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In the last week of school holidays students got to share in an exciting and unforgettable experience where they embarked on an extraordinary snorkelling adventure with some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures! 

Destination Exmouth, located in Western Australia, is renowned for its breathtaking marine biodiversity. Our students had the unique opportunity to explore the crystal-clear waters of the Ningaloo Reef, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to an astonishing array of marine life. 

One of the most awe-inspiring moments of the trip was swimming alongside the gentle giants of the ocean, the majestic whale sharks. These magnificent creatures, the largest fish in the world, glided gracefully through the water, leaving our students in awe of their sheer size. We were lucky enough to swim with a 7+ metre gentle giant. 

As if meeting whale sharks wasn’t enough, our students were also treated to many other marine encounters. Manta rays that were bigger than us seemed to fly effortlessly through the water circling around the group. We interacted with curious and friendly sea turtles.  

While snorkelling around the vibrant coral reefs, our students had the delightful surprise of spotting two clever octopuses camouflaging among the rocks and crevices. Of course, the coral reefs were teeming with a kaleidoscope of colourful fish, providing a vibrant and lively backdrop to the entire adventure. Some of the snorkelling was like watching a tv where we were dropped off and let the water current guide us over reef and wildlife below.  

The first indication of humpback whales’ presence was the sight of a powerful, towering splash in the distance. Our hearts raced with excitement as we caught glimpses of massive bodies soaring out of the water and then crashing back into the depths or huge eruptions of waterspouts on the horizon.  

Jumping into the depths allowed everyone to experience a joint first by listening to the mesmerizing songs of the humpback whales. The waters reverberated with their hauntingly beautiful melodies that became louder the deeper we dove. 

The school trip to Exmouth was not just a recreational activity; it was a hands-on educational experience that sparked curiosity, appreciation, and awareness of the marine environment and its conservation. 

Tim Hennekam
Outdoor Education Exploration Society Coordinator