Swim with the largest fish on the planet.
These massive but harmless filter feeders can grow up to 18m long.
THE UNDERWATER WONDERLAND OF NINGALOO REEF
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is one of the longest fringing coral reefs in the world. Stretching from the Morion Islands in the north of Exmouth, right along the North West Cape, past Coral Bay and beyond to Red Bluff at Quobba Station to the south, the Ningaloo Reef is 300 kilometres of unspoiled underwater paradise.
The Ningaloo Reef was declared a marine park in 1987 in order to protect its uniqueness and its inhabitants. In 2011, the Ningaloo Reef and Ningaloo Coast received UNESCO World Heritage listing, with the inception of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. This was largely in recognition of the fact that the Ningaloo Reef is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments on the planet; home to more than 250 species of coral and over 500 species of fish.
Unlike most coral reefs which are located well offshore, the Ningaloo Reef located within very close proximity to the shoreline. In most places along the reef's 300km length, coral gardens brimming with brightly coloured tropical fish lie mere footsteps from the beach. This makes the Ningaloo Reef Australia's easiest access coral reef to experience.
The outer edge of the Ningaloo Reef protects a crystal clear lagoon with an average depth of only 2-4m and incredibly rich in marine life - a wonderland for nature loving snorkelers, no matter what their age or ability may be. There are limitless snorkel sites to enjoy throughout the Ningaloo Reef Lagoon, ranging from do-it-yourself beach snorkels through to the secret spots that can only be accessed by boat which we will take you to on this expedition.
The Ningaloo Reef is not only a spectacular wonder of nature itself, but also forms an important habitat for many amazing marine creatures. The Ningaloo Reef is one of only a handful of locations worldwide where huge but completely harmless whale sharks regularly congregate in numbers, allowing visitors the extraordinary experience of swimming with these largest fish in the ocean. Whale shark tourism on the Ningaloo reef is considered the world's best practice, by participating in these expeditions you are contributing to vital research and conservation of this endangered species.
Manta rays are another huge but harmless inhabitant of the Ningaloo Reef, particularly in Coral Bay which is home to a resident population of mantas. This allows visitors the year-round opportunity to swim with these graceful and inquisitive creatures.
The Ningaloo Coast is also home to a large population of marine turtles. Six of the world's seven species of marine turtle have been recorded along the Ningaloo Reef, with green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtle the most commonly encountered. The reef forms a feeding ground and habitat for these turtles, while the beaches of Ningaloo are critically important turtle nesting sites.
Humpback whales are annual visitors to the Ningaloo Reef, migrating from their Antarctic feeding grounds to winter in the warm waters of the Ningaloo. During this time the Ningaloo plays host to the highest density of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere, with as many as 30,000 individuals visiting during the June-November period. Humpbacks can be sighted from the shore, or like on this expedition there is opportunity enter the water and swim with the 18m long whales.
DAY 1. Welcome – accommodation – get to know everyone
DAY 2. Humpback whales / whale sharks
DAY 3. Humpback whales / whale sharks
DAY 4. Relax day – optional Adobe Lightroom tutoring
DAY 5. Manta rays (Coral Bay)
DAY 6. Humpback whales / whale sharks
DAY 7. Relax day – photo editing
DAY 8. Morning departures
WHAT MAKES THIS EXPEDITION DIFFERENT?
Unlike other operators that usually take 20+ guests, I have chosen to take a maximum of 6 guest. I believe this allows the best opportunity not only for those who are photographers/videographers wanting to capture these animals but those who just want to get the most out of their experience and enjoy authentic interactions with wildlife. This will have less impact on the animals and better / longer interactions with wildlife!
It also offers my guests a more personalized experience allowing me share my love and passion of these animals. Are you wanting to get into underwater photography or learn how to edit the perfect photo? I will be here with you every step of the way sharing the knowledge that I gained over the past 7 years photographing these gentle giants. During the duration of this expedition there will be 2 allocated “rest days” of which you can choose to spend editing your photographs, I will be available and happy to give any tutoring to anyone wanting to learn but these days are essentially for you to relax and do as you wish. Perhaps take a scenic flight in a spotter plane or microlight over the Ningaloo reef and cape range.
Are you a keen scuba diver? Then I would highly recommend the famous Exmouth Navy Pier it is one of the top 10 shore dives in the world!
You can also rent a car and head out into the cape national park do some hiking, search for the endangered black footed rock wallabies, emus, dingos or kangaroos plus snorkel at the famous turquoise bay, oyster stacks and lakeside snorkel sites.
Our days on the water will be more flexible, with only 6 guests it means getting in and out of the water quicker so we can respond quickly to reports of humpback whales, whale sharks, manta rays or other wildlife with help from our spotter plane. As this is the only multiple day package of its kind, everyone will become familiar with our vessel, comfortable in the water and know their equipment which means we are able to change things up go to different snorkel sites and spend longer outside the reef looking for the big stuff! This gives us a better chance of swimming with these magnificent creatures and means you get to spend a much larger part of your day in the water. Unlike other tour providers, we will not need to stop and rotate groups to comply with the license conditions put in place when swimming with whale sharks on the Ningaloo reef. This small group expedition will ensure you get the best possible opportunity to see wildlife up close.
We will spend 4 days on the water (approximately 7 hours a day), 3 of which searching for humpback whales and/or whale sharks. 1 day in Coral bay where the manta rays are sighted regularly. With the help of experienced marine biologists, guides and crew we will give you the best opportunity to witness these creatures and so many others up close and personal. This expedition is ideal those wanting to photograph or film these large filter feeders in their natural environment with minimal of human interference.
LEARNING ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY IS APART OF THE TRIP
If you're a seasoned professional, I'm here make sure you get the space you need to get the shot and generally be your assistant. If you're just starting out, I can help you maximise your photography goals and help you understand your settings and how to approach or position yourself in the water to get the best images with the gear you have. For those without cameras, that is what I am here for! I will be in the water with you at all times capturing you and the wildlife from all angles. You will be provided with a digital copy of all the photographs taken onboard and underwater to take home, to show your friends and most importantly be able to look back on and cherish incredible memories.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
7 Nights accommodation in guesthouse
3 days whale sharks / humpback whales
1 day manta ray (Coral Bay)
Experienced skippers / crew / marine biologist guides
Digital access to professional photographs taken on your trip
Mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit (if required)
Adobe Lightroom tutoring (optional)
Lunch on boat days
Complimentary transfer to and from Coral Bay (day 5)
WHATS NOT INCLUDED
Airfares to and from Learmonth airport (code: LEA)
Travel insurance and cancellation insurance, to include cover for water based activities / scuba diving and snorkeling is recommended
Lunch on days 3 & 6
Additional expenses (alcoholic drinks, gifts, personal expenses)
WHAT TO BRING
Mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit (recommended to bring your own)
Wind breaker or jacket
Wide angle lens recommended
Laptop with adobe lightroom editing software
40ft luxury vessel built for style and comfort
Complete bathroom with hot and cold shower
A beautiful galley from which we will serve delicious snacks and lunches
A spacious saloon with two settees so that if conditions are rough – you’ll be sipping your beverage in style and comfort
Comfortable cruising speed of 20 with a top speed of 28 knots
Highly manoeuvrable to allow us to track wildlife with direction from our spotter plane.
This amazing marina home has been lavishly appointed with fabulous furnishings, inside and out. With large open plan living areas upstairs and down leading to spacious decks. Step out the back door and enjoy the beautiful weather in a private pool or amble down the stairs to a private pontoon.
Large open plan living area
Open plan kitchen with stainless steel appliances, island bench
Bedroom 1 - King size with ensuite
Bedroom 2 - King sized with ensuite
Bedroom 3 - King sized with ensuite
Bedroom 4 - King sized
Bedroom 5 - King sized
Bedroom 6 - King sized
Large family bathroom
Parking available for 4 cars.
**Please note that couples will be given priority over
single occupants when it comes to bedrooms with ensuite availability**
YOUR EXPEDITION LEADER
Professional photographer specialising in underwater imagery.
My love for photography began at the age of 15 when I first began scuba diving, in absolute awe of the world that lie beneath the surface I felt he had to share its vast beauty with the world in order to protect it. Since completing my Diploma of Marine Studies and Padi dive master internship I put marine biology degree on hold to follow my passion for the ocean and a career in underwater photography and videography.
Over the past seven years I has been based in Exmouth and Coral Bay on the doorstep to the world heritage listed Ningaloo Reef. Working onboard whale shark, manta ray and humpback whale swimming interaction tours it has allowed me to capture some extraordinary wildlife encounters on camera. After 7 years working as a photographer and guide for day charters I have put together this unique expedition for those who truely want to experience these magnificent creatures in the wild... not just tick it off their bucket list. I aim to deliver a one of a kind experience leaving you with amazing memories, stories, knowledge and hopefully some lifelong friendships as you will be spending the week with likeminded people.