Shark cage diving

Rising steeply from deep water in the mouth of Spencer Gulf, the remote, wind-swept Neptune Islands are the setting for one of the world’s greatest underwater experiences: cage diving with the great white shark.

South Australia is one of the few places in the world - and the only place in Australia - where you can get up close and personal with the great white. The sharks are protected in South Australia, and the crystal clear waters of the Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park are one of the best spots to see them in their natural habitat.

Great whites, which can grow to 6m long, weigh more than 2,000kg and have a mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth up to 7.5cm long, are drawn to the waters of the Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park by the large breeding colonies of protected long-nosed fur seals. The Neptune Islands host around half the Australian population and are the state’s most important nursery for long-nosed fur seal pups.

With its sheltered seagrasses, sandy seafloor and deep-water habitats, the marine park is a haven for a variety of other marine life, and is one of the country’s best shark diving hotspots. Keep your eyes peeled for sharks like the mako, bronze whaler, blue and hammerhead.

Tour operators

Three tour operators offer you the chance to get in the water with the sharks (in a cage of course). All tour operators are advanced eco-certified and will provide you with a fascinating introduction to one of the ocean’s most misunderstood creatures.

Tours depart from Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula. Port Lincoln is about 30 minutes by air or seven hours by car from Adelaide. Tours range from one day trips to multi-day expeditions.

Research and Monitoring

The Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources work in conjunction with the South Australia Research and Development Institute to monitor the effects of shark cage tourism on white sharks and provide scientific information that assists in the sustainability of white shark tourism activities. As part of this work, an annual report is published to provide detailed information about the arrival and departure patterns white sharks at the Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park.

Read the 2014 report.