Australia's West Coast: Seven Wild Reasons to Visit

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Perth, Australia (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 22, 2014. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Caroline Morse, destination, Western Australia.

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Welcome to Western Australia, where you can swim with whale sharks, snorkel a reef that rivals the Great Barrier, and dine in one of the country's most cosmopolitan cities. Here are seven wild reasons to add Australia's west coast to your must-visit list.


Swim with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Every year between March and July, whale sharks migrate to Ningaloo Reef. These gentle giants are the world's largest fish and can grow to more than 50 feet long—but don't worry, despite their menacing mouths, they are filter feeders and harmless to humans. Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks; surprisingly, they're mostly unfazed by having people near them. I recommend a day trip with Three Islands Whale Shark Dive. This outfitter uses an exclusive spotter plane to locate whale sharks from the air, and then takes up to 10 people at a time into the water to swim with the sharks. The tour includes snorkeling gear and optional wet suits and stinger suits, plus a photographer who takes underwater pictures of you and the whale sharks (the CD of photos is included in the price) and plenty of food and drinks throughout the day.

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