Swimming with the whale shark
Few experiences can compare with being in the ocean with this mighty creature. It is the largest living shark on the planet and tourists come to the Ningaloo Marine Park from far and wide in the hope of sighting this rare species. Sightings are most common when the water temperatures are around 27 Centigrade and is associated with a mass coral spawn around March and April each year.
It is one of only three filter-feeding sharks, living off minute organisms including krill, crab larvae and jellyfish. They can open their mouths to a great width to optimize feeding and also feed via suction. The males do not mature until they reach a length of around 8 to 9 metres.
They are very docile creatures which makes them safe for people to observe close by, but they invariably react when subjected to any physical contact, and so boats and swimmers always allow them space as they gracefully proceed through the water.
Click images to enlarge