See Whale Sharks in Papua, Indonesia


Translating as “Bird of Paradise,” pretty Cenderawasih Bay scoops into Indonesia’s West Papua, as well as New Guinea. The west part of the bay is a designated marine national park, and one of the largest in Southeast Asia, covering 80 square kilometers. Fed by a quartet of rivers – the Wapoga, the Tabai, the Wamma, and the Warenai River – it’s easy to see why this cove is such an important marine environment, and the perfect home for whale sharks.

There are plenty of diving, snorkeling, and swimming with whale shark activities available here. As the animals are in such high numbers, you’re sure to be able to see the ocean’s giants up close. The wide variety of other species, gorgeous coral reefs, plus Japanese shipwrecks leftover from the Second World War are also big draws for divers.

The best time to go whale shark spotting at Cenderawasih Bay is between June and October. Set your alarm for dawn because the best sightings are early in the morning. The resourceful whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay also have a unique and sneaky feeding method – sucking small fish out from the bottom of fishermen’s nets!

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