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Is the Whale Shark Tour suitable for me?

Ensuring Your Safety and the Well-being of Whale Sharks

Embark on an extraordinary journey with our all-encompassing whale shark tour, where swimming with these majestic creatures is just the beginning. 

Running from March 15 to September 30 each year, this tour encapsulates the best of the Ningaloo experience.

At a manageable speed, even swimmers of varying abilities can usually keep up, allowing for an immersive experience that can last up to an hour with a single whale shark! You don’t need to be an experienced snorkeler to join our tour. With the use of floatation devices (such as pool noodles, wetsuits and floats) and our trained swim guides, we’ll get you comfortably snorkelling in no time! 

We like to welcome the whole family onboard for our tours! We even offer a special family price for two adults and two children (6 -16 years). If you don’t fall under this category, these are your options:

  • Children (6-16 year) wanting to swim – You can book on as a ‘Child Swimmer’. 
  • Children under 6 years wanting to swim – Children under 6 years of age are usually not permitted to swim with a whale shark. That is, unless their parents can vouch that they are confident in swimming in the open ocean. If so, you can book on as a ‘Child Swimmer’. 
  • Child (6-16 year) not wanting to swim – You can book on as an ‘Observer with Swimmer’. The child will still be able to participate in the morning and afternoon snorkels if they wish. 
  • Children under 6 years not wanting to swim – You can book on as a ‘Child Observer’. The child will still be able to participate in the morning and afternoon snorkels if they wish. 
  • All children under 12 need to be under the direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian at all times, whilst onboard or in the water, during our tour. Our crew cannot legally supervise your children, so parents must assume full responsibility for their children. 

To do this, we require a tag-team method. As both groups are in the water at the same time, we cannot separate parents into different groups. One parent will swim in the first swim, whilst the other sits on board to mind the child. Once the group is out of the water, the parents will swap places for the next swim.  

Please keep in mind, if conditions are rough, your child may become seasick, so prepare accordingly. Alternatively, you can contact the Exmouth Visitors Centre for a list of local babysitters or book the parents on separate days and alternate minding the children back on dry land.  

Ultimately, you know your kids best and what they are capable of.  

We welcome pregnant mothers onboard our tours. The only part of the tour that may cause issues is the entry back onto the boat to the marlin board, where we require a ‘kick and flop’ motion. To avoid any strain on the belly, our strong deckhand will assist in lifting you out.

We always suggest talking to your doctor before coming on tour to ensure they have no issues. Please advise us during the booking process that you are pregnant so we can organise accordingly.

Still not sure you want to swim with a whale shark, so you book on as an observer. You’re on the tour and it all seems so easy now – can I jump in with the whale shark?

Although this is logistically easy to do, our licence restricts our tour to 20 swimmers maximum per day. So, if these spots have already been booked, there is unfortunately no possibility to upgrade from an observer to a swimmer. If there is a chance you want to swim with a whale shark, we always suggest booking a swimming spot to avoid disappointment.

Our team at Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim is experienced with the older demographic and believe they shouldn’t miss out on this bucket list experience of swimming with the biggest fish in the sea!
We know you may need some extra assistance during our tour and that is something we strive to provide to each senior passenger so that they have a great day.

If you suffer from reduced mobility, remember to take your time onboard and do not rush. Our vessel is very stable and built for the roughest west Australian conditions, but always be careful.

Are you currently not working full time or do you hold a senior’s card? If you’ve answered yes to either of these, then you are eligible for our senior’s discount!