Best Shark Diving in the World: Australia
Australia is best known in the diving world for the Great Barrier Reef. But, over the past decades, commercial diving, boating and fishing have eroded much of the reef to a deplorable state. Now the most pristine reef in all of Australia lies in remote Western Australia, which has not been overrun by commercial activity. This secluded reef is home to perhaps the most beautiful coral and abundant sea life on the planet. This underwater paradise is called Ningaloo Reef.
Ningaloo reef skirts the edge of Western Australia, from Shark Bay in the North to the peninsula of Cape Range. Two towns within this area, Coral Bay and Exmouth, provide the origin points for most diving in that area. The reef itself ranges between 650 feet from the coast to about 4 miles from shore.
Every March/April the coral spawns on Ningaloo, and it attracts the largest congregation of filter-feeding whale sharks in the world: the whale shark. At 44 feet, the whale shark is both the largest and most majestic fish in the ocean.
Whale sharks are the largest cold-blooded animal in the world, and the species is said to be over 60 million years old. Their mouths are large and very impressive as they can be almost 5 feet wide on a single shark.
But even the inexperienced diver has very little to worry about with this wonderful creature. Because they only eat plankton and other small organisms, they pose no real danger to humans, unless they accidentally bump a diver with their large tail fins. They are also very slow swimmers and do not travel faster than about 3 miles per hour.
These sharks, in fact, are often interactive with divers and are considered to be quite playful with humans. They have even been said to occasionally lay still, their bellies on the surface, allowing humans to touch them. Select dive specialists can bring you up close and personal with these gentle giants to experience the best whale shark encounter on the planet.