A Whale of a Time!

Travel

whale-breaching

It’s that exciting time of the year folks where one may catch a glimpse of the majestic giant’s of the ocean!  During autumn in Australia, whale groups like humpback’s and orca’s migrate from the cold waters of the Antarctic up to the more temperate waters of Australia. Here, they give birth to their young. When their babies grow, they go back to the Antarctic, where mating and feeding takes place.

The whale migration in Australia begins late May and runs through till the month of November. During these times, people from around the world are very excited to visit the different whale watching destinations this beautiful island continent has on offer and to experience a whale encounter of their very own.

The whale’s route passes around New Zealand and then up to the waters of Australia.   These beautiful creatures can be spotted at many places along the coast of Australia but in particular the following famed whale watch destinations:

Gold Coast, Queensland

What makes whale watching Gold Coast really unique? Gold Coast offers the experience of watching whales in close quarters whilst enjoying the luxury of state-of-the-art vessels. In some places, you need to travel a long distance to get a glimpse of the whales. But on the Gold Coast, you will be able to watch whales perform within 15 to 20 minutes of your departure.  The duration of the whale watch season is also regarded as the longest one in the entire state of Queensland. This unique experience will linger in your mind for years to come.

The geographical location makes Gold Coast one of the best places for whale watching in Australia because glimpses of the majestic creatures can be had for the entire whale season. The gorgeous Humpback whales will start heading north in search of warmer oceans during the month of may and will go back after a few months. The timing may vary slightly depending on the climate and water temperatures. The greatest aspect about whale watching Gold Coast is that you can see these whales heading in both directions and that is what makes Gold Coast, a whale watching destination for all seasons.

North Coast,  New South Wales

Generally, Humpback whales travel close to the shore line, and since Cape Byron is Australia’s most easterly point, this area is one of the country’s premier destinations for whale watching. Here, the Humpback whale migration can be witnessed at close proximity.

Whale Watching Byron Bay, the regions only whale-watch operator, holds small, personalized tours with a limit of only 12 whale watchers per vessel. The NSW Maritime Authority annually inspects each vessel to ensure it complies strictly with all applicable safety regulations.

The distinct geography of Byron Bay’s Cape Byron makes it easy to pinpoint each whale’s location; this means Whale Watching Byron Bay’s tours encounter whales frequently within mere minutes of leaving the shore.

Hervey Bay,  Queensland

Hervey Bay is the self-proclaimed whale watching capital of Australia.  Home to what they call the Harvey and the Humpbacks show.

The calm waters of Hervey Bay provide the most naturally stunning arena for their jaw-dropping performances and play host to the biggest and longest running live show on their world tour. They’ve been performing to fans in the Bay for more than 20 years and the show just keeps getting better each season.

Even with around 10,000 humpbacks gracing Hervey Bay with their presence, there’s no celebrity ego here. Harvey and the Humpbacks give back to fans ten-fold, playing up and responding to cheers with their signature moves and if you’re really lucky, a cheeky nudge.

Shark Bay, Ningaloo 

Every year from April to July following the mass spawning of coral, the world’s biggest species of fish congregate in the Ningaloo Marine Park. These are the Whalesharks! The chance to snorkel with these gentle giants is the opportunity of a lifetime and visitors from all over the world head to the Ningaloo Reef during Whaleshark season. These massive filter feeders can grow up to 18m long. They cruise the world’s ocean in search of concentrations to feed on. Ningaloo Reef is one of the only places they appear regularly in large numbers. Very little is known about the biology of these creatures so research is ongoing.

Day tours to snorkel with Whalesharks depart daily during the season from both Exmouth and Coral Bay. The experience is open to confident swimmers of all ages..

Ottway Coast, Victoria

Each year usually between June and September, Southern Right Whales migrate to the southern coast of Australia from the sub-Antartic to give birth and raise their young. During this time they can be spotted right along the Great Ocean Road.

Many of the local Visitor Information Centres will fly a whale flag when there is a sighting so be sure to keep a look out!  The species can be recognised by their smooth black back and lack of dorsal fin. Their heads have a number of crusty outgrowths called callosites and sometimes irregular white patches can be found on the whales’ belly.  The average weight of the Southern Right Whale is 50 tonnes, however they can grow upto 96 tonnes. The average length of the whale is about 15 meters, but can be found up to 18 meters long.

The whales travel along the coast and chose different bays and locations in which to nurse their young. The Cape Otway Lightstation offers a great viewing outlook if whales are in the area.

Click the links above to search your Affordable Holidays accommodation options in each region or give our friendly reservations team a call on 1300 468 268 to book your Winter getaway.  Book you fabulous whale watching tour through the cashvantage tourdesk here!

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