Why You Want To Swim With Manta Rays At Coral Bay, WA

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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. Situated on the shores of the world well-known Ningaloo Reef, which is legendary for being a thriving residence to whale sharks, wobbegongs, and a number of other species of reef shark – to say our expectations had been excessive was an understatement.

It’s stated that manta rays swim within the bay of Coral Bay all yr spherical. And since they’re filter feeders, they’re secure to swim with.

When you’ve considered 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, Western Australia

Coral Bay is situated 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 will 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’ll be able to take a half day tour from Coral Bay and find time for different actions.

Our Expertise Swimming With Manta Rays at Coral Bay

A sandy beach next to a body of water
Coral Bay, Western Australia

“Okay everybody, put your gear on, she’s heading this manner. Get within the water as rapidly and quietly as you’ll be able to and comply with me, I’ll be preserving close to it so you’ll be able to 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 strategy to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and paid some huge cash to take a seat on a ship and endure 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 fingers we counted to 3 and slipped in.

We put our faces within the water and there was the manta ray’s face only some ft away swimming in the direction of us. We each squealed, “manta ray!” It turned and we swam to maintain up.

A manta ray swimming under water

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 yr outdated is not any straightforward 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 fantastic 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 the direction of the outer Ningaloo reef when the manta ray was noticed swimming the crystal clear turquoise water the Ningaloo Marine Park is understood 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 a substitute on one other day.

However, we had been fortunate to be doing it with our associates 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 good friend.

people looking off boat
Maddie and Kalyra

Whereas they performed, I slipped again into the water to swim with the manta once more. I copped an important massive mouthful of diesel fumes on the best way in. Once more the manta got here shut and I began swimming, attempting to navigate by way of all of the arms and fins thrashing in my face

I swam across the outdoors of the pack and bolted in the 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 motive, I assumed 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 might contain Olympic type races to maintain up with it.

A manta ray swimming under water

Fairly quickly the diesel fumes mixed with the bodily exertion began to meet up with me and I needed to maintain down the rising must vomit. I pulled away and swam again to the boat.

Man they’re quick, but it surely was quite a lot 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 the direction of the outer reef for snorkeling.

Kalyra didn’t wish to come again within the water so once more I went exploring the reefs alone. Faculties of a whole lot of tiny fish got here swimming in the 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.

man snorkeling under the water

The present was actually sturdy and I didn’t keep out lengthy as I used to be apprehensive about drifting far-off from the boat and getting caught on prime 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 determine if the tour was price it (it’s not the most affordable exercise in Western Aus!)

It undoubtedly 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 wish to do anything. It will depend on the temperament of your baby.

I wasn’t bought on the worth till we stopped at our second snorkel spot.

I used to be fairly chilly by now and this reef was means out the again close to the outer rim and the breaking waves. It made me just a little nervous to exit and was considering sitting it out.

Then our information stated she’d take us all on a guided snorkeling tour and I’m so glad I went. A guided snorkeling tour is the perfect. You’re feeling a lot safer snorkeling in a gaggle and she or he took us to all the perfect spots mentioning discoveries alongside the best way.

The one downside was a couple 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 greatest snorkeling I’ve ever completed.

We swam above a few inexperienced turtles after which a loggerhead turtle swam so near us, that are rather a lot rarer to see. It was so superior.

Swimming with turtles in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

The coral was significantly better out right here, vibrant and all sizes and shapes.

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!

coral in the ocean

FAQs About Swimming with Manta Rays, Coral Bay

Right here’s what individuals normally ask us about swimming with manta rays in Coral Bay…

What time of yr are you able to see manta rays at Coral Bay?

It’s stated that manta rays swim within the bay all yr spherical, however the perfect time to see them is from mid-Could to November when there may be stated to be the very best variety of rays. Weekdays are greatest as there are fewer individuals on the excursions.

Are you able to swim with manta rays?

Sure, you’ll be able to swim with them. They have a tendency to feed close to the floor, which suggests you’ll be able to 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 possible 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 massive are manta rays?

There are two essential 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 in your manta ray expertise, then I like to recommend staying at Mantarays Ningaloo Seashore Resort, which is the one resort on the seashore at Ningaloo Reef Marine Park.

This family-friendly resort is situated on Dawn Seashore within the Cape Vary Nationwide Park.

Every of the rooms comes with air-con, free Wi-Fi, fridges, and personal bogs. Some rooms have a balcony or patio.

You’ll be able to select between 1-2 bed room residences or bungalows. It has a swimming pool, free parking, and is situated close to many close by sights.

Closing Ideas on Swimming with Manta Rays in Coral Bay

Ningaloo is a tremendous coral reef to go to. You’ll be able to discover it from so near shore and it’s nonetheless so pristine, with fairly low variety of vacationers. We had been the one individuals on the market snorkeling.

On the Nice Barrier Reef you’re competing with many.

I had a beautiful 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, but it surely’s potential to see some dolphins and humpback whales enjoying within the waters as you sail again from visiting the mantas when you go to through the winter months.

Kalyra felt she obtained her cash’s price 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.

Swimming with Manta Rays at Ningaloo Reef