Ningaloo Reef Ushers in the Whale Shark Season with First Majestic Sighting

In the heart of Western Australia’s breathtaking Ningaloo Reef, the whale shark season of 2024 has been kickstarted with an enchanting first sighting on Wednesday, 14 February. This event, spotted by the keen eyes of Ningaloo Aviation, signals the beginning of an extraordinary period that marine enthusiasts and tourists have eagerly awaited.

Just days after this initial sighting, on Friday, 16 February, Ningaloo Discovery led a privileged group on a private tour, marking the season’s inaugural whale shark swim. This unforgettable experience paves the way for daily tours starting Monday, 26 February, inviting adventurers from around the world to dive into the clear blue waters of Ningaloo and swim alongside these gentle giants.

The whale shark season, which beautifully aligns with the coral spawning from March to July, is a natural spectacle spurred by the full moon in March. Last year’s season was record-breaking, with approximately 40,000 whale shark swims, a testament to Ningaloo’s status as a premier global destination for marine wildlife interactions.

David O’Malley, CEO of Australia’s Coral Coast, is optimistic about the 2024 season, praising the skilled and passionate operators in the region for providing memorable and sustainable tour experiences. “The first sighting is a beacon of hope for a spectacular whale shark season ahead. We’re aiming for another record year, offering the best whale shark interaction experiences globally,” said Mr O’Malley.

Situated at the northern end of Australia’s Coral Coast, the UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Ningaloo Coast is home to the country’s largest fringing reef system. Stretching 300km from Red Bluff to the Muiron Islands, Ningaloo Reef is a sanctuary for marine biodiversity. It’s one of the few places on earth where whale sharks, the ocean’s gentle giants, reliably gather each year, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to swim with them.

Moreover, Ningaloo is the only place in Australia where visitors can experience the “Marine Big 3” – whale sharks, manta rays (year-round), and humpback whales (June to October) – all in one extraordinary location.

With the season now underway, those dreaming of swimming with whale sharks are encouraged to book their tours and accommodations early. The experience, suitable for children over five years old who can swim, promises to be an adventure of a lifetime for families and marine wildlife enthusiasts alike.

For those looking to embark on this unique journey and explore the stunning beauty of Australia’s Coral Coast, visit Australia’s Coral Coast for more information and travel itineraries. This season at Ningaloo Reef is not just about witnessing the majesty of whale sharks; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in one of the planet’s most vibrant marine ecosystems.


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