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Top wildlife encounters on and in the water
Australia and New Zealand offer plenty of opportunities to see the world's largest mammals in their natural playground, during the annual whale migration along both countries' scenic coastlines. But, after you cross off the essential snorkelling trip to the Great Barrier Reef and its underwater world of tropical fish and coral, there are so many more wildlife encounters to enjoy on (and in) the water...
Dive with majestic whale sharks in Western Australia
For a completely different whale encounter, head to Exmouth's beautiful Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, one of the few places in the world where you can dive with whale sharks. These gentle giants are the world’s largest fish. The whale shark season usually runs from March to late July.
Stay at Exmouth YHA
Come eye to eye with a Great White Shark or Tuna in South Australia
If you're brave enough, experience the once-in-a-lifetime adventure of coming eye to eye with a toothy but threatened Great White Shark in Port Lincoln, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. As well as accredited shark cage diving, Port Lincoln also offers the chance to snorkel with Blue Fin Tuna and swim with playful sea lions.
Check out Port Lincoln YHA's Shark Diving Special.
Port Lincoln YHA
Kayak Kaikoura's coastline with penguins, dolphins and seals
Humpback and sperm whales aren’t the only regular visitors to Kaikoura. Orca can be seen from December to March, while penguins, dolphins and seals are locals. Tour the Kaikoura coastline by kayak and enjoy one of Lonely Planet's 'Top Choice' activities.
Check out YHA Kaikoura's Paddle Power deal.
Stay at YHA Kaikoura
Try stand-up paddle boarding with the turtles in Queensland's Whitsundays
Try stand up paddle boarding in the aqua waters of Airlie Beach as tropical fish and the occasional turtle swim around your feet, and whales put on a show as they pass through the Whitsunday Passage.
Stay at Airlie Beach YHA
Cruise up close to giant crocodiles in the Northern Territory
Now is high (and dry) time to head to Australia’s Top End. Keep your feet dry and hands inside the boat on a Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise to see the big crocs up close.
YHA members receive $5 off Crocodile Express Cruises & Coach Combo. Ex Darwin.
Stay at Darwin YHA