Wrap Up: Australian Whale Watching

Wrap Up - Australian Whale Watching

There are some facets of nature which are simply amazing.  The annual migration of humpback and southern right whales along the Australian South, West and East coastlines is one of those.

Wrap Up - Australian Whale WatchingAustralian Whaling History

Each year the whales migrate from the cold nutrient rich depths of Antarctica to the Australian coastline to mate and give birth to the next generation of whales.  The strong currents which run parallel to the Australian coastline meant that the whales have always followed a very predictable pathway – which made them prime game for whalers for the late 18th century.

After the evidence became clear that the Southern Right Whale population was almost extinct Australian laws were enacted to protect that species in 1935.  Humpback whales were subsequently protected in 1963 and sperm whales were finally protected in 1978, at which point all whaling in Australia ceased.

Today, there is real evidence that the whale populations are all on a healthy path to recovery

Whale Watching

Whale watching is now a growth industry in Australia, with both many options to view whales from land and almost every town on western, southern and eastern coastlines offering whale watching options by boat.

The Australian whale watching season is from May to November, with more northerly destinations having a shorter season.

Humpback whales can be seen from the Kimberley region on the west coast to the southern point of Albany.  On the east coast humpback whales can be seen from the northern Great Barrier Reef down to the township of Eden.

Southern Right Whales mate and calve along the cooler southern coast, with sightings along the South Australian and Western Australian coastlines, reaching as far north as New South Wales and Ningaloo Reef.

I have found the two great articles below which provide an up close and personal look at the whale watching experience in Australia.

Top Five Whale Watching Spots in Australia

Andy Top from the Travelling Type travel blog shares his top tips to watch whales in Australia from both land and by boat.  He is in a great position as he lives in Byron Bay on the east coast so is readily able to view the whales each season.

It’s that time of year again. Humpback and southern right whales – the majestic marine monsters of the deep – are currently travelling from Antarctica to Australia’s northern waters to breed.

If you’re wondering where you can witness this wonderful rolling, spurting, barnacle busting bonanza, here’s my top five whale watching spots in Australia.

Humpback Whales at Hervey Bay, Australia
Humpback Whales at Hervey Bay, Australia

Whale Watching on the Gold Coast

Olivia Peters from the Halfway Somewhere travel blog shares her story of a day off the Gold Coast looking for whales.  She was definitely not disappointed!

Earlier this month I spent the morning out on the water in the Gold Coast, searching for whales with Whales in Paradise. Yeah, you can usually spot them off in the distance if you hang around the beach long enough, but getting up close with the real action is what you want.

I’ve been whale watching once before in New Zealand with my family. That time we were on a huge boat and they used sonar or something to find whales, sped off to them, waited a few minutes, and then moved on. This time was very different.

Read more about Olivia’s whale watching experience…

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Have you been inspired to go whale watching in Australia?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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