Australia’s vast coastline offers some of the most incredible opportunities for whale watching, with a variety of whale species making their annual migrations along its shores. From the majestic humpbacks to the graceful southern right whales, witnessing these gentle giants up close is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Here are some of the best locations and seasons for whale watching in Australia:
1. Hervey Bay, Queensland:
Known as the “Whale Watching Capital of Australia,” Hervey Bay is a prime destination for experiencing humpback whales during their northern migration. From July to October, these majestic creatures seek shelter in the calm waters of the bay, providing an ideal environment for mothers to nurse their calves and for travellers to observe their playful behaviours. Hervey Bay’s unique “humpback highway” offers an intimate and unforgettable encounter with these gentle giants.
2. Sydney, New South Wales:
As humpback whales’ journey along the east coast of Australia, they pass by Sydney from May to November during their northern migration and from September to December during their southern migration. Several tour operators offer whale watching cruises departing from Sydney Harbour, providing an excellent opportunity to see these magnificent creatures against the backdrop of the city’s iconic landmarks or from your Sydney balcony accommodation.
3. Albany, Western Australia:
Albany on Western Australia’s southern coast is a fantastic destination to witness the southern right whales. From June to October, these gentle giants gather in the waters off Albany’s coastline to give birth and raise their calves. The Whale World Museum in Albany also offers informative exhibits about the history of whaling and the conservation efforts that have led to the revival of whale populations.
4. Gold Coast, Queensland:
From June to November, humpback whales are a common sight along the Gold Coast, as they journey north and south on their annual migration. Whale watching cruises departing from the Gold Coast allow visitors to get up close to these magnificent creatures, while also taking in the stunning views of the coastline and its skyscrapers.
5. The Great Australian Bight, South Australia:
For a more remote and immersive whale watching experience, head to the Great Australian Bight, particularly the Head of Bight area in South Australia. From May to October, southern right whales gather here to give birth and nurse their young. The towering cliffs provide a breathtaking backdrop for witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
6. Bremer Bay, Western Australia:
If you want to witness one of the most extraordinary marine spectacles, visit Bremer Bay between January and April. Here, you can witness the remarkable congregation of orcas (killer whales) as they hunt and feed on migrating humpback whale calves. This rare and thrilling event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any nature enthusiast.
Remember to Respect and Protect:
While whale watching can be a mesmerising and educational experience, it’s essential to prioritise the well-being and safety of these magnificent animals. Adhere to all guidelines and regulations set by tour operators and marine park authorities to maintain a respectful distance from the whales. By being responsible and mindful observers, we can ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty of these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat.
An Enchanting Encounter with Whales
Australia’s coastline offers numerous opportunities to witness the grace and grandeur of whales as they embark on their annual migrations. From the iconic humpbacks to the endearing southern right whales and even the awe-inspiring orcas, each encounter with these gentle giants leaves a lasting impression. As you embark on your whale-watching adventure, you’ll come to appreciate the significance of preserving these creatures and the delicate marine ecosystems they call home. So, grab your binoculars, choose your destination, and prepare for a truly enchanting encounter with these magnificent beings in the waters of Australia.