Top 10 best places to watch whales in Australia

Best places to watch whales in Australia

Best places to watch whales in Australia

Best places to watch whales in Australia

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With some 36,000 kilometers of coastline in Australia, there’s no shortage of great places to see the many species of whales that live in Australian waters. These are eight of the best whale-watching spots to spot these magnificent marine mammals.

Hervey Bay.

You can’t talk about whale watching in Australia without stopping at Hervey Bay, the last stop on the “Humpback Road” along the East Coast. Each winter, tens of thousands of humpback whales avoid freezing Antarctic waters by heading north toward the warm waters of Queensland, eventually using the world’s largest sandy island, Fraser Island, to take refuge at Hervey Bay, where they give birth and raise their calves.

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Albany

Formerly a whaling station and now home to the world’s whale museum, this sleepy seaside town, 400 kilometers east of Perth on Western Australia’s south coast, enjoys one of the longest whale-watching seasons in the country, with humpbacks, southern right and several blue whales in Albany’s calm waters in the latter part of the year. A rare gathering of about 100 orcas, better known as orcas, also gather in Bremer Bay near Albany between February and April, drawn to the cold, nutrient-rich currents that blow north from Antarctica.

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Head of the Bay.

It’s a great trip from any major city to Head of the Cove – 11 hours west of Adelaide and east of Perth, to be exact – but worth a visit to see southern right whales during their winter migration. The promenades of the Head of the Cove Keeper, the northern extension of the Great Australian Cove on the country’s rugged southern coast, provide the perfect vantage point for whale-watching from June through October.

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Great Ocean Road.

These majestic mammals are perhaps the only thing that can distract viewers from the beauty of the Great Ocean Road, a stunningly magnificent touring route along the Victorian coastline west of Melbourne. Logan’s Beach in Warrnambool is a nursery of southern right whales from June to October, and even further east in Portland, and from the south from June to August, and with blue whales in the summer, beer on the krill from November to May.

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Sydney

As if you needed even more convincing to visit the sparkling waters of Australia’s largest city, the abundance of whales making their way down the mountain highway each winter provides another reason. Whale-watching cruises depart for Circular Quay almost every day between May and November, sailing through the harbor and then coming out over their heads to try to catch a glimpse of the acrobatic humpbacks making their way through the air, with Sydney’s coastline acting as a stunning backdrop.

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There’s something about the water in Eden

Literally. Sitting halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the coast along the coast, this serene seaside town meets currents from the north and south, which means the waters of Twofold Bay are rich in nutrients and, therefore, an ideal place for humpbacks to stop to feed on their way to or from Antarctica. September through October is the best time to travel to Eden to spot whales on their annual migration.

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Freycinet Peninsula.

This picturesque patch in Tasmania is best known for its gorgeous vineyard boutique, but the procession each winter is still impressive. Tasmania’s east coast is one of the first places whales pass as they leave Antarctic waters – witness the humpbacks on their way to Queensland from May to July before they return from September to November, while the southern rights head to the southern mainland coast from June to August and return from September to November.

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Byron Bay

The drive north of Sydney to Hervey Bay takes in a number of famous whale-watching spots, including Port Stephens, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbor and the Gold Coast, but few as scenic as Byron Bay. Australia’s easternmost point offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, as a humpback cruise back and forth, Cape Byron, home to the city’s famous lighthouse, is particularly spectacular.

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