- A longer and more versatile winter cage diving tour with Great White sharks!
- Surface or ocean floor cage diving experience
- Australian sea lion swim
- Neptune Island tour with a leafy sea dragon and cuttlefish dive (weather dependent)
- Meals and snacks
- Lodging on the vessel
- Educational shark talks
- Scuba gear is available for hire
What to Expect
In a winter season of spectacular sunsets, sunrises, whales, albatross, and rainbows this exciting 5-Day and 5-Night ocean adventure is for those interested in sharks and their behavior, experienced divers, adventurers, shark photographers, and anyone who has a passion for these incredible creatures. You'll get a chance to dive with the largest, mature great white sharks at the Neptune Islands. This tour is the only one of its kind that launches an Ocean Floor Cage (for qualified SCUBA Divers). However, all guests are able to get up close to great whites in the Surface Cage.
The tour is held during the Southern Hemisphere's winter season and you might lose a day or two due to bad weather. As a result, the extended itinerary compensates days sitting out due to poor weather by doing land-based activities or shore-based dives (eg. Cuttlefish or Leafy Sea Dragons road trips) or seeing other wildlife and local attractions.
This itinerary provides the very best chance of allowing the 3 best days of fairer offshore weather to be more productive at the Neptune Islands and all expedition members to be more comfortable on the vessel.
The tour will meet you at the Marina Hotel, Port Lincoln at 7:45 PM and escort you to our expedition vessel. Welcome aboard is from 8.00 PM. You’ll be shown to your cabins where you can unload before the formal introductions and safety induction talk.
After leaving the marina early morning, you'll pass through the stunning Thorny Passage and stop by at Hopkins Island for an hour (weather dependant) so you can snorkel or dive with Australian Sea Lions. Then the tour departs Hopkins and enjoys the crossing to the Neptune Islands Marine Park, where the tour anchors and tests the dive kit for the shark diving.
At the end of the day, there is time to relax, unwind, and talk about the day while feasting on a buffet. Engage in the Great White Shark Research Talk, check out the amazing night-sky, or retire to your cabin. Please note that no shark attractant is used on this day.
Alternatively, the tour travels to a location and commences surface cage diving, or undertakes shore excursion to see local wildlife and scenery.
Divers are briefed, and the Surface Cage hits the water, ready for action. The priority is for everyone to see the sharks in the surface cage before descending deeper with SCUBA diving guests in the ocean floor cage.
The tour may hop in the tender boat to check out the New Zealand Fur Seals or walk around the Neptune Islands. Here, there are many bird species to watch and the elusive Australian Sea Lions can also be spotted. More shark talks in the evening and then time for bed ready for the next days' big adventure.
Days 4 to 5:
On these days, you get more time with the great whites viewing topside in the surface cage or down on the ocean floor. By now, your shark identification skills should be finely tuned.
The evening brings more opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Neptune Islands, listening to the sounds of the seals with a chilled glass of white or a warming glass of red. There is plenty of time and space onboard to chill out and rest or join a presentation or movie in the saloon. Hit the hay when you feel like it.
You'll have more time for Surface and Ocean Floor diving – there is no time limit in the cages as long as everyone has their fair share. You can also do shark and wildlife watching from the observation deck, relax with a book – anything that floats your boat.
The tour leaves the Neptune Islands by 3:00 PM and enjoys local South Australian wine on the bow — usually with common dolphins joining for company. You'll arrive back in Port Lincoln by 8.00 PM to disembark.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Neptune Islands are a unique and reliable location for great white shark diving throughout any month of the year. The ‘best times’ are decided from a whole combination of factors including current trends of shark reliability, shark numbers, average shark size, potential productive weather, water temperature, and water visibility.
To attract sharks, they use a natural tuna fish mix. Although the Neptune Islands are a natural feeding ground for great white sharks, we have found that a form of shark attractant is still required. Over its 50 year history, the tour tried many things and the natural tuna scent is what provides the best results. All interaction with the sharks is carried out by a trained crew and a strict code of conduct.
The Neptune Islands are home to thousands of long-nose fur seals, which provide a significant natural feeding source for great white sharks making this location a reliable year-round destination to view great white sharks. It’s unreasonable to expect great white sharks to always appear as soon as the tour drops anchor (though this does sometimes happen) and there is different weather and shark seasons throughout the year.
To better ensure reliable viewing, the tour offers different itineraries for different seasons of the year. This multi-day overnight tour uses both ocean floor and surface cage dives, giving expedition members superior diving advantages including the highest success in seeing great white sharks and in achieving quality images and video. Enjoy the entire expedition with sunrises and sunsets, as time is spent actually out on location with no wearying daily transfers. In addition to this, while onboard the industry's largest vessel, they carry a maximum of just 12 guests, allowing plenty of un-rushed and un-crowded cage time for everyone.
You are very welcome to bring your own diving equipment but all diving needs for diving with the great whites can be hired onboard the vessel. This can be ordered at the time of booking.
For a Great White Night Expedition, this is your checklist:
- Warm clothing – Fox Expedition clothing available for purchase on board
- Comfortable flat shoes
- Dive certification card (divers must show qualification to participate in the ocean floor cage dive)
- Dive gear – can be hired onboard, see website for more info
- BCD if wanting to dive/not snorkel with Australian Sea lions -some BCD’s available for hire – please check for availability and sizing
- Sunglasses – polarized recommended
- Batteries – for cameras
- Sunscreen and hats (Rodney Fox hats are available for sale)
- Personal medical and toiletries
- Seasickness tablets
- $210 for Environmental Fee
What you do not need to bring:
- Towels for personal use and diving
- Please do not bring any alcoholic beverages onboard as they have a 'Ship's Bar Only' policy.
- Food/snacks - Meals and some snacks are provided, other snacks and soft drinks are available for purchase
- SCUBA tanks, fins or weight belts
Absolutely! There is no diving experience required for surface cage diving or viewing the sharks topside from the boat. There are have qualified dive professionals onboard who look after all our new surface cage diving guests. Dive crew will ensure you are briefed and comfortable before getting in the cage. Plus, with small guest numbers, there is no pre-determined time that you must get in the cage. Guests can relax, watch the sharks from the surface, and then when YOU are ready, get in the water. Surface cage time is unlimited and we look for all guests on board to get fair and equal shark time.
All customers must pay a $120 Neptune Government fee
- On any bad weather day of our tour, typically when weather is poor at the Neptune Islands, the tour can offer various other inshore or land-based attractions in the area. Weather dependent and with group consensus, the tour can offer a full day trip tour by road to Dive with Giant Australian Cuttlefish in the world's largest spawning phenomenon. This is a world-class natural wonder and only occurs each year between May and August. The Leafy Sea Dragon day tour is generally a half-day tour by road, with perhaps time for another attraction or scenic tour that day, or even sea travel back to the Neptunes.
- All accommodation is onboard the Rodney Fox Expedition vessel.
- Only qualified SCUBA divers will be permitted to dive in the Ocean Floor Cage. Qualified SCUBA divers are required to show their dive certification, this must be presented before any diving commences.
- The itinerary is indicative only (subject to weather and any other circumstances that may affect the scheduling of events).
- Fully understand that great white sharks are wild animals and their presence cannot be guaranteed. No refund for no or limited shark activity. In the unusual event of no sharks, there will be the offer of a return trip with a credit of 50% of the amount paid. In the unlikely event of 2 no shark activity trips, a credit of money paid for the 2 previous trips will apply to a 3rd trip.
- Purchase Travel Insurance Or Accept Financial Risk. Understand unforeseen work, medical or airline problems may cause me to cancel a trip. Compensation for trip cancellation or lost/damaged bags and/or equipment due to any reason must be claimed against travel insurance.
- Weather problems may cause the itinerary to be changed or cancelled. No compensation is offered to change flights or holiday plans.
- No refund is offered for time lost due to the medical evacuation of a passenger or crew, or reduction of dives due to bad weather.
- Refunds: No refund is made for any unused part of the itinerary, e.g. due to unforeseen mechanical breakdown of the vessel, medical reasons affecting yourself, other passengers or crew, adverse weather conditions or other maritime and fundamental safety considerations. Travel Insurance must be purchased or accept liability and risk.
- No refund is given for no or limited shark activity.
- Greater than 90 days - $250 cancellation fee per person.
- Less than 90 days, forfeit 30% of trip fee per person.
- Less than 60 days, forfeit 50% of trip fee per person.
- Less than 30 days, forfeit 100% of trip fee per person.
- If a cancellation is required then we will endeavour to sell the position/s and credit the amount received less $250 admin fee. Please note that there is no guarantee that the position/s will be sold.
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