Cage diving in Australia with Great white sharks: Where to go, cost, best time of the year to see sharks…
During my first year of Working Holiday Visa in Australia I had the chance to do “cage diving” with great white sharks. Basically, you dive in a cage with Great white sharks lurking around you and attracted by liters of blood… and you just enjoy the spectacle of nature!
There are several companies that offer to dive with great white sharks in Australia, in this article we will focus in particular on Calypso Star Charters, because it’s with this one that I had done my cage diving.
If you are brave enough to do so, you can book your cage dive now!
You also do a combo trip to see sharks and sea lions.
Where to see white sharks in Australia?
You will have to travel to Port Lincoln from Adelaide:
By bus and car
From Adelaide, it’s a 652km journey. With Premier Stateliner, you can expect a 9h30 drive and about 110 AUD for a one-way ticket (best to check on their website).
The trip is VERY long and there’s not much to see.
It iakes 45 minutes by plane, and the price is around 130-150 AUD Round trip with Quantas and if you book well in advance. Otherwise, compare prices with Rex Regional Express for a plane ticket.
How much does it cost to dive in a cage with white sharks?
Between the price of the dive, transportation, accommodation and food, this type of activity can quickly cost you a lot of money, especially if you travel to Australia on a small budget.
See the current price of cage diving with white sharks.
If you have the opportunity, it’s better to do so in South Africa, where it is much cheaper and more likely to see sharks.
When is the best time to see the sharks? 📅
Go there in winter, from May to November, to have a better chance of seeing great white sharks. The water will be cold, but you will wear thick suits before entering the water.
Where to stay in Port Lincoln? 🛏️
You will find a complete list of accommodation in Port Lincoln on Booking (the link leads to the page dedicated to Port Lincoln). Ideally, you should stay close to the marina so that you can walk to the boat, otherwise you should have your own vehicle or take a taxi from the centre of Port Lincoln.
TOP 3 BEST HOTELS IN PORT LINCOLN
These are the best rated hotels, youth hostel and apartments on Booking, according to your budget:
👉 Low budget: Port Lincoln YHA (cheap and good facilities)
👉 Mid-range: Marina Hotel (good location near the marina)
👉 Luxury: Port Lincoln Hotel (quiet, nice comfortable rooms)
💡A few tips to know
- You must be at the “Marina Hotel” very early in the morning, to get to the boat. The return is around 19:00.
- The boat trip to the Neptune Islands, where the sharks are found, takes two hours. You will certainly see dolphins, sea lions or other sea creatures. Unless you have bad karma, and I can’t help you about that. Once there, the staff throws fish blood into the water and all that remains is to wait for the sharks…
- You can bring your own camera in the cage, otherwise it’s possible to rent some from the staff.
- No diving qualification is required, even your grandmother can do it. You don’t dive with bottles, just with a suit, a mask and a lead belt. The regulators to breathe are directly in the cage by some system, you just have to put your feet to the bar at the bottom of the cage and wait for the sharks to show themselves.
- You dive in a group of 4 people, for about 45 minutes.
- The water is quite cold, between 14 and 16°C, but they provide diving suits.
- The openings in the cage may seem too big but don’t freak out, the sharks are so big they can’t fit in. Normally. And believe me, they’re HUGE!
- Take a warm cloth and a hat because it’s freezing on the boat!
- Sharks move very fast despite their size. They are easy to lose sight of when you’re inside the cage underwater, so keep your eyes open!
- Breakfast, lunch and hot drinks are provided on the boat (their muffins are pretty good!). You have to pay extra for beers. Otherwise you can take your own beers with you.
- If you decide to spend some time in Port Lincoln, you can also go swimming with sea lions, or with tuna.
- If you don’t see any sharks (it happened to me the first time, alas) they give you a personal coupon (impossible to give it to a friend) that allows you to come back a second time and pay only half.
- You will have 12 months to return. Keep in mind that sharks may not show up because it’s nature, and nature can’t be controlled!
For me, swimming with great white sharks was one of the top things to do in Australia. On the boat I met two other French people, one of whom had flown from Sydney, unfortunately no sharks were seen the first time. I was still allowed to go in the cage… but unfortunately, no sharks!
It was still very scary to be inside that cage even though there was no shark in sight, because the boat was kicking in the cage and we thought it was a shark coming to hit us and we looked all around us to see one.
At one point the captain of the boat threw a bucket of fish blood into the cage with a cut tuna head, it was rather gory to swim in the blood and see everything in red… That combined with the icy water, we weren’t very comfortable. In short, we came home disappointed for this first time. At least we saw dolphins and sea lions, since the diving spot is located about 200 meters from two islands invaded by sea lions. Hence the presence of sharks.
So I went back several months later, in September, and this time I wasn’t disappointed with the trip! We had just arrived on the spot 10 minutes ago and I was waiting drowsily in the cabin when I heard everyone screaming outside, and I just had time to see the tail of the shark that was half out of the water. First observation, it’s really impressive as an animal. And lucky for us, we had two beautiful 4-5 metre specimens cruising around.
We dived into the cage in groups of four. In my group there was a grandpa who had trouble breathing in the regulator and was not comfortable in his diving suit. Once in the cage, you must respect the safety instructions and keep your arms close to your body because sometimes sharks like to pass their nose through the openings, which may seem too large (but they are so big that they cannot fit… normally).
The sharks are so close to the cage that they can be touched, but I don’t advise you to do so!
One of the crew members lures them with a piece of tuna attached to a rope and brings them closer to the cage. What was fascinating was their speed: it’s very easy to lose sight of them underwater, so keep an eye out.
Once the dive is over, the sharks circle around the boat. It’s funny because they lean to the side to look at what’s happening on the surface… and you can look them right in the eye.
They stayed the whole time we were on the dive spot.
So much for my feedback, and that’s one more thing done on my bucket list!!
✅ Sharks are fascinating creatures to see
✅ Possibility to see dolphins and sea lions
✅ Muffins offered on the boat
✅ Feasible by anyone, at any age
✘ Far away
✘ Requires a Weekend or 2-3 days free
✘ Port Lincoln, is super isolated from everything… nothing much to do and see there
✘ You spend a short time in the cage
✘ No guarantee of seeing sharks
An unforgettable experience if you have the time, and above all the money! I don’t regret doing it in Australia, and I would certainly do it again if I had the opportunity (maybe in South Africa).