Swim With the World’s Biggest Fish at Australia’s Ningaloo Reef
Most of us have heard of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but on the far side of the Land Down Under, along its northwestern coast, lies the lesser known — and some say more interesting — Ningaloo Reef. Up to 500 whale sharks congregate here each May after a mass spawning of coral provides them with an excellent source of food. The chance to snorkel alongside these placid plankton feeders lures travelers from around the world. Boats depart from the towns of Exmouth and Coral Bay daily all month long to drop visitors in the crystalline waters next to these massive creatures, who max out at nearly 42 feet in length and can weigh up to 47,000 pounds. Come the final weekend of May to celebrate the Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival, a three-day event in Exmouth with concerts, beach parties, markets, and massive kites flapping in the breeze.