Discover the Best Australian Whale Watching
Australia is one of the best whale watching locations in the world. With whale watching operators springing up all along the coastline, viewing the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is easy.
From late July to early November, the majestic Humpback Whales can be seen as they migrate from cool southern waters around Antarctica to more temperate, sub-tropical waters to give birth.
Some of the best locations to view the whales include Hervey Bay & the Fraser Coast, Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay and Merimbula on the East Coast; while on the West Coast, top vantage points and charter vessels can be found in Albany, Broome, Exmouth, Hillarys, Denham, Kalbarriand Geographe Bay. Another great spot is Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, arguably one of the best for viewing Southern Right Whales.
The migration route is close to the coast, so whales can often be seen from prominent headlands. The best time to observe these serene mammals is at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
The three most common whales seen in Australian waters are the Humpback, Southern Right and Orca (Killer) Whales. Humpback and Southern Right whales follow a similar route each year.
Why Do They Migrate?
In autumn, as temperatures fall and ice begins to form on the water’s surface, several whale groups leave their feeding grounds in Antarctica to begin their epic voyage of approximately 10,000kms to Australia’s warmer waters. Humpbacks give birth in the warmer waters as their calves are born without blubber, the layer of fat that protects them from the icy waters of the south.
Migaloo & Bahloo – The Great White Whales
Easily the most recognisable of the humpback whales, Migaloo & Bahloo are the only documented white humpback whales in the world.
The first ever White Whale was spotted off the Byron Bay coast in 1991, the incredibly rare whale was named “Migaloo” - which means “White Fella” in an Australian Aboriginal dialect.
As Migaloo & Bahloo are such unique whales, they have special government legislation to protect him. All vessels are prohibited from going within 500ft of them, and even aircraft cannot approach under 2000ft. Humpback whales are an endangered species.
Hero Image "Humpback Whale" By Whit Welles Wwelles14