Whale Watching Season: Australia (Pictures/Video)

Our whale watching season has started here in Australia. The Whales start arriving from late May or early June right through to November. The whales migrate north from the Antarctic to the warmer waters of Australia. The whales that you are most likely to see are southern right whales and the humpback whales.

Australian whale migration. Map: New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife.

The humpback whale doesn’t seem to worry too much about boats or people and seem to frolic and play more. Whales can be seen from a lot of different areas around Australia, but this post is about the whales on the East Coast of Australia.

Two humpback whales breaching non stop for a good hour or so just off the heads. (Sydney) At one point there was a group of 20 kayakers in the mix as well getting a great view. Pic:Jonas Liebschner http://www.whalewatchingsydney.com.au
(from The Telegraph picture gallery)

Over the last week, a lot of humpback whales have been seen in Sydney Harbour, breaching and just playing around on their journey to further up north along the East Coast. There is nothing more magical, exciting than seeing a whale breach, the sheer size of the whales is just extraordinary.

Whales at Jervis Bay. A boat, following a calf and mother a bit too closely, didn’t realise there was a male on the scene until the two adults jumped clear out of the water about 10m off his port side. Picture: Purchase Andrew (from The Telegraph picture gallery)

Of course every year, everyone is on the lookout for Migaloo. For those that do not know Migaloo is a white humpback whale, that we see every year on the East Coast, and what a majestic whale. Migaloo is male and was first spotted in 1991 off the coast of Northern New South Wales, and has been seen every year. He has not been seen yet this year, but he does normally arrive late June or early July, one year he was not seen till August.

Baby white whale spotted with its mother in the ocean just off Botany Bay. Picture: Damian Shaw  (from The Telegraph picture gallery)

Last year we had a lovely surprise, as a new white baby whale was spotted. At first everyone thought that maybe Migaloo may have been the father of this beautiful whale, but it turned out that wasn’t the case. The mother was not spotted at the same time, but a couple of weeks after the first sighting, Mum was seen with the baby, and this year Mum and our white baby have already arrived on the East Coast. As far as I know this new baby has not yet been named.

See more great photos from The Telegraph picture gallery.

 

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103 Responses to Whale Watching Season: Australia (Pictures/Video)

  1. Shannygirl says:

    That is so cool.. I’d love to see that.. Of course I’d love to see Australia anyways.. with or without the whales…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Shannygirl,
      The whales are fantastic to see, and I hope that you will get to come to the “Land Downunder” one day.🙂
      Thank You very much for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  2. Madhu says:

    We missed seeing whales in Puerto Madryn (Argentina) due to a cancelled flight. Would love to do this someday.

  3. So cool. You are so lucky.

  4. Amazing, I don’t know how something so big can jump out of the water and spin around. Talk about power. These are great pictures!!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Peter,
      The whales are amazing, I too have often wondered how they manage to lift their body weight out of the water it is amazing.🙂

  5. aFrankAngle says:

    Looks like the people of OZ have ample opportunities for whale watching …. something we don’t see on the Ohio River😉 …. Enjoy the season!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Frank,
      Oh yes, sometimes you can be lucky and see them breach as they are heading up north, but it is good if you can go on one of the whale watching tours as a lot of the time they will come to the boat to check you out, a magical experience.😀

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope to witness something this beautiful one day. Breath-taking.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Anon,
      It is breath taking, and well worth the efford to see, I hope one day you will be able to see the whales.
      Thank You for taking the time to comment.

  7. robincoyle says:

    So you were in bed sea sick, not with the flu?

  8. I love the way that they seem to be dancing.

  9. I’ve done whale watching off the coast of San Diego, and off the coast of Mexico, but I’ve never — ever — seen the humpback whales migrate. Oh my goodness, what a splendid treat. Last year I read the book, “Fluke” and it gave me a whole new appreciate for whales, their size, their intelligence, and their overall magnificence!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Laurie,
      That’s great that you have seen them out in the open, they are majestic, and so much fun to watch. I haven’t read the book, I must check it out.🙂

  10. This is really something! Had a wee peek at the whale jumping into the yacht, and another one jumping out of its pool, too.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Naomi,
      The whales are certainly great to see, and the whale jumping into the yacht, I am certainly glad I wasn’t I board.🙂

  11. El Guapo says:

    Beautiful! Looks like a great way to spend a day!
    Have you been out to see them in person?

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi El Guapo,
      Oh yes I have been whale watching a few times, I live on the East Coast, I havn’t been whale watching for a couple of years though, but twice now the humpbacks have come up to the boat we were on, and it is just a magical experience, I have seen a baby whale and mother up close and personal, and they are just magnificent to watch as they are playing around.🙂

  12. reb says:

    Lovely post! It must be some experience to see them in real life. What a shot there, with the lighthouse!!!
    I’ll go whale watching some time soon. We can go on trips not far from here..

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi reb,
      They are well worth seeing, and what you will experience when watching the whales in the open water will always stay with you, and I can guarantee you will want to go again.😀

  13. mj monaghan says:

    Wow, can’t believe how old Migaloo is. Didn’t know they lived that long. They are quite amazing creatures to behold, aren’t they?

  14. viveka says:

    Fantastic … animals – so big and so flexible – love the photo with the catamaran and the whale.
    Brilliant post – don’t understand why I don’t get email when you post something new ???? WordPress must have changed the set up again. Great post this … really enjoyed it.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi viveka,
      I agree it is a fantastic photo, it really does show the size of the whale, they are huge.😀
      There are few people it seems that are not getting e-mails, there are some complaints in the WP forum about it, who knows what WP is tinkering with this time.

  15. Colline says:

    This is amazing! What a sight it must be to see.

  16. Hi Mags – I have been lucky enough to see some of the gorgeous whales migrate a few times now. It is one of life’s unforgettable experiences. They are so majestic.🙂

  17. travelrat says:

    We were hoping to see some when we went to Victor Harbor last month; we were rather early, but we were told that it’s not unknown for them to arrive early. We didn’t see any (we weren’t really expecting to) but we saw dolphins and seals, which made up for it.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      What a shame you were a little bit early, but seeing dolphins is always a great experience, they also love to play, and are great to watch. I have only seen seals once when on a holiday down south, such beautiful animals and very graceful in the water.🙂

  18. Windsmoke. says:

    Whales are definitely majestic creatures indeed. I remember seeing on the news a few days ago Whale Sharks feeding on krill just off the Western Austalian coast🙂.

  19. Stepping My Way to Bliss says:

    Amazing and beautiful. I hope to witness something like this one day.

  20. Certainly a great experience to see these great whales
    Ian

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Ian,
      Yes it certainly is, my dream is to one day hopefully see one of the white whales, now we have 2 of them, my chances are improving.😀

  21. niasunset says:

    WOW! This should be amazing to watch them… Thank you dear Mags, I wished too. Love, nia

  22. My first bought was that I would be frightened to be so close to a whale, but as the video played on, I felt more and more comfortable with being part of such an experience. Thanks you,Mags, for bringing these wonderful creatures to us in your amazing posts.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Ronnie,
      It does look frightening, but when a whale comes up to one of the whale watching boats, fear is not present, it is just so wonderful to see these animals, and they just want to see you just as much. I’m sure as the years go on, these whales are really used to seeing the whale watching boats, and they do not have any fear at all, and I’m sure they put on a show for us sometimes.🙂

  23. Astounding! 😊 thank you, mags, for another amazing post!

  24. Just astonishing. Wish I was there to see them all in person.

  25. Linda Vernon says:

    Oh aren’t they the most wonderful creatures! And the white ones! Now I want to make a trip to Austrailia just to experience these whales close up! It’s amazing!! I went whale watching off the coast of Monterey in Californa and didn’t see a single whale and a bunch of people got seasick! Austrailia whale watching looks way better!!!😀

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Linda,
      What a shame you didn’t see any whales on your trip. They always say they cannot guarantee that you will see any whales here as well, but I have always seen whales, they have helicopters here that go looking and then inform the whale watching boats where the whales are playing, so it is rare not to see any, but of course the ultimate would be to see the white whales.😀

  26. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love whales. Such beautiful, majestic, intelligent animals. And to think some countries want to hunt them – what a crime. I used to live near the beach and we loved whale watching season. We could often spot them from our house and we’d head down to the beach and watch them rise up out of the water – magic! xx

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Hotly Spiced,
      Oh you were very lucky, I haven’t been successful in seeing them from shore yet, I have always had to go on the boats.🙂

  27. tempo says:

    There are already whales at Port Augusta in Spencer Gulf and a friend rang yesterday from Kangaroo Island to say they spent hours watching whales playing in a bay. I think they go to Port Augusta only when the make a wrong turn, then they have to turn around and go all the way back.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi tempo,
      How lucky your friends were, right place, right time, that would of been fantastic.😀
      I think there are whales that go to Port Augusta, you have given me some reading, I might check that one out.🙂

  28. Even in pictures it is so hard to conceive the sheer size and might of whales (even the so called small ones)…..for me they are the first wonder of the world.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi David,
      Their size is unreal, nothing really prepares you for seeing them out in the open water, and if you are lucky enough to see Mum and a baby that is the icing on the cake.🙂

  29. what a lovely post Mags,those images are wonderful,Whales seem to be having so much fun,oh how i wish i could flip in water like that🙂
    i have seen whales in open sea and i can tell you they are one of the most amazing things i have ever seen..i was sailing and it was such a wonderful sight

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Soma,
      That is fantastic that you have seen them in open water, and I agree truly amazing animals, it must of been awesome for you to all of a sudden see whales while out sailing, a sight always to remember.🙂

  30. barb19 says:

    Great post Mags – you have some great videos there!
    The whales are a sight to see, a truly unforgettable experience.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi barb19,
      You would of seen some awesome whale breaches when you lived right where they decide to stop and play. I always go to Hervey Bay when I go whale watching it’s the best I feel.😀

  31. You get the best stuff, it always makes me feel so alive.

  32. Hi Mags, I hope you see Migaloo soon! What a great post, as always. I remember when I lived in the Pacific Northwest, we went up towards Canada one day, in the San Juans, and kayaked. While out on the water, in my tiny kayak, I saw a whale! Nothing between him and me. Just open water. I was awestruck. Scared, of course, but amazed. You are right — quite a sight to see.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Melissa,
      What an experience you had, that would of been awesome out in the kayak. I have a post about whale watching in kayaks, and it does look scary, but magical at the same time, an experience no doubt you will treasure.🙂

  33. starlaschat says:

    Beautiful video Mags that looks like fun whale watching. I also really liked the breching whale in the photo that really would be amazing to see. Enjoyed reading the post. I also thought it was interesting to see the whale migration paterns.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi starlaschat,
      The photo was taken by some kayakers in Sydney Harbour, and they did get some great shots of the whales.🙂
      The migration is very interesting, how the different species go to different places.

  34. Everyone should have at least one opportunity in their life to see whales in their natural habitat. I wept, with joy, when I saw them for the first time, breaching and cavorting. It’s an extraordinary gem of nature to witness.

  35. I grew up in Maine in the U.S. and we’re able to see whales on the coast there as well. There is nothing like seeing a live whale, up close and in person!🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi The Scrumptious Pumpkin,
      What a lovely place to grow up, I have seen some great photos of Maine around the net, looks beautiful. No doubt you most likely would of been able to see the whales from the shore, that is just fantastic, there are beautiful animals.🙂

  36. Barb says:

    So very cool. Reminds me of my son launching out of his room looking for snacks.

  37. Pam says:

    Loved this post! We really enjoy whale watching. Some of our best views have been off of Santa Barbara. Will try to whale watch next time we visit Australia.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Pam,
      Sounds like you were lucky enough to see the whales from shore, a wonderful experience I imagine, I have always had to go on the whale watching boats, but they are beautiful to watch, there is nothing like it.🙂

  38. lolabees says:

    Whales are so amazing. We went whale watching years ago in Hawaii and had some really incredible sightings. How fun!

  39. Randel says:

    Awesome pictures. Thank you.

  40. Selma says:

    Such majestic creatures. It always gives me a little thrill when I see a whale. A wonderful post, Mags!

  41. E.C. says:

    I love whales. I’ve always wanted to go and watch them, but it’ll never happen. I guess that’s why I enjoy blogging so much, I can see and enjoying things vicariously through the posts of others. Thanks for sharing these magnificent creatures with us.🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi E.C.
      It is amazing what we find in the blogosphere, things that we would never know about or see we come across these daily in different blogs, and the whales are amazing animals, just beautiful.

  42. That was very interesting, Mags. I didn’t know you have whale-watching too. In Norway I believe february is a good season, then it is very cold…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi bentehaarstad,
      Oh yes they migrate to the warmer waters every year, very interesting about the whales in Norway, 2 very different climates.🙂

  43. mefinx says:

    What incredible pictures! I’ve whale-watched in Iceland and across the Bay of Biscay, but nothing to touch these.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi mefinx,
      They are great photos I agree, most of them were taken by people in kayaks in Sydney Harbour, and the humpbacks just love playing around in our warmer waters, they are just magical to watch.🙂
      Seeing whales in Iceland to me sounds fantastic.🙂
      Thank You very much for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  44. OhMyGod. Them Whales! Beautiful!
    LOVE THE PICTURES!

  45. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow! How cool to be able to see whales! Maybe someday.

  46. I would love to see a white whale. I would love to hear their songs. Thank you for posting this!

  47. So trusting of humans and such playful and curious creatures! Very interesting to see the pictures of the white humpback, Migaloo, because I’m in the middle of a book about white lions. I wonder if there are other mammals with this rare trait… Taking the whale watch shown in the video would be a thrill! We’ve taken whale watches off Cape Cod but we’ve never got that close to the whales we’ve seen…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Barbara,
      The humpback whales are very trusting, and will always come up to the boats and have a look around, a lot of other species of whales don’t do this, also the humpbacks are well known for their play and showing off.😀
      There are only the 2 white whales that I know of, the baby white first appeared last year, but I should imagine there are whites in other marine mammals as well. We have a few white kangaroos and wallaby’s, they don’t survive in the wild, but in captivity they live just as long as the others.

  48. What beautiful creatures! I would enjoy seeing this in person. You are blessed to live in such a beautiful place with something like this. Thanks for sharing Mags!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Michael,
      Oh you would of loved to seen them this week on the news on TV, the whales were having a ball yesterday and putting on a spectacular show for everyone in the harbour, just magical to see these beauitful animals. The humpbacks love nothing better than to frolic around in our warmer waters, and of course they know they are safe as well.😀

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