 1 August. (In 2018, this was $410.)

Our standard Tour Guarantees includes our Megafauna Guarantee - you will get to swim with either a humpback whale or a whale shark during your tour or:

  • you get a $100 voucher towards coming out on our next available Humpback Whale Tour, or when you next return to town
  • you get an $80 voucher towards coming out on our next available Whale Shark Tour, or when you next return to town

Fully informing us of any and all medical and operational conditions of relevance

All passengers are required to fully disclose and communicate to us any and all medical or physiological or psychological conditions or history that may impact on their ability to participate fully in a whaleshark or whale cruise, or snorkelling or diving, in a normal manner and safe manner.

They must also accurately communicate any and all issues associated with undertaking our tour that we reasonably need to be made aware of to be able to provide this tour in a safe, professional and enjoyable manner that does not impinge upon other guests onboard in any way.

Weather conditions and extraordinary issues

Weather conditions will make the conditions of a number of whaleshark tours each season less than ideal. Whilst this is outside of our control, we will do everything we can to ensure our passengers enjoy their tour regardless, and to minimise the impact of the weather conditions on our guests. However, we cannot be held responsible nor liable for less than ideal weather conditions during a tour, and the act of boarding our vessel in these conditions indicate a guest’s acceptance of this.

Similarly, it may become necessary to alter, reschedule, or change aspects of our tour because of weather or other extraordinary issues. In this instance, we will again do everything we can to ensure our passengers have the best possibly time they can whilst on our tour, including providing substitute tours to full or partial value if at all possible. However, we cannot be held responsible for when such events occur, and accept no liability for the impact of such changes or associated issues on passengers.

No Guarantees as to Wildlife Possible

Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim makes no attempt to guarantee that customers will swim with whalesharks or see any particular marine or terrestrial life whilst on one of our tours. We do guarantee that we will do everything we realistically can to make these things happen, and to do things as well as we possibly can so you can enjoy your experiences as much as possible.

Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim’s Liability

Except to the extent required by law, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim and its agents, employees and associated companies take no liability in the event of damage, personal loss, injury or sea-sickness of passengers. We will however do everything we can that is reasonably possible to assist in every situation that is brought to our attention.

Passenger liability for carelessness leading to loss of equipment

Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim will require customers to pay for any lost or damaged gear only in a situation where the customer’s own carelessness or choices caused this outcome. Should customers borrow our snorkel gear for free as part of their tour, and not return it, by so doing they agree that we may charge the cost of replacement snorkel gear to their credit card without requiring their express permission to do so.

Photos and videos may be used for marketing purposes

Customers agree that all photos and videos taken by Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's onboard photographer and videographer may be used for marketing purposes by the business without the need for approval from the company.

Customer reviews and feedback and our Social Media Terms and Conditions

Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim encourages all guests to provide feedback on how it can improve on what it does. (We love compliments too!) Our team is committed to doing the right thing at all times, which includes making good on any mistakes it makes or negative impacts on any of our customers, or other important stakeholders, to the very best of our abilities.

However, because of the significant risks to Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's brand and reputation, and the proven and very real potential of competitors creating false reviews seeking to harm the company's brand and social media presence, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim requires each and every guest to agree to the following Social Media Terms and Conditions when booking with the company.

    1. Both parties agree that the act of a guest boarding one of our vehicles or vessels represents each guest's voluntary agreement to fully honour Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's Social Media Terms and Conditions, and indeed all of our Terms and Conditions.
    2. Each guest agrees to first raise any and all complaints or issues about any negative aspect of Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's operations with the company's management directly, and provide the company's representatives with a fair and reasonable opportunity to make good and address any issues raised to the satisfaction of the customer, prior to posting any reviews or negative comments online.

      Guests failing to raise issues about Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's operations with the company prior to placing them on social media sites or into the public domain expressly grant Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim the right and express authority to have any and all such comments or reviews removed on the guest's behalf, without any need to first notify the guest that Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim will be undertaking this action nor requiring any form of additional authorisation to undertake this action on the guest’s behalf.

      Subsequent to the removal of such comments, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim commits to doing anything possible to contact the guest to work through the issues raised and addressing any and all issues of concern they have raised to the best of our ability.

      The guest then has the option and right to repost their comments on all such social media sites and in the public domain should they then so choose.

    3. Should a guest choose to place any form of negative review or comments about Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim on any form of social media or within the public domain, they expressly agree to quote their Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim unique booking code as a key part of their review or comments.

      This will enable Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim to verify that the guest has indeed been on one of the company's tours, and is providing a genuine review or comment. Additionally, this is required so that Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim can confirm that the guest has first worked through any and all issues being raised within their comments or review with the company’s representatives, as per the previous Booking Term and Condition.)

      Should a guest fail to provide their unique Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim booking number within a review or comments they post about the company, they expressly grant Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim and its representatives and agents the authority to act on their behalf and as their authorised agent to contact relevant social media site(s) and have their reviews or comments removed until such time as this information is provided within the review. The guest provides Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim all necessary authorities and rights to do this on their behalf without any need to notify the guest of this action being taken on their behalf, nor requiring any further approval from them to take this action.

      Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim then commits to doing everything it feasibly can to notify the guest of its actions, and provide them with the opportunity to insert their unique booking code within the comments or reviews they have posted so that such comments and reviews can be reactivated as per the guest’s wishes.

    4. Guests explicitly authorise Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim to act on their behalf and organise negative social media reviews that are in direct contradiction to the Terms and Conditions guests have agreed to when booking onto our tour. Explicitly, guests authorise Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim to review any and all social media reviews they post regarding not receiving a refund or voucher when they do not turn up for their tour for reasons that have nothing to do with Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim.

Dives and Try Dives and Giveaways not guaranteed

Should no whalesharks or whales be spotted before the afternoon snorkel and dive commences, or in inclement weather conditions, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim reserves the right to cancel all free dives or Try-dives scheduled for that tour without paying the customers any form of compensation for this. (Paid dives or try-dives will be refunded in full in these circumstances.) This is necessary to allow the vessel to fulfil the primary purpose of the tour, and continue to search for whalesharks during this afternoon period, and / or to operate safely at all times.

Should Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim be unable to supply any good or service offered to a customer as part of a giveaway, the company reserves the right to make good to the best of its ability if this has occurred after the customer has paid for their tour, or give a potential customer the opportunity to withdraw from purchasing a ticket with Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim prior to boarding for this reason., and receive a full refund.

Booking Fees

Customers acknowledge and agree to Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim adding a booking fee which includes credit card charge fees incurred by the company in taking this sort of payment from customers, and also the cost of the booking service and resources. Directions to nearby ATM machines are available, and the company accepts cash payments and direct deposits straight into its bank account should the customer so prefer.