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Snorkeling, Culture & Natural Hisotry
While visitors flock to Australia's eastern Great Barrier Reef, the equally impressive gems of Australia's western waters remain much less crowded. Limited to just 8 participants, this program ventures west to explore the continent's largest fringing reef: Ningaloo Reef supports 250 species of coral, 500 species of tropical fish, and seasonally hosts whale sharks, sea turtles, dugongs, whales and manta rays.
From Perth, we fly to the northwestern corner of the continent to spend five full days exploring Ningaloo Reefs' glistening turquoise waters, snorkeling at one of the continent's few remaining healthy reef systems. We will have the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, look for dugongs, and help collect data on the reef's resident manta rays. We will hear about the ecology of these amazing animals from local researchers and conservation officials.
This expedition is designed for travelers in good health who are accustomed to the nature of expeditionary travel in remote locations. The whale shark portion of the program includes open-water snorkeling best suited to intermediate and advanced snorkelers; reef snorkeling is an alternate option that day. The balance of the trip can be enjoyed by swimmers of all experience levels. Accommodations are double-occupancy rooms in resort accommodation. Our naturalist, along with several guest researchers, will enhance the experience through daily reviews and presentations.
Day 1 Arrive Perth. Those who arrive on the suggested flight will be met at the Perth International Airport and transfer to a comfortable hotel. The afternoon is free to relax and explore the area. Gather for a welcome dinner to meet your naturalist and fellow travelers.
Day 2-3 Whale Sharks. Spend the morning and afternoon aboard a licensed day boat to observe and swim with the magnificent whale shark. Lunch will be served. Return to our private catamaran for dinner. Reef snorkeling is also an option for those who choose not to join the whale shark excursion.
Day 4-8 Ningaloo Reef. Snorkeling and data collecting for a long-term manta ray research program which tracks the reef’s resident manta rays. A manta ray researcher will join the group for briefing and activities. In addition to excellent reef snorkeling, other possible sightings include dugongs and humpback whales.
Day 9 Ningaloo Reef/Perth. Flight back to Perth, then transfer to hotel for time at leisure. Many flights depart Perth in the evening or around midnight on to connect to flights home.