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Everywhere You Can Swim With Sharks in Australia


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Australia is famous for its sandy beaches and blue waters, although it’s what lies beneath the surface that makes Australia a haven for all things marine life. We have some of the world’s rarest species of fish, not to mention corals and marine life found nowhere else in the world. Take a dive into the deep blue and you will find a magical world of manta rays, vibrant dancing fish, and let’s not forget about the sharks.

Shark diving is one of the most exhilarating, exciting and terrifying experiences you can have. You can get up and close to a great white in a cage, or swim idly by an ocean giant, the whale shark, as you marvel at the gentle creature a mere meter away. 

If this sounds like you, here is everywhere you can swim with sharks in Australia. 

New South Wales

where to swim with sharks australia
Photo: @forsterdivecentre

Forster

Forster
This coastal town is home to impressive but also harmless grey nurse sharks. On Australia’s east coast, these sharks are critically endangered, and for divers, spending time with these beauties underwater is awe-inspiring. The team at South West Rocks Dive Centre have over 40 years of experience at the sites and contribute photography to assist scientists with their conservation projects. They take divers out to Fish Rock, Green Island and Black Rock—all popular spots for grey nurse sharks. Each dive site ranges in-depth, but the one at Fish Rock has a cave that is 24 metres deep and is home to giant cuttlefish, large wobbegong sharks, blue gropers, eels, turtles, and more. It’s a spectacular sight and one of the best dives in the area. 

where to swim with sharks australia
Photo: @prodivelordhowe

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island’s abundant marine life is not like any other in the world. The island is at the crossroads of five major ocean currents, resulting in a unique marine ecosystem host to a mix of tropical, subtropical, and temperate species found nowhere else in the world. Its underwater topography of trenches, caves and volcanic drop-offs make it an awe-inspiring dive site. For experienced divers, Ball’s Pyramid—a large sea stack—offers an unforgettable experience where you’re likely to run into massive schools of kingfish, trevally, and occasional marlin, dolphins and wahoo. You might even get a glimpse of the Ballina Angelfish, a deepwater fish generally found in excess of 100 metres. At any of the dive sites around the island, you will see harmless sharks that grow to around two metres and a variety of species of turtle. The island’s waters are also some of the clearest in the world, with a visibility of around 30 metres. 

South Australia

where to swim with sharks australia
Photo: @davesandford

Neptune Island

Eyre Peninsula
South Australia is the best state to swim with sharks thanks to its nutrient-rich waters, which is a hunting ground for sharks. To get up and close to the great whites, take a two-hour boat trip to Neptune Island where you can jump in a cage and watch a swarm of sharks surround you. You can also watch from the surface of the cage is a little too close for comfort. The sharks here get as big as seven-foot, and it’s a truly wonderful experience to see them in their natural habitat, swimming meters away from you. After the tour, grab some fish and chips and enjoy the sunset.

Western Australia

where to swim with sharks australia
Photo: @barefoot.wandering

Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Coast
Ningaloo Reef is the best place to swim the giants of the ocean, the whale shark. As the world’s largest fringing reef and one of the longest near-shore reef systems in the world, it’s the perfect place to swim with them and the easiest to access. From March through to the end of July is the best time to visit as the sharks congregate in large numbers at the reef. The congregation is triggered by annual coral spawning. You will need to join a  tour to swim with these giants as it’s not advised to simply jump in the water with them. The reef is also known for its humpback whales and manta rays, so keep an eye out for them.

Queensland

where to swim with sharks australia
Photo: @vantuylen

Great Barrier Reef

Cairns
The Great Barrier Reef is a no brainer. It’s world-famous and known for its amazing underwater experiences, one of which includes swimming with sharks. Encompassing 2,300 kilometres, it is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, allowing people to swim, snorkel and dive the natural wonder. There are plenty of islands to explore it from and several dive sites offering different marine experiences. Michaelmas Cay is known for its turtle population whereas Agincourt Reef is a popular destination for divers who want to witness the kaleidoscope of colourful coral on the edge of the reef. To find the sharks you will need to hop on a tour. The reef is home to a number of species, from whale sharks to the smaller ones, that don’t look like sharks at all. Encounter white-tip and black-tip sharks, as well as the larger species of grey reef and the ever-interesting hammerhead sharks. 

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