Places to swim with marine life in Australia

Whether you enjoy diving, swimming, paddle-boarding or snorkelling with sharks in Perth, Australia has plenty of options for water sports and meeting a diverse array of aquatic life such as whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and sea lions.

Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, growing up to 12 metres long and weighing over 21 tonnes. During March and April, these gentle giants can be seen migrating to the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Visitors can snorkel alongside the whale sharks as well as with other inhabitants of the reef, including humpback whales and spinner dolphins.

spinner dolphin
Visitors can snorkel alongside the whale sharks as well as spinner dolphin.

Swim with manta rays at the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Queensland, has a dazzling array of species. Here visitors can feed stingrays at Daydream Island, watch new turtles hatching on Heron Island or swim with the majestic manta rays off Lady Elliot Island. The wingspan of a manta ray can grow up to seven metres and they normally appear in May-June.

Swim with sea lions off Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln holds Australia’s biggest fishing fleet, with plenty to offer anglers and seafood lovers. Visitors can also snorkel and dive with the endangered Australian sea lion in Seal Cove, where the sea lions love to perform underwater acrobatics.

Swim with Burrunan dolphins in Port Phillip Bay

Port Phillip Bay contains a multitude of marine life, including bottlenose dolphins and Burrunan dolphins. These creatures love to play alongside the boats and swimmers who come to visit the port during the height of the tourist season, running from October to April.

Swim with fur seals off the Tasman Peninsula

fur seal
World-class diving sites and large colonies of fur seals.

The Tasman Peninsula has many world-class diving sites and large colonies of fur seals, which enjoy interacting with divers and snorkelers who come to the rugged coast.