Just wanted to share some tips for those traveling to exmouth / ningaloo in winter. Particularly if, like us, you live somewhere warm, and are used to warm sea temperatures. Despite what some locals might try to tell you, you may not be warm enough to swim or snorkel in just your swimming costume. I was concerned about this and had rung ahead to find out if we could hire wetsuits. I found that the exmouth dive centre was very helpful in this regard, hiring us excellent suits, for just $ 10 a day. I am so glad we did this. It meant we could stay out snorkeling for as long as we wanted without feeling cold. Also saves on sunscreen!
I would also advise people to be well prepared for cold weather out on the whale shark boats. I deeply regret not taking a wind proof jacket to wear over my fleecy jacket. The crew were wearing beanies and parkas, which says it all! I highly recommend a zip up fleece, as they dry quickly and are much warmer than a regular cotton wind cheater. Two of us were too cold in the short wetsuits provided n the boat. Luckily they had some spare long suits, but there is no guarantee of this. If you know you feel the cold, I recommend you discuss your wetsuit needs with the company before the day. The last thing you want is to be too cold to feel like jumping in again. Of course, the weather can be sunny and calm in winter. But it can also be windy and cold. Great for bush walks mind you!