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.

Australian 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.

Australia Travel Planning Facebook Group

Check out our Australia Travel Planning Facebook Group – you are welcome to join and it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your Australian trip!

Australia Travel Planning Facebook Group

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…
Wrap Up - Australian Whale Watching

Australia Travel Planning Facebook Group

Check out our Australia Travel Planning Facebook Group – you are welcome to join and it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your Australian trip!

Australia Travel Planning Facebook Group

26 thoughts on “Wrap Up: Australian Whale Watching”

  1. We keep saying we’ll head off and do some whale watching with the kids. They’re almost old enough to sit and concentrate for the required time! Good to have a few options to browse through.

    • Bronwyn, thanks for your comment. You are correct that taking kids too young on a boat is a recipe to have a not so good time – but it is amazing how much they (and you!) enjoy activities like these once they are old enough…

  2. What amazing shots! Whale watching is something I want to show my kids as we’ve experienced it before. Hopefully soon!

  3. We saw a lot of humpbacks off the coast of South Africa but none when we were in Australia. Whales are such gorgeous creatures – if we get back maybe we’ll have a look at “your” whales too!

  4. Oh wow! It has always been a dream of mine to see whales in their natural habitat! Hopefully, now that we live in Australia, that will become a reality soon!

  5. Whale watching!! I wish I could have done that when I was in Australia. Unfortunately the whale watching season started a few days after I left. Poor planning!

  6. I’ve never been to a whale watching, when I plan my holidays I usually forget about it despite being something I’d love to see at least once in this life!

  7. Aren’t they just amazing animals? We’ve seen plenty up north, and even had one come very close to the boat whilst fishing. We called in at Point Anne in the Fitzgerald national park not so long ago; they pull in and breed in that little bay. Apparently its incredible!

  8. Brilliant first time on your blog and I’m certainly impressed! Love to travel – Will it be possible for you to mention the travelling costs to these places as well? It would certainly help alot. Cheers!

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