Off the shores near Exmouth, through the clearest turquoise water, some of most incredible natural wonders of the world can be found. The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is an underwater paradise and a popular spot for many marine creatures including dolphins, manta rays, turtles, humpback whales and the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Whether you’re a snorkeller or a diver, Exmouth diving is a definite “must do” for anyone keen to get in the Australian Water.
The best time for diving is mid-March until September, this is when the whale sharks visit these waters on their annual coastal voyage. Swimming with whale sharks at Exmouth is the experience of a lifetime. Watching as a majestic group of males displaying their acrobatic skills, competing with each other for a female’s attention and glide elegantly through the water is an experience you will never forget.
Other Exmouth diving experiences include the magical manta rays. With a wingspan measuring several metres, manta rays can swim at rapid speeds. Filter feeders, they have a large toothless mouth, which they use like a sieve to scoop up plankton and krill. If you are lucky you may also witness the occasional leap out of the water and landing with a slap. Unlike stingrays, manta rays do not have a sharp barb, which makes them very safe to swim, snorkel and dive with.
Dugongs are also another unique feature on the Exmouth diving experiences calendar. Often referred to as sea cows, because they graze on sea grass, dugongs can grow up to three metres in length and weigh as much as 400 kilograms. Unlike other marine mammals, they cannot hold their breath under water for very long, so they can often be spotted coming to the surface for air.
Time your trip correctly; you may also witness the extraordinary phenomenon of coral spawning. The reef’s annual breeding ritual occurs during March, precisely seven days after the full moon at times of minimal tidal disturbance. Divers and marine enthusiasts are truly amazed by this spectacle on the reef as coral creates an iridescent blanket of light on the surface of the water.
Popular Exmouth Diving Sites & Locations
Popular Exmouth diving sites and locations include the Murion Islands, Navy Pier and Ningaloo Reef. Expeditions range from reef dives, snorkeling excursions, swimming with whale sharks, manta rays and interacting with dugongs.
Murion Islands. The waters around these two uninhabited islands are teeming with marine life. We’re talking Potato Cod, turtles, sharks, anemones, stingrays, manta rays and more. Water and dive depth varies from 3-20 mtrs and this Exmouth diving site offers swim throughs, caves, ledges and coral gardens. Drift dives are also available, when the current is right.
Navy Pier. Exmouth Navy Pier is a world class dive site which is accessible for divers of all experience levels. The maximum depth is 15mtrs and the waters are home to everything from nudibranchs and frogfish to butterflyfish and batfish, huge schools of big-eye trevally and barracuda and grey nurse sharks (during the winter months). Please note that currents can be strong, so dive times are dependent on tides. The 300m pier is 14km from Exmouth and is still an active Navy Pier. As such passport or other photo ID will be required and all dives must be done with an approved dive operator. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Ningaloo Reef. Ningaloo Reef is another popular Exmouth diving location, offering a range of dive sites, experiences and encounters. We’re talking large loggerhead turtles, potato and rankin cod, sharks, damselfish, parrotfish and so much more. Dive depth varies from 6-35mtrs.