There are two main Great White Shark cage diving operators to choose from in South Australia and both have excellent reputations, but are focused on quite different market segments.
Great White Shark Cage Diving Operators – Calypso Star Charters
Originally started by Rolf Czabayski in the 1990’s using a 35’ Bertram boat, Rolf saw the potential for a custom built boat and invested in the 57 foot motor cruiser Calypso Star, which was built in Perth in 2000.
Rolf is the original “poacher turned gamekeeper” who used to hunt Great Whites as a champion big game fisherman, but had a change of heart and is now truly passionate about the conservation of these unique animals.
He is also a wonderful character with a great line in stories that kept us amused & entertained for hours…
Rolf retired in 2006 selling the business to a Port Lincoln consortium including Andrew Wright who had started on the Calypso Star as a deckhand and is now both the general manager of the business and the captain.
Andrew is a great guy and a terrific shark wrangler who helped me get my best Great White images!
Most of the Great White Shark trips I have done have been on Calypso Star and were four day trips for 8 people – the number of berths on board the boat.
Since the change in ownership the focus has moved to one day charters with a much larger number of people on board.
Great White Shark Cage Diving Operators – Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions
I have never met Rodney Fox, but I have read so much about him that I feel like I have…
Rodney is famous for narrowly surviving a savage mauling by a Great White Shark off Adlinga Beach, south of Adelaide, in 1963 whilst competing in a spear fishing competition.
The actual story of the attack and how he survived is both spine chilling and miraculous.
Add the fact that Rodney was back in the water spear fishing just three months later, going on to become an Australian champion the following year is nothing short of incredible.
Rodney’s story can be read on this LINK
Rodney was one of the pioneers of cage diving with Great White Sharks and has probably done more than any other individual to educate people about them and the need for the their conservation.
He now runs his expeditions from Port Lincoln with his son Andrew Fox aboard their boat the Princess II.
Unlike other Great White Shark trips, where the shark cage floats on the surface and hookah breathing systems are used, Rodney & Andrew Fox offer an option called “Ocean Floor Diving” whereby the scuba is used and the cage is lowered to the bottom.
Great White Shark Cage Diving Operators – When To Go?
The big question… There are no guarantees when it comes to seeing Great White Sharks – they grace you with their presence. However June through to September is generally considered as the optimum time to see them, but they have also been seen regularly in March & April and as late as September & October.
The June through to September period coincides with when the seal pups start to feed themselves, which means that they leave the shelter of the shore and venture out to hunt, making them prime targets for the Great Whites…
Great White Shark Cage Diving Operators – Port Lincoln
Port Lincoln is on the western side of the Spencer Gulf and about 40 minutes flight from Adelaide. It is well serviced by both Regional Air Express (REX) (www.rex.com.au) and Qantas (www.qantas.com.au) from Adelaide.