Skip to Content

Featured Wildlife Journeys

  • Whale Shark

  • Manta Ray

  • Humpback Whale

  • Green Sea Turtle

Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo

Behind the Scenes with Researchers: Manta Rays Private Charter

  • Available from: March 01 2023 - October 31 2023

From: $4,150 USD

Duration: Full Day: Ningaloo Reef

Type: Groups, Private Charter.

Departs: On Request

Amelia Armstrong is a local Marine Biologist who is very active and passionate about Manta Rays and the extraordinary marine life found within the Ningaloo Marine Park. She is actively involved in the Ningaloo chapter of Project Manta, a program set up to collect data on Manta Rays along the east and west coast of Australia.

  • Project Manta was established in 2007 on the east coast of Australia, and expanded nationwide in 2014 to allow the movement between populations of Manta Rays within Australia and neighbouring regions to be better understood.

  • Amelia will provide an insight into Manta Rays at Ningaloo and the recent findings since the introduction of the Ningaloo chapter for the project.

  • The following day, guests will be invited to snorkel to capture photos of Manta Rays, identify and process images on the Manta Ray identification database and record behaviours.

About Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo: 

As the region’s original eco-tourism operation, Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo is synonymous with experiencing the aquatic treasures of the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Debbie & Mark Ferguson have been involved taking ecotours around Western Australia for over 20 years, managing the operations of a number of boats in various locations. The team is proud to specialise in small group tours for Whale Shark swims, Humpback Whale swims & watching, scuba diving and snorkelling and is active in numerous conservation projects including Whale Sharks, turtles and Manta Rays.

Price based on private charter of vessel with up to 14 guests on board. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/4/2023) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*


Tour day-by-day

  • Full Day - Research & Conservation

    Project Manta was launched in Australia over ten years, with the aim to increase understanding of the biology and ecology of these fascinating creatures. Manta Rays are one of the most unique and loved creatures in the ocean, but very little is known about their movements and distribution across regions.

    In order to conserve and sustain the current population, it is very important that additional data is gathered to manage the species and protect areas of high ecological importance. Amelia Armstrong has been actively involved in the Ningaloo chapter of Project Manta and will spend an evening sharing insights garnered since the program’s launch a few years ago.

    Amelia Armstrong - Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo“Our goal at Project Manta is to study and expand our knowledge on the population ecology and biology of Manta Rays within Australian waters. The work we are doing here on Ningaloo is very exciting and progressing really well. We study their movement, biology, what they eat and where they go. In Exmouth, Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo have been paramount in supporting the studies and in sharing findings with their guests.”

    Amelia Armstrong - Project Manta Researcher

    This will include discussion about the movement patterns of local Manta Rays, estimates of the local population size, some of the key variables associated with population growth and future projections. Advice will also be given in relation to taking photographs of the Manta Rays that will assist in the photo-ID collection process.

    In order to contribute effectively to the project, it is critical that guests are able to effectively photograph the underside of Manta Rays, as this is where unique spotted patterns are able to be identified, similar to a human fingerprint. Guests will venture out with Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo the following day to search for these magnificent creatures and take photographs according to the advice given.

    Photos will then be integrated into the photographic database to add to the local chapter’s understanding of distribution, sex ratio and growth rates of the population.


  • Tour details

    Group Size: Maximum of 14 guest capacity
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Exmouth accommodations
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 7:30am returning at approximately 4:00pm.

    How you'll be making a positive impact

    We have aligned our sustainability vision with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    E-WEB-Goal-14Manta Ray Observations across the Ningaloo Marine Park

    The team at Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo contribute to several ongoing data collection studies of marine life at Ningaloo Reef and the Muiron Islands including Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Humpback Whales; delivering valuable information towards environmental studies and research, and marine management.

    An animal of interest in the region is the Manta Ray, with Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo guide, Amelia Armstrong helping to lead the Project Manta Ningaloo chapter. Almost all of the information that researchers have about Reef Manta Rays globally has been accumulated within the last 10 years, with the project designed to study and expand knowledge on the population ecology and biology of Manta Rays within Australian waters.

    Project Manta was founded in 2009 by the University of Queensland, and in 2015 the multidisciplinary organisation joined forces with researchers at Murdoch University in Perth. The team at Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo offer a private charter connecting with the Project Manta team, studying the movement, biology and feeding habits, along with making citizen science observations with guests.

    E-WEB-Goal-06Using Desalination where the Outback meets the Reef

    All of the vessels operated by Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo utilise desalination systems that convert seawater into freshwater. This is required for numerous functions, from drinking water and food preparation, to deck and exterior washdowns. It is estimated that around 300 litres of fresh water is saved per day utilising this technology, adding up to 60,000 litres per year.


    E-WEB-Goal-17Developing Partnerships To Meet Sustainability Goals

    Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo have developed a number of partnerships with key environmental organisations within the Exmouth region, Western Australia and Australia, including Mission Deep Blue, Longitude 181 Nature, Project Manta, Wildbook for Whale Sharks, Centre for Whale Research Western Australia, Australian Parks & Wildlife Marine Research, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions.

    Project Manta, Wildbook for Whale Sharks and the Centre for Whale Research Western Australia are all supported financially via experiences provided by Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo.

Media Gallery