Australia’s rich marine biodiversity is a marvel. It’s home to several heritage sites, one of which is the Great Barrier Reef. If you want to learn more about some of the world’s most amazing underwater creatures, Australia is the place to be. Here’s a guide on where to go if you want to spend your next holiday swimming around with whales, sharks, and other marine animals.
Great Barrier Reef
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Home to a diverse marine ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef should be on your itinerary if you want to swim around with sea turtles, a variety of fish, and dwarf minke whales. Some of these minke whales can get curious and follow boats in large groups of 15. For a closer look, book a swimming trip that allows you to dive with minke whales under the guidance of an experienced diver. A close encounter with minke whales is only possible during certain days from June to July, so better check water and weather conditions first before booking a tour.
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Another hot spot in Queensland if you want to swim with whales is Hervey Bay. Popular among locals and tourists, Hervey Bay is a nursery for mother whales and their calves during their annual migration. Currently, only one operator is permitted to provide official whale swimming tours, so better book your slots weeks or even months before your trip. Brace yourself for a breath-taking experience as you swim around with humpback whales as they frolic and dive, a sight that’s highly popular among whale watchers during peak season.
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Want to swim with docile yet fascinating whale sharks? Then plan a swimming tour at Ningaloo Reef. Home to a diverse marine life, the Ningaloo Reef is the place to be if you want to snorkel with whale sharks. These gentle creatures eat plankton and pose no dangers to divers, so there’s no need for a caged swimming tour. As these sharks swim by, take a look at their distinct white spots and be amazed at how they stuff themselves only with plankton despite their size.
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If you’re looking for a more heart-stopping experience, book a caged swimming tour at South Australia’s Neptune Islands. Thanks to conservation efforts and strictly regulated swimming tours, Neptune Islands has a healthy population of great white sharks. A mighty predator, the great white shark is a sight to behold underwater. Caged diving is one experience you won’t forget. Feel your heart beat faster and your adrenaline levels go up as a shark slowly swims to your cage. Swimming expeditions usually last for 15 minutes, but it’ll probably be the best and longest 15 minutes of your life.
Some of the marine life you’ll encounter are listed as “vulnerable” by the Australian Government. This is why it’s important that you follow the regulations when swimming with them. Touching or swimming too close with some of these marine animals are prohibited for yours and the animals’ safety. Be sure to book tours only with travel companies that are legally allowed by the government. By limiting the number of companies that can offer swimming tours, contact between marine life and humans are easily regulated and monitored.
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