If you have already experienced these majestic creatures up close, you will probably wish to repeat the adventure, but if whale watching is not something you ever considered, perhaps it is time to change that. As we move into March, we are only a couple of months from the start of the annual Humpback Whale migration; about 8 weeks of thousands of pods of whales as they traverse north to the warm waters off the Great Barrier Reef, which normally lasts until the last week of June.
All species of whale are now fully protected and great advances have been made with shipping, making the huge tankers more aware of the whale population and how to avoid collisions. Its over 50 years that we have put effective measures into place to ‘save the whale’ and today, there are tens of thousands of Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales that migrate along this route.
Whale Watching Tours
There is an entire industry dedicated to observing the migration, with whale watching in Eden on the Sapphire Coast being a prime venue, so much so that the operator will give you a guarantee that you will see whales, or they will give you a free trip. The skippers are very experienced and can place the vessel in such a position to be able to watch as the whales carry out a range of surface actions.
Whales in the southern hemisphere leave the cold polar waters and head north in May and June, then after breeding in the warm waters off northern Australia, they return to Antarctica with their calves, which occurs in August and September. The southern migration is considered the best, mainly because the mothers like to stay close to the shoreline, making it very easy to observe them as the adults teach their young new tricks.
It is very easy to book a spot on one of the whale watching voyages, which normally leave early mornings and late afternoons. A Google search will take you to the website of an established Eden-based tour operator and you can choose your date and with a secure online payment, your spot is assured. There is a lot of useful information about what to prepare for this unique experience, plus you can learn about the whales’ curious surface behaviours.
Whether you live in NSW or are a tourist, you simply must experience watching whales in their natural habitat, which will leave a mark on you, as you get close up to the largest creatures in the world.