Did you know the whale watching season in Australia’s South West is one of the longest in the world, spanning from May to early December annually? Whales head north each year in search of warmer waters to calve and then head south with their young later in the year. We’ve got some easy advice to help you spot whales. Ready?
There are about 30,000 humpbacks, southern right (and sometimes blue) whales that swim past the south west corner of WA annually. You’ve just got to sit a while and look out to the horizon to spot them. Keep reading below for the best vantage points to see whales from the shore.
You can increase your chances by being in the right place at the right time. The season starts in Augusta from mid May and Albany from late May until early October as the whales head north, then they hug close to the coast as they return south around Busselton from September until November and Dunsborough from September to mid-December.
Whale Watching Tours
If you’re after a more intimate experience, there are several tour companies that run daily tours (weather dependent) during the season, allowing you to get up close with these gentle giants of the deep.
Tours operate out of Augusta from mid May to August, Albany from June to October and Dunsborough or Busselton from September to early December. Bookings can be made through a visitor centre, or visit our Tours page for a list of providers.
Top Spots To See The Whales
You don’t have to go far out to sea to see these gigantic mammals and you can often see them frolicking close to the shore. The below vantage points will give you the best view.
Cape Leeuwin & Flinders Bay, near Augusta
There are numerous vantage points along Leeuwin Road, however for fantastic views you can’t beat the top of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Cape to Cape Walk Trail, Margaret River region
This walk covers 140km of coastline between Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough and Cape Leeuwin near Augusta. It offers breathtaking coastal scenery, with opportunities to spot migrating whales from June and wildflowers from August.
Point D’Entrecasteaux, south of Northcliffe
This area offers a range of walking trails, a scenic drive and several spectacular lookout points along the cliffs.
Conspicuous Cliffs, 15km east of Walpole
There is a beautiful coastal walk from the carpark to a cliff-top viewing platform.
Ocean Beach, Denmark
There are two great vantage points to choose from; Wilson Head and Lions Lookout.
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, 22km from Albany – with uninterrupted views over King George Sound and extensive history about whaling and conservation in WA, this is a top spot to see and learn about whales in WA.
Torndirrup National Park, near Albany
Take a walk along the coast where the rock formations nearly pre-date all life on Earth. Spectacular on fine days, The Gap and Natural Bridge walk is an easy 300m return, providing an access-friendly walk to spectacular lookouts, ideal for spotting whales.
Start planning your trip to Australia's South West today!