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Top Destinations to Spot a Great White Shark

Generally speaking, we think Great White Sharks are incredibly fascinating. By nature, they are designed to be the ocean's top predator. They have six heightened senses – smell, hearing, touch, taste and even electromagnetism (special receptors around the head that will detect electric fields – so cool!).

If you are planning a trip out on the great-wide-seas and are hoping to spot some of our incredibly unique friends, you can truly travel anywhere around the globe. Being able to migrate long distances allows the Great White to live all over. With that being said, knowing the Great White prefers to frequent areas overly populated with their prey, you might need to set your sights on tropical coastal regions. If you’re like us, that shouldn’t be an issue – we love to be on (or near) the water.

FUN FACT: The Great White is a warm-blooded animal that can easily adapt to the colder waters due to their most desired prey often living in colder temps – think Seals and Sea Lions.

Side view of a Great White Shark

South Africa’s Shark Alley

Great White Shark Breaching Out of Water

Home to hundreds of Great White Sharks, there’s a channel that runs between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island that Penguins and Seals reside, making it a one-stop shop for Great Whites to feast. During the South African winter months of May-August, there's a heightened level of shark vs. seal pup activity. If you plan to visit the area, be sure to schedule a cage dive to get an under-water-view, and if you're lucky enough, catch a glimpse of a breaching shark. We can't begin to imagine what an incredible vision that must be!

FUN FACT: Adult Great Whites can grow to be roughly 20' long!

Australia’s Neptune Islands

Great White Shark surrounded by fish

CRIKEY! Neptune Islands sit on the southern aspect of the Australasian continental shelf. They consist of four small islands and are about 15-20 miles from the Eyre Peninsula. They are home to a massive population of New Zealand Fur Seals (over 45,000), driving the Great White into the area year-round. Since Great Whites are frequent visitors, the Neptune Islands are a top destination for cave diving and one of the only locations in all of Australia that you can cage dive to get up-close and personal.

FUN FACT: Great White life expectancy can range between 30 - 70 years.

White Shark Café,

The Pacific Ocean,

Great White Shark coming up to the surface

Situated halfway between Baja California and Hawaii is a remote area nicknamed the "White Shark Café". Roughly the size of Colorado, coastal California-based sharks begin their migration each year to the 160-mile-wide span of open water. Ironically enough, the area is not known as a typical shark habitat, but ever since 2002 when researchers tagged a few sharks, they have been able to track their migration pattern to this exact spot. Here they have observed interesting behavior of the sharks taking countless deep dives of 1,500 – 3,000 ft, prompting us to think that there may be a plethora of shark food in the deep sea.

FUN FACT: With roughly 300 teeth, it’s shocking that they do not chew their prey. Rather, they use their serrated teeth to shred them into pieces. Since their upper jaw rests below the skull, the jaw can detach when the shark attacks its prey, allowing the shark to propel its mouth forward for a successful catch.

Guadalupe Island,

Baja California

GreatWhite Shark out of water, showing it's teeth

Located in the Pacific Ocean, situated off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, it’s rumored that Guadalupe’s main (Great White) attraction is the accessibility to the elephant seal inhabitants. Fortunately for the Great White, the crystal-clear waters that surround the island make this a very easy hunt. With 300+ Great Whites identified each season, your chances of encountering a Great White during a cave dive is highly likely. Unfortunately, shark diving is currently unavailable in Guadalupe. In January 2023, the Mexican Government banned all tourism and excursions. Since we know this is such a popular shark hangout, we are hoping they reverse their decision soon so great white sightings can begin again!

FUN FACT: On average, mature male Great Whites can weigh-in anywhere from 1,150–1,700 lbs, while mature females can weigh up to 2,450 lbs.

Bluff Island, New Zealand

Aerial view of a Great White Shark with the sun shining above

As a small port town near the bottom of the South Island, this location is unique because of its varying water temp. If the waters are warm, you’re likely to not only see the Great White but you may also catch a glimpse of Mako’s and Blue Sharks! If you’re visiting New Zealand (um, yes, please!) reserve a tour that takes you towards the Foveaux Strait and Northern Titi Islands. It’s likely that your tour company may drop anchor near a huge Seal colony that’s lived on Titi for many years! As the shark season begins, you are likely to first encounter energetic juvenile male sharks, and as the month progresses, the larger male and female sharks will arrive.

FUN FACT: The gestational period is assumed to last 12-22 months, producing anywhere from 2-14 pups per litter, on average.

Farallon Islands, USA

Frontal view of a Great White Shark while swimming and showing it's teeth

Loaded with attractions, San Francisco is a premier tourist destination. Take a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, schedule a tour of Alcatraz Island and check out the unique design of Lombard Street. After you get your fill of the city, plan for a day out at sea, visiting the Farallon Islands, which are 29 miles from San Francisco. Home to the National Marine Sanctuary covering over 3,200 square miles, this area boasts a massive marine ecosystem and is home to various species - including Sea Lions and Seals! During the late-summer, early-fall months, the Great Whites begin their migration pattern into the Pacific, with a quick pit-stop to feast on local prey. Schedule a cage dive from September to November to get an underwater view.

FUN FACT: OLDER THAN DINOSAURS? 100%. The Great White ancestry dates back more than 400 million years!

If you’re unable to travel, have no fear! Each summer various networks offer week-long specials that dive (pun intended) into all shark species, which will give you a safe and comfortable view of our warm-blooded buddies! Though we know an up-close encounter may be terrifying, we can't deny the incredible attributes of the Great White Shark and how breathtaking it could be to see them in their natural habitat. Bucket list trip? ✅


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