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Swim With Whale Sharks Exmouth

Whale Shark Tour

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Early March - Late July


7:45am to 4:30pm

Whale shark interaction tour


Swimming with the gentle giants of the sea, the iconic whale shark, is the experience of a lifetime – an awe-inspiring wildlife interaction that will live with you forever. Join the award-winning team at Three Islands Whale Shark Dive as we take you on a snorkelling experience like no other, in the pristine marine wonderland of the world heritage listed Ningaloo Reef.

These amazing creatures cruise through the Ningaloo during whale shark season, from early March to the end of July – and there’s no better experience than seeing these gentle filter feeders in their natural environment. Depending on when you come, you might also see turtles, manta rays, humpback whales, dugongs, and dolphins!

The dedicated Three Islands guiding staff are absolutely passionate about their work and love to share their intimate knowledge of whale sharks and the marine environment with guests. You’re safe in the hands of our experienced crew, who have many years of marine experience and operate the vessel with precision to ensure your safety.

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Swimming with Whale Sharks


tantabiddi wa

Journey to the Tantabiddi Boat Ramp departure point

Your day starts at approximately 7.45am when the Three Islands’ air conditioned courtesy bus picks you up from your Exmouth accommodation for the 36 kilometre journey to the Tantabiddi Boat Ramp departure point. During the drive to Tantabiddi, an informative and factual commentary on local points of interest is given, including the Cape Range National Park. The day’s program is also outlined, helping to ensure you feel relaxed, informed and comfortable about the upcoming day’s events.

exmouth swim with whale sharks

Welcome Aboard

Time to get to the boat ramp and climb onboard the 17-metre “Draw Card”, or “Seafari” one of our modern and well-equipped vessels. Once onboard, wetsuits and snorkel equipment are fitted, the crew are introduced, and a vessel safety brief is given.

exmouth whale shark swim

The adventure begins

A short cruise through the lagoon and the marine adventure begins with an introductory snorkel on the beautiful inner Ningaloo Reef. Here we have the chance to see turtles, sting rays, reef sharks, octopus, and a myriad of colourful fish amongst the coral. There are over 500 species of fish and 250 species of coral here on the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Marine Park!

If required, assistance and snorkel tuition can be provided by your tour guides. Floatation aids are also available. While you are in the water, we always have our safety tender close by too.

exmouth swimming with whale sharks

First Whale Shark

By the time your morning snorkel has finished, our dedicated spotter plane has gone up to locate our first whale shark for the day as we head to the outer reef.

Our aim is to get you as much in-water time with the whale sharks as we can! The goal is for you to have multiple swims throughout the day with these beautiful gentle giants.

There will be 1-2 groups on the day, with a maximum of 10 per group plus your photographer and in-water guide. Each group will take turns swimming with the whale sharks allowing everyone a good view and good rest in between swims!

whale shark swim exmouth

Food and Frolic

Enjoy a scrumptious morning tea, delicious buffet lunch, and afternoon tea throughout the day, paired with delicious local beverages.

Time permitting, we’ll finish the day with another reef snorkel on Ningaloo before heading home with a celebratory beer or champagne to finish up a lovely day on the water.


swim with whale shark exmouth


You may also have the opportunity to swim with manta rays if spotted (more commonly from late May) and see humpback whales from the boat (from June).

Back to Exmouth

All good things must come to an end. We’ll head back the way we came, where you can catch your final glimpses of the stunning Ningaloo and its surrounds from the boat, before you arrive back at your Exmouth accommodation between 4-5:00pm.

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What can you look forward to?


The BIG things. Some might do one or a handful, but we are the ONLY company that does it ALL. As a genuinely bespoke tour, we want to deliver the best value you can find. Please see here for full Terms and Conditions.

  • Courtesy transfer to and from the tour
  • Highly qualified skipper & crew
  • An onboard photographer & free photos of your day
  • Morning tea, delicious buffet lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments throughout the day. We can cater to dietary requirements.
  • Extra in-water support if required e.g. buoyancy aids, noodles, snorkel tuition, hand to hold
  • 20 swimming passengers maximum. In-water groups of 10 at a time
  • No hidden costs. All DPAW fees & taxes included
  • Morning snorkel on the Ningaloo Reef and in the afternoon (time permitting)
  • Dedicated spotter plane to locate the star attraction
  • Safety tender always in attendance while you swim
  • Snorkel gear & wetsuits for adults & children. Prescription masks also available
  • Well-maintained 17-metre vessel, with large spacious decks, cushioned seating, marlin board & in-water ladders
  • A complimentary glass of champagne or beer for the cruise home
  • Carbon Neutral - we are partnered with Carbon Neutral and have planted over 5000 trees in WA since joining the program
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Adult Snorkeller

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Child Snorkeller

up to 17 years old
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2 Adults & 2 Children snorkelling
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Flexi Observer

Adults & Children (option to upgrade to whale shark swimmer)
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Observer Only

Adults & Children (no option to upgrade)
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No-sighting guarantee

On the rare occasion we do have a no sighting our policy gives snorkellers the 3 following options;


Free repeat tour on the next available day


$100 refund per person


Or a transferable, repeat voucher valid for 2 years

things you will need

be ready

For most things, we’ve got you covered. But there are a few things you should make sure you bring along to ensure the best possible experience!

Hat and sunglasses
Towel and bathers
Dry clothing and warm jacket
Seasickness Medication

If you are prone to seasickness or unsure

Snorkelling Gear

If you prefer to use your own snorkelling gear

frequently asked questions


What makes swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth unique?

Exmouth is located on the edge of the Ningaloo Reef, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. This pristine reef is home to an incredible diversity of marine life, including manta rays, turtles, and of course, whale sharks.

In addition, the whale shark tourism industry in Exmouth is heavily regulated, with strict guidelines in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the sharks.We are committed to sustainable practices and educating our guests about the importance of conservation.

What wildlife besides whale sharks might I see on the tour?

Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef boast a vibrant tapestry of marine life, so you’re in for a treat beyond just whale sharks! Here’s a glimpse of some of the incredible wildlife you might encounter on your tour:

  • Mantas: These graceful giants glide effortlessly through the water, their wingspans reaching up to 7 metres. They filter plankton through their filter plates, which is a sight to behold.
  • Humpback whales: During their annual migration (July-November), these majestic creatures breach and sing, creating awe-inspiring moments. Keep an ear out for their haunting melodies underwater!
  • Dolphins: Playful and acrobatic, dolphins are a delight to watch as they frolic in the waves. Several species call Ningaloo Reef home, including Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, and spinner dolphins.
  • Reef sharks: These smaller, reef-dwelling sharks are essential for maintaining the ecosystem’s balance. You might encounter grey reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and whitetip reef sharks, all known for their curious nature and docile behaviour.
  • Turtles: Green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles frequent Ningaloo Reef for feeding and nesting. Witnessing these ancient mariners glide gracefully through the coral is a humbling experience.
  • Fish: The vibrant tapestry of fish species at Ningaloo Reef is staggering. From the colourful clownfish sheltering among anemones to the sleek batfish gliding through the water, every dive or snorkel unveils a new wonder.
  • Rays: Stingrays, eagle rays, and even elusive manta rays can be spotted gliding across the sandy bottom or gracefully soaring through the water column. Observe them from a safe distance and appreciate their unique adaptations.
  • Corals: While not technically “”wildlife,”” the stunning coral formations themselves are a living spectacle. Their diverse shapes, textures, and vibrant colours provide the foundation for this thriving ecosystem.

Are there any special features or equipment provided on the swim tours?

Your whale shark adventure is all-inclusive, from convenient pick-up to drop-off. Savour delicious meals, explore with top-notch snorkel gear, and capture memories with free photos. Our dedicated team utilises a spotter plane and a safety support boat for an unforgettable and worry-free experience.

Are there specific rules or codes of conduct while swimming with whale sharks?

There are specific rules and codes of conduct in place to ensure the safety of both humans and whale sharks during interactions at Exmouth. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Maintain a minimum distance of 3 metres from the side and body and 4 metres from the tail of the whale shark. This allows them space to move freely and avoids disrupting their behaviour.
  • Avoid swimming directly in front of the whale shark, as this can be perceived as threatening.
  • Touching or harassing whale sharks is strictly prohibited. Their skin is sensitive, and touching can cause stress and damage.
  • Avoid using flash photography or bright lights, as this can disorient the whale sharks.

How does the company ensure an eco-friendly experience?

Three Islands Whale Shark Dive is committed to the protection and conservation of the environment and ranks environmental considerations equally with commercial and operational factors in managing its operations. Read about our full Environmental Protection Policy.