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Have you ever ever needed to swim with manta rays? Then Coral Bay on the Coral Coast of Western Australia is the place to go!
Swimming with manta rays in Coral Bay was one of many highlights of our journey round Australia. Positioned on the shores of the world well-known Ningaloo Reef, which is legendary for being a thriving house to whale sharks, wobbegongs, and several other species of reef shark – to say our expectations had been excessive was an understatement.
It’s mentioned that manta rays swim within the bay of Coral Bay all 12 months spherical. And since they’re filter feeders, they’re protected to swim with.
When you’ve thought of swimming with manta rays however unsure what to anticipate, right here is our expertise swimming with these magnificent creatures.
The place is Coral Bay?
Coral Bay is positioned on the Coral Coast of Western Australia, and is a 1.5 hour drive (151 km) from Exmouth Western Australia and 11.5 hours drive from Perth.
You may get excursions out to Coral Bay from Exmouth Marina or from Coral Bay – although anticipate excursions from Exmouth to take a full day, whereas you may take a half day tour from Coral Bay and find time for different actions.
Our Expertise Swimming With Manta Rays at Coral Bay
“Okay everybody, put your gear on, she’s heading this manner. Get within the water as rapidly and quietly as you may and observe me, I’ll be holding close to it so you may monitor it.”
Finned ft started shuffling in all instructions to the again of the boat. Nobody needed to overlook the possibility to swim with these swish underwater butterflies.
I turned to assist Kalyra put her snorkel on and she or he began to have a kind of meltdowns. The snorkel wasn’t on to her liking and so the frustration started to vent as wails. She wouldn’t hearken to my calm, sage recommendation.
One after the other, the others on the boat slipped within the heat Australian waters and began swimming. Quickly, we had been left on our personal.
We got here all this technique to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and paid some huge cash to take a seat on a ship and undergo a tantrum. The others had been swimming behind the manta and getting farther from the boat.
We couldn’t catch up now. We lastly obtained the snorkel sorted and sat on the sting of the boat.
Holding palms we counted to 3 and slipped in.
We put our faces within the water and there was the manta ray’s face just a few ft away swimming in direction of us. We each squealed, “manta ray!” It turned and we swam to maintain up.
Fairly quickly the others had caught up and overtook us and the manta slipped away. Making an attempt to swim quick whereas holding onto a seven 12 months previous isn’t any simple feat.
“Did you see that Mummy? We had been so near it. That was wonderful.”
Kalyra, she determined it was too chilly and waved the boat down to select us up. She’d seen the manta ray up shut and that was sufficient. No extra chasing was wanted, which was great information for me because it meant I may return in to swim with the manta ray alone.
Due to the kerfuffle getting Kalyra prepared, I forgot to show the Gopro on so completely missed that second when the manta got here as much as say hello.
We’d joined the tour early that morning from Coral Bay and hadn’t sailed very far out in direction of the outer Ningaloo reef when the manta ray was noticed swimming the crystal clear turquoise water the Ningaloo Marine Park is thought for.
It was simply Kalyra and I on this tour because it was costly so we had been lowering prices. Craig had opted to do the quad biking tour with Kalyra as an alternative on one other day.
However, we had been fortunate to be doing it with our buddies Nikki and Drew, and their daughter Maddie, who is identical age as Kalyra. It was so beautiful for Kalyra to be having such a enjoyable day trip along with her pal.
Whereas they performed, I slipped again into the water to swim with the manta once more. I copped a terrific large mouthful of diesel fumes on the way in which in. Once more the manta got here shut and I began swimming, attempting to navigate via all of the arms and fins thrashing in my face
I swam across the exterior of the pack and bolted in direction of the entrance. For the subsequent 5 minutes I swam behind the manta ray marveling at its grace and delighting within the small fish that swam near it’s stomach.
For some cause, I believed that the manta rays would simply come as much as the boat and linger round us whereas we swam with them. I by no means realised it could contain Olympic type races to maintain up with it.
Fairly quickly the diesel fumes mixed with the bodily exertion began to meet up with me and I needed to maintain down the rising have to vomit. I pulled away and swam again to the boat.
Man they’re quick, however it was plenty of enjoyable to swim with them. Subsequent time I hope they only linger!
It was time to let one other tour boat in to swim with the rays so we moved out in direction of the outer reef for snorkeling.
Kalyra didn’t need to come again within the water so once more I went exploring the reefs alone. Faculties of a whole bunch of tiny fish got here swimming in direction of and round me. There have been a lot of waving blue coral out right here and some massive fish poking out and in of the attractive coral gardens to eat.
The present was actually robust and I didn’t keep out lengthy as I used to be nervous about drifting distant from the boat and getting caught on high of the reefs, unable to be rescued.
Lunch was served by the crew. We had chilly meat and salad sandwiches, and though yummy as a result of I used to be ravenous, I felt the lunch unfold wasn’t that nice and will have been higher for what we’d paid for the tour.
There was a considerable amount of time spent driving round and at this stage I used to be attempting to resolve if the tour was value it (it’s not the most affordable exercise in Western Aus!)
It positively wasn’t for Kalyra. If I had been to do it once more, I wouldn’t take her as she solely had that one swim with the reef manta ray and didn’t need to do the rest. It is determined by the temperament of your baby.
I wasn’t offered on the worth till we stopped at our second snorkel spot.
I used to be fairly chilly by now and this reef was manner out the again close to the outer rim and the breaking waves. It made me a bit of nervous to exit and was considering sitting it out.
Then our information mentioned she’d take us all on a guided snorkeling tour and I’m so glad I went. A guided snorkeling tour is the most effective. You’re feeling a lot safer snorkeling in a bunch and she or he took us to all the most effective spots declaring discoveries alongside the way in which.
The one downside was a number of kicks to the top as you’re exploring.
We swam within the channels between big reefs and bombies. It was a number of the finest snorkeling I’ve ever accomplished.
We swam above a few inexperienced turtles after which a loggerhead turtle swam so near us, that are loads rarer to see. It was so superior.
The coral was significantly better out right here, vibrant and all styles and sizes.
We weaved out and in of the reef system for a while delighting in it. One man from the group determined to go off snorkeling on his personal and he noticed a few sharks. So glad I wasn’t snorkeling solo!
FAQs About Swimming with Manta Rays, Coral Bay
Right here’s what folks often ask us about swimming with manta rays in Coral Bay…
What time of 12 months are you able to see manta rays at Coral Bay?
It’s mentioned that manta rays swim within the bay all 12 months spherical, however the most effective time to see them is from mid-Could to November when there may be mentioned to be the very best variety of rays. Weekdays are finest as there are fewer folks on the excursions.
Are you able to swim with manta rays?
Sure, you may swim with them. They have an inclination to feed close to the floor, which implies you may seize a snorkel masks and swim together with them.
Is it OK to the touch a manta ray?
No, they don’t like being touched and can seemingly swim away.
Are manta rays aggressive to people?
No, they’re light animals and have a relaxed and peaceable nature. They’re recognized to be considerably curious of people, and will swim as much as you, however they’re no hazard to you.
How large are manta rays?
There are two principal species of manta ray they usually have a wing span of between 4 and 7 meters!
The place to Keep in Coral Bay
When you’re unsure the place to base your self on your manta ray expertise, then I like to recommend staying at Mantarays Ningaloo Seaside Resort, which is the one resort on the seashore at Ningaloo Reef Marine Park.
This family-friendly resort is positioned on Dawn Seaside within the Cape Vary Nationwide Park.
Every of the rooms comes with air con, free Wi-Fi, fridges, and personal loos. Some rooms have a balcony or patio.
You possibly can select between 1-2 bed room residences or bungalows. It has a swimming pool, free parking, and is positioned close to many close by points of interest.
Ultimate Ideas on Swimming with Manta Rays in Coral Bay
Ningaloo is a tremendous coral reef to go to. You possibly can discover it from so near shore and it’s nonetheless so pristine, with fairly low variety of vacationers. We had been the one folks on the market snorkeling.
On the Nice Barrier Reef you’re competing with many.
I had a stunning excessive after that snorkel and loved the attractive views of the white sandy Coral Bay as we sailed again in.
We didn’t see any reef sharks or dugongs, however it’s doable to see some dolphins and humpback whales enjoying within the waters as you sail again from visiting the mantas in the event you go to through the winter months.
Kalyra felt she obtained her cash’s value on the finish with all of the lollies she stored sneaking in. She was tremendous excited to run and inform her Dad that she swam with a manta ray up shut.
So was I.
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Have you ever been swimming with swish manta rays in Coral Bay? What was your expertise like? Tell us within the feedback.