This Aqua Sub takes you underwater in South Australia to see sharks in their natural habitat.

By Travel + Leisure
December 16, 2016
Courtesy of Adventure Bay Charters

There aren’t too many parts of the world where you can observe a great white shark in its natural habitat — and even fewer where you can stay dry while doing so.

Australia’s Adventure Bay Charters, based in Port Lincoln, allows you to do just that with its six-seat Aqua Sub, a glass-windowed pod that sits about four feet below the water surface. This alternative to cage diving makes it even easier to get up close with the toothy predators.

Courtesy of Adventure Bay Charters

The full-day itinerary takes guests to the Neptune Islands, about 40 miles off the South Australian coast, where a breeding site of New Zealand fur seals offers regular sustenance for the great whites.

Related: The Best Times to Visit Australia

The sharks are drawn to the Aqua Sub by sound vibrations, before receding into the murky depths, their curiosity satisfied. Using sound is an eco-friendly way to attract the sharks, rather than putting any bait in the water. (If you’re wondering what kind of sound, according to Adventure Bay Charters, the sharks’ favorite music is by AC/DC.)

Once the sharks have arrived, guests in the Aqua Sub enjoy 360-degree underwater views while staying completely dry.

Courtesy of Adventure Bay Charters

The Neptune Islands are one of the best places in the world to see great white sharks. The fur seal population is the largest in Australia, making sightings possible year-round. It was an Australian, Rodney Fox, who pioneered cage diving after being attacked by a great white in 1963 — he also owns a company that offers shark expeditions in the islands.

Rates for Adventure Bay Charters’ full-day tour are $395 AUD for adults and $345 for kids during peak season, and $295 for adults and $245 for kids off peak. Off peak includes February, March, and August, when sightings are less common. Once the great whites have arrived and sightings confirmed that day, there is a $125 underwater access fee for each person, which gives them unlimited access both to the Aqua Sub and the cage (for those who want a traditional shark diving experience). A mask, snorkel, wetsuit, gloves, hood, underwater access, and all the day’s meals (except dinner) are included.

Courtesy of Adventure Bay Charters

Port Lincoln is about a 50-minute flight from Adelaide. While most Australian itineraries begin in Sydney and Melbourne, Adelaide is a boutique city with great dining and accommodations, making it an ideal home base for accessing Australia's amazing outdoor and wildlife experiences.

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