Shark Cage Diving with Great Whites is not only a thrilling, but very inspiring experience. No matter how frightening it might seem at first, you will forget your fear once in the water with those beautiful giants.
As crazy as it sounds, I have seen the faces people exiting the cage and those people are simply stunned. They hold an expression of purity with a loss for words.
I will give it a try: You are witnessing a majestic beauty cruising effortlessly through the big blue; You will enter the world of the Great White Shark, a 15 million year old survivor, an ecosystem extreme.
There are only four places in the world you can recreationally experience Shark Cage Diving with Great Whites. By far the most popular ones are South Africa and South Australia, the others Mexico and New Zealand.
The cages are usually about 3 x 8 x 3 meters in size, supporting four to six keen divers at a time. There are currently about fifteen to eighteen operators in the world offering shark cage diving with Great White Sharks. The cages are often made of aluminium and an absolutely safe construction.
Believe me or not, shark diving is not the most deadly thing ever. However, having the cage is 100% necessary for every first time White Shark viewing enthusiast. It is the best way to get up close and personal with White Sharks in their own environment.
Shark Cage Diving in SA
For now, I am going to focus this post shark cage diving in South Australia. The region plays host to an amazingly beautiful and remote marine ecosystem known as the Neptune Islands.
The islands support a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and attract sharks from across the Southern Ocean. Therefore, the location is the perfect stage for everything you could ever imagine shark cage diving to be like. It is deep, way off shore, remote, barren, and incredibly photogenic.
I have been told that Neptune Island is the spot to get that perfect shot of a shark hunting. Imagine the animal is breeching at full power looking to surprise an un-expecting seal – fully Planet Earth type stuff. The Neptunes is a beautiful place and I feel privileged to have been able to visit the area first hand.
How likely will I see Great Whites?
Now contrary to popular demand, viewing a Great White is never guaranteed anywhere. This is due to the fact that the sharks do not live at the seal colonies, they hunt. Most White Sharks visit the Neptunes for only an average of 28 days every year. In conclusion, the area has approximately 150 sharks visiting annually.
There is no best time of year to visit, but the SA summer is probably the most weather friendly (Nov.-March). The majority of sharks seen at the Neptunes are mature, ranging from 3-6 meters in length.
Scientific Research on Great Whites
On another note, the islands are also a perfect location for viewing, researching, and tagging sharks. Conditions here allow scientists to gain additional knowledge of the animal’s habits and to share this information with the public. Honestly, the Great White Shark is a fascinating animal and more people should want to learn more about it.
SARDI (South Australian Research and Development Institute) and CISRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) have taken a leading role in the scientific research of Great White Sharks visiting the Neptune Islands. Using Acoustic and satellite tags help researchers to track the shark’s movements and habits. In the future this information will help determine regional patterns in shark activity and population structures in Australian waters. If interested, you can read additional information here.
Fighting the Image of the Great White Monster
All this research is incredibly important in order to destroy the image of the evil, human eating bestie of a Great White Shark. Quite the contrary, shark cage diving is so much more than just a thrilling experience, it is eye-opening. Since my first dive I have gained a ton of additional knowledge that has changed my perception significantly.
The current amount of information accessible to the public is good, but could be better. Instead of supporting their bad image, more documentaries should talk about the threat human beings pose to Great Whites. Fortunately, the international community of people dedicated to helping the Great Whites is constantly growing.
Book your Shark Cage Diving Experience!
As for now, there are three operators offering this trip from Port Lincoln in South Australia. I highly suggest you check out their websites and book a trip to jump in the cage. I promise you, it will be an awe inspiring and life changing experience.
Last but not least, you will have the opportunity to take that one in a million photograph. It is the image you will post on social media and all your friends will freak out about. Make sure to share this life changing experience with people across the globe.
See you in the water!
Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions – https://www.rodneyfox.com.au/
Adventure Bay Charters – http://adventurebaycharters.com.au/
Calypso Star Shark Cage Diving – http://www.sharkcagediving.com.au/
Some Additional Reading for those whom may be interested:
SARDI: A Message from the Deep
CISRO: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation