If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to see, or even swim with the largest fish in the ocean, right now might just be your opportunity to satisfy this curiosity. By Anna Hager

Every year the pristine environment of Ningaloo Marine Park, situated off the Western Australian Coral Coast, becomes home to large pods of whale sharks. These gentle giants arrive in the area between early April and July each year, following the mass spawning of coral.

Whale sharks can grow up to a size of 16 metres, but not to worry, unlike other sharks, they mainly feed on minute organisms like crab, larvae and jellyfish. They feature a unique pattern of lines and dots on their skin, which enables them to blend better into their environment.

Set against the backdrop of dazzling white beaches the unspoilt turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef provide the perfect scene not only to meet the gentle giant, but also to explore one of the most amazing marine parks Australia has on offer. 
 

Set against the backdrop of dazzling white beaches the unspoilt turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef provide the perfect scene not only to meet the gentle giant, but also to explore one of the most amazing marine parks Australia has on offer.
 

Whether in the water of from a boat, Ningaloo has something for everyone. It is one of the rare places on earth, where it only takes a casual stroll through shallow water, or a few paddles and strokes with your fins and mask strapped on, to get to the 300km long underwater paradise.

Even though most tours around this time of the year will focus on the appearance of the whale shark, you will also have the opportunity to see myriad other fish and marine creatures like playful dolphins, manta rays and turtles. And, if you are really lucky, you’ll even experience clownfish frolicking among anemone tentacles and dugongs passing by.

In order to make your dream of swimming with a whale shark reality, you can contact one of many tour operators in the costal towns of Exmouth or Coral Bay to organise your adventure.

Details //  See the giant whale shark in WA
Where //  Ningaloo Reef, about a 2 hour flight from Perth
When //  Between early April and July
Contact //  www.westernaustralia.com