THE BUCKET LIST FILES | VOL. 2 CALYPSO STAR CHARTERS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA [Advanced Ecotourism Certified & Climate Action Leader]
THE EXPERIENCE | TURNING FEAR INTO FASCINATION
It’s that crazy thing you’ve always had on your bucket list. You work up the courage to do it, but probably won’t tell your mum about until you’re safely back on dry ground.
Shark cage diving.
Port Lincoln, in South Australia, is the only place in Australia – and one of only five places in the world - in which you can cage dive with the incredible Great White Shark – the world’s largest predatory fish. It’s a day filled with adrenaline and adventure, starting from the moment you’re picked up from your accommodation to the moment you get back.
On the 2.5 - 3-hour journey out into deep water, boats are often accompanied by pods of dolphins or even the occasional whale – a sign that there is more to discover in this marine landscape.
But it’s when the sharks turn up that the mood on board the boat is electric.
To your delight, you’re told that you not only get to spend 30-45 minutes in the cage, but that you’ll be accompanied by up to 7 other people, because you’re in Australia’s largest shark cage. Everything is incredibly well explained, and you have no doubt you’re in safe, capable hands.
And then – it feels like only seconds later – there you are in a cage underwater with a bunch of other adrenaline-lovers. Schools of fish crowd around and then there it is – the majestic shark, up (very!) close and personal. Eek! This is really happening! It’s a rush, it’s exhilarating, it’s somehow awe-inspiring. The time goes quickly but you get back on the boat feeling accomplished and alive: what a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For the rest of the trip, you share the excitement with those around you over a hearty lunch and start thinking about what you’re going to tick off your bucket list next – swimming with Sea Lions, perhaps? That’s another experience offered by this fantastic operator.
For now, you’ll bask in that amazing feeling of having just turned a lifelong dream into reality. And who knows, when you get back to the mainland you might even send your mum a photo.
Multi-award-winning, Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action Leader Certified Calypso Star Charters has been operating shark cage diving and Australian Sea Lion swimming trips out of Port Lincoln, South Australia since the 1990s, though one-day diving charters were not introduced until 2007.
It’s a rewarding job for Managers Andrew and Nicol Wright: “It’s amazing seeing people have their dreams come true,” says Andrew.
Especially the ones you wouldn’t expect, as Nicol adds: “Last month we had a guest who was born with no arms and legs come on board our shark cage diving tour and he dived and loved it. His motto was, “if I can….!” Such an inspiration.”
Calypso Star Charters is a leader in its field and the company prides itself on being Australia’s largest and only employer of Ecotourism Australia Certified Eco Guides in the shark cage diving industry. With strong conservation values (including having offset 100% of its emissions through Canopy since July 2016) and a commitment to the local community as well as shark preservation and research, their successes are a true reflection of the mantra: “what’s good for the environment is good for business too.”
THE DETAILS | MORE INFO
THE BUCKET LIST FILES | SHARING YOUR MAGIC
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[Photos thanks to Calypso Star Charters]