Snorkelling with whaleshark

Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival 2017

Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival is an annual event and celebrates the community’s relationship with these gentle ocean giants. The three day festival begins Friday 26th May closing Sunday 28th May.

The aim of the festival is to learn and share information, experiences, ideas and research in a fun educational way.

Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival

Things to see and do at the Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival

Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival Events

  • Gala opening night
  • Fancy Dress Fun Run
  • Musicians
  • Swimwear Parade
  • Circus Acts
  • Local Wildlife Display
  • Local Produce Stalls

For full details on venues, events and times please click through to this post.


Look at that mouth

History of the Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival

For years Exmouth has hosted a small Festival in September. Mostly catering for the locals and visiting holidaymakers. The festival was known then as Aquafest and celebrated the Community’s close relationship with the beautiful pristine waters of the Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf. Aquafest was a one day event moving from town to the new Marina Development.

In 2002, when the Marina site was no longer available, the Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival was born. A one-day event held in May each year on the town oval. By popular demand in 2006 the event was extended to three days. Events included the Whale Shark Challenge Triathlon, a new regional arts prize, portrait painting and an annual cricket match on the town oval between locals versus celebrity teams.

Since 2011 the Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival has gone from strength to strength and now attracts visitors from all over Australia and worldwide to enjoy the uniqueness Exmouth and the Whale Shark Festival have to offer.

Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival continues to increase awareness of the plight of the whale sharks and provides education to people of all ages. Interaction with whale sharks is a unique and amazing experience and the festival promotes this over the three day event. There is still a lot of mystery and so much more we need to learn about these magnificent creatures. We are very happy  they come back each year and that their numbers are increasing.


Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival brings together government departments, business, industry and community members. The Festival provides three days of education, entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. Sponsors play a huge part in the success of the festival we would like to thank the following local sponsors for their continued support and a big thank you to all.