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Are There Sharks In The Whitsundays?

Sharks are a bit scary to most people but this is mainly because they are not fully understood.  The Whitsundays is home to many sharks but you don’t need to worry about them.

The fact of the matter is that The Whitsundays is open ocean and sharks will come and go but we rarely see large sharks around here.

Most commonly we see small Lemon Sharks cruising around the shallow water at Whitehaven Beach.  These sharks will always swim away from you the second they know you are there.  There has never been an attack from a Lemon Shark.

The second most common shark we see is the Blacktip Reef Shark which may swim in towards the reefs at which we snorkel.  These sharks are normally around 2 feet in size and extremely placid as they are nocturnal hunters. 

While it is almost impossible to see another type of shark in your time here, it is certainly possible.  

There are certain places that you would be more likely to see a larger shark, like Cid Harbour, but none of our tours visit the more shark prone areas.

Shark attacks have certainly happened in the past in The Whitsundays though they all have had a few things in common.  

Here is a simple list of things to do in order to avoid sharks.

  • Travel on a tour with local guides
  • Do not swim at sunset or sunrise
  • Do not swim in murky water
  • Do not throw food scraps in the water

There is a wonderful tagging program that helps track the movements of large sharks around the globe and sometimes one will pop up near The Whitsundays.  This program is called OCEARCH and it’s really interesting to see the sharks movements.

They have tagged everything from Hammerheads to Great Whites and some of them have measured over 15 feet. 

This is proof that there are large sharks out there, but if you stick to the main tours and locations in The Whitsundays, you will have nothing to worry about.