Whale swim tours to start next year

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A lux­ury re­treat near Ex­mouth has an­nounced they will be one of the first op­er­a­tors in WA to be granted a li­cence to of­fer hump­back whale swims next year.

Sal Salis Eco Re­treat, sit­u­ated be­tween Yardie Creek and Turquoise Bay, will be con­duct­ing the hump­back whale swim from Au­gust 1 to Oc­to­ber 31.

A Sal Salis spokes­woman said the ex­pe­ri­ence would com­ple­ment whale shark swims al­ready on of­fer.

“This ex­hil­a­rat­ing day-long ex­pe­ri­ence will be con­ducted on a new ves­sel be­ing in­tro­duced to Sal Salis in time for next year’s sea­son,” she said.

“The boat will com­fort­ably cater for 10 guests — the max­i­mum num­ber of swim­mers al­lowed with the hump­backs and whale sharks at any one time — along with an ex­pert guide, de­li­cious lunch, drinks and snorkelling equip­ment in­cluded on­board.”

Prices for the hump­back whale swim will start from $500 a per­son. The spokes­woman also con­firmed the re­treat would be in­creas­ing the num­ber of tents from nine to 16.

Parks and Wildlife tourism and property man­ager Rod Quartermaine said all 11 op­er­a­tors had reg­is­tered their in­ter­est in the trial.

“It is a big op­por­tu­nity, there has been a lot of in­ter­est in other parts of Aus­tralia,” he said.

“No doubt things will be tweaked as the trial goes on to suit the kind of op­er­a­tion that is nec­es­sary in the area.

“It is a good con­ser­va­tion story too that we can look into do­ing th­ese things be­cause the pop­u­la­tion on the West Aus­tralian coast has re­cov­ered so well.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Sal Salis Eco Re­treat will of­fer hump­back whale swims from next year.

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