Where in Western Australia can you find those slow-paced, filter-feeding carpet sharks? The answer is Ningaloo Reef. Read on to figure out the best time to plan your rendez vous with these gentle giants.
Ningaloo Reef Peak Season
Whale shark and humpback whale season in Ningaloo Reef start in March and last until October. But, if you are intent on spotting whale sharks, plan your trip to Exmouth between April to July.
All About Whale Sharks
Whale sharks make their arrival in Ningaloo Reef in mid-march and stay around until July. Some even linger until August. Every year, they get close to the reef from April to July. They love the pleasantly warm post-summer waters. Whale sharks make their way to this part of the ocean to feed on krill that swarm to feed on spawn near the corals. The krill are there to feed on millions of eggs and sperm that have been released near the corals. This typically occurs, a week or so after the full moon in March. Hence, around 200 to 400 whale sharks/ (mostly young and able) come to feast on krill.
In 2019, there were whale shark sightings reported in October too.
How to Avoid Crowds
Things go quiet in Ningaloo Bay in March, May and June. If you hate crowds, stay away from Exmouth in April. It is fairly busy in early July but crowds begin to thin by end July. If you by any chance plan on visiting in July or April, book your tour well in advance. The period between August till the middle of September is quiet again. But, come spring break in September, rumbustious crowds hit the waters.
Where to Stay in Exmouth
Exmouth is not exactly your average touristy region, chock full of hotels. During the peak season, hotel prices skyrocket and if you arrive late, you’ll be hard pressed to find accommodation.
If you are on a budget, try dorm rooms for around 30 AUD or youth hostels beginning from 32 AUD and going up to 76 AUD.
Hotel rates can vary from 200 to 1400 AUD, depending on the facilities on offer.
Weather in Western Australia
From April to September (autumn and winter), you can enjoy pleasant temperature hovering around 25 °C. Night temperatures drop to 12 to 13 °C. In the shallow seas, where you’ll be looking for sharks, temperature will most likely be around 22 °C. You’ll need to pack you wetsuit to go snorkeling.
Like this, Read this: Ten Places In Western Australia Where You Can See Whale Sharks