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Whale Watching and Marine Life

Whale Watching & Marine Life

With over 1200 kilometres of coastlines in the south west, there’s plenty of possibilities for interacting with marine life. Catch humpback, southern right and blue whales along the coast, as well as dolphins, orcas, rays, seals and other ocean-dwelling animals.

WHALES

Australia’s South West has one of the longest whale watching seasons in the world, spanning from January to December. Here are some of the best vantage points to see them from the shore:

Whale watching cruises depart daily (weather and season dependent) from Albany, Augusta, Busselton and Dunsborough

 

ORCAS

The Bremer Canyon in Bremer Bay is home to the largest known pod of orcas in the Southern hemisphere. Join an orca expedition from Albany or Bremer Bay between January and early April. 

DOLPHINS

With their playful, carefree nature and great intelligence, dolphins are entertaining for travellers young and old. The species most commonly encountered by visitors to the coast of Australia’s South West is the bottlenose dolphin, or Tursiops truncates.

Koombana Bay, Dolphin Discovery Centre, Bunbury

A group of around 100 to 150 dolphins use Koombana Bay in Bunbury as a resting area and breeding ground. Approximately 20 to 40 of these are considered residents, and many of these visit the interaction zone at the Dolphin Discovery Centre (almost) daily. An interpretive centre provides visitors with an insight into these cetacean locals and boat cruises and swim tours (seasonal) offer a closer view.

King George Sound, Albany

Bottlenose and common dolphins are regularly seen in the sheltered natural harbour of King George Sound in Albany. During the whale migration season in the winter months, dolphins often appear to be playing with and taunting the visiting humpback and southern right whales.

Blackwood River and Flinders Bay, Augusta

A small group of dolphins can often be seen in the lower reaches of the Blackwood River near Augusta. Flinders Bay, which is at the mouth of the river, is home to large pods of dolphins.

RAYS

Smooth and eagle rays are most commonly sighted in the south west. Rays are usually docile and gentle if they feel unthreatened.

Walpole-Nornalup Inlet

Many stingrays inhabit the Walpole Nornalup inlet and can be seen from a boat on the water, or from the jetties. Resident rays often slide up to the jetty in search of fish scraps at the Summerstar Walpole Rest Point Caravan Park, allowing guests a good view.

Hamelin Bay 

Many travellers are lucky to get up close to stingrays in the clear waters of Hamelin Bay. This caravan park and boat launch area is a popular haunt for the marine creatures. The stingrays hang around here, hoping to get fish scraps from the fisherman, and will often swim over the feet of wading visitors.

Marine tours and experiences

There’s plenty of possibilities for observing and interacting with the unique marine life living around Australia’s South West coast and waterways.

Hamelin Bay

A vast expanse of bright white sand, turquoise waters filled with marine life, and spectacular coastal cliff walks.

Naturaliste Charters

Encounter some of the oceans rarest and most spectacular wildlife!

Busselton Jetty

This wood-piled jetty is the longest in the Southern hemisphere.

Whale Watch Western Australia

Learn the language of the whales with expert guides.

Dolphin Discovery Centre

Meet the wild, friendly dolphins of Koombana Bay.

Time your visit

Plan your visit to line up with the movements of marine creatures in the South West. Don’t miss the chance to interact with dolphins in Koombana Bay in Bunbury, spot whales off the South Coast and Geographe Bay, or take an expedition to the Bremer Canyon to see the largest known congregation of orca (killer whales) in the Southern hemisphere.

Dolphin Season

01 November 2023 - 30 April 2024
Bunbury
November to April is the best time of year for spotting this friendly local.

Orca Season

01 January 2024 - 21 April 2024
Albany
January to early April is the best time of year to join an orca tour.
wildlife encounters

Whale Season

01 May 2024 - 31 December 2024
Busselton
May to early December is the best time for whale watching and tours in the South West.

Inspiration

Looking for some inspiration? Read up on these wildlife experiences for the holiday of your dreams.

See Killer Whales – Orcas – in the Wild

Ready to take a safari, South West style? Spend a day between January and April joining the Bremer Bay orca tour, chasing the largest-known pod of orca in the Southern Hemisphere.

Plan Your Whale Watching Adventure

Plan your whale watching adventure in Australia’s South West during the Whale Watching season from May – December.

Meet the rest of our wildlife

With 24 national parks and over 1000km of coastline, Australia’s South West is the perfect place to embrace nature

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