The Great White. The ocean’s apex predator. So perfectly evolved to their ferocious role that their evolution ceased 400 million years ago. Now, you can swim with them…. Should you?
Most of us immediately associate the Great White with movies like Jaws, and the reign of underwater – and sometimes above-water – terror with which it is most often linked. If you want to look your fears in the eye, Australia is one of the best places in the world to peer into the inky blackness of this ruler of the
You might have seen the large shark-safe cages in the water in documentaries, and they remain the most popular way to get up close and personal with this wonderful creature. However, some companies also give you the option of a sitting in a comfortable custom-built, air-conditioned submarine with food and drink. Not quite ‘swimming’ with the Great White but a unique and unforgettable experience nonetheless.
Most operators which use traditional diving cages do not require you to be dive certified or even have any experience using breathing apparatus underwater. Simple training is provided on the spot.
If you are concerned that the activity might have an impact on the behavior of sharks and other marine wildlife, rest assured that the Australian government stringently regulates all shark tour operators. Check with the individual companies to ensure that they are abiding by their commitments.
In fact, such diving activities are probably the single most effective method of calling attention to the dire straits in which the Great White population finds itself. Revenue and data about the sharks’ behavior from the tours is channeled into conservation and research programs that are trying to ensure that your grandkids will have the same opportunities you do. You might even find students and experts from Australia’s top shark research organizations on board your boat when you book with some of the better operators.
The waters off Australia are home to Great Whites pretty much throughout the year. However, the warmer seasons are more conducive to shark sightings. As the Australian continent is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the reverse of that in the United States – summer is from December to February. This makes for toasty water and great sun baking, too.
The clear blue sea is also home to a variety of other exciting and beautiful wildlife so your Great White escapade is actually the perfect opportunity to see more than just sharks.