SINGAPORE – Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), is offering great deals on hotels in southern Australia that will suit scuba divers who are seeking a bit of adventure.
Both the city of Adelaide and the town of Port Lincoln in southern Australia are known for the populations of Great White Sharks that cruise the waters near shore, and there are many companies that offer divers the chance to see these magnificent animals up close – real close – with a variety of cage diving tours.
Known throughout the world as one of nature’s most fearsome apex predators, the Carcharodon carcharias (Great White) has been the subject of books, movie,s and documentaries for decades. Famous for its size (averaging around 5 m and 800 kg) and its propensity to eat whatever floats in front of its face, it takes a brave soul to jump into water where the huge animals are known to swim. However, advances in diving safety have made the experience available to a wide variety of people, and these two locations offer some of the best cage diving in Australia.
There are many tour companies offering these services in Adelaide and Port Lincoln, and most give customers the option of simply watching from the boat or actually getting in the water. A strong metal cage provides protection from any of the sharks that get too curious, but they usually swim in for a look, decide they don’t like their food wrapped in a metal cage, and swim off. This provides a great opportunity to get up-close photos and video of these powerfully-elegant animals as they glide through the cool, blue water.
In the past, some have asked whether this practice is ethical – for instance, is baiting the water with chum “training” the sharks to associate food with humans? Michael Scholl, noted marine biologist and founder of the White Shark Trust for Research and Conservation, has offered a defense of the practice, saying that Great Whites are nomadic, and, therefore, won’t develop a connection between bait and humans without repeated encounters. He also notes that to a shark, the boat, cage, and humans are seen as one giant entity, far too big to think of as food – it’s drawn in by curiosity rather than the idea that a big meal is imminent. Others have also supported the practice by saying that it increases awareness and provides valuable research opportunities.
Although visible all year round, the Great White numbers rise between May-October, when local populations of sea lions and seals swell and the sharks come near for easy pickings. This is the best time for cage dives, and tour operators offer several different packages for all tastes – whether you want to dive or simply watch. Take a look at the special rates on these hotels and get ready to have a diving adventure like no other!
Arkaba Hotel, Adelaide 4*
Enjoy 35% off! Expires January 7, 2014.
BreakFree Hotel Adelaide 4*
Enjoy 25% off! Expires September 9, 2013.
BreakFree Directors Studios Hotel, Adelaide 3*
Enjoy 20% off! Expires September 20, 2013.
Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide on Hindley 4.5*
Enjoy 20% off! Expires January 4, 2014.
Mansions on Pulteney, Adelaide 3.5*
Enjoy 20% off! Expires June 30, 2016.
Stamford Grand Adelaide 5*
Enjoy 20% off! Expires August 31, 2013.
Port Lincoln Hotel 4*
Everyday price savings! From US$173.
Southern Blue Apartments 4*
Everyday price savings! From US$153.