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Where to see whales in Australia ?

Australia is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Each year, from May to November, these majestic marine mammals undertake a migration along the Australian coasts. Whether it’s in Byron Bay or Hervey Bay, these spots allow you to witness their impressive breaching and spouting. Join our tours for a more intimate experience, allowing you to get up close to the whales while respecting their migration and habitat.

Whales in Australia

Humpback whales and Southern right whales

Whales play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the oceans. They regulate krill populations (small crustaceans in cold waters) and contribute to the fertilization of marine waters. As WWF noted in 2016: “Whales, which are among the largest animals ever to have lived on Earth, are at the top of the food chain and without them, marine ecosystems would be completely disrupted.”

Among them, several species migrate through Australia. These include humpback whales and southern right whales.

Humpback whales, or Megaptera, can reach up to 16 meters in length and weigh up to 30 tons. Recognizable by their long pectoral fins and spectacular leaps out of the water, they are known for their acrobatic behavior and complex songs.

Southern right whales, also known as black whales or southern right whales, can weigh up to 80 tons and measure up to 18 meters. They are distinguished by the absence of a dorsal fin and by the characteristic callosities on their heads.

The whale migration in Australia: a must-see

Each year, whales undertake an impressive migration, traveling up to 10,000 kilometers. They leave the cold waters of Antarctica for the warmer waters of northern Australia to breed and give birth. The conditions are ideal for the birth and rearing of calves.

This spectacular phenomenon generally extends from May to November and attracts thousands of visitors. The coastal waters become the stage for fascinating behaviors. Humpback whales perform acrobatic jumps, called breaching, and slap the surface of the water with their fins, creating spectacular splashes visible from miles away. These jumps are not only impressive to watch: they play an important role in their communication and social behavior.

Males also mark the migration period. They produce songs audible over several kilometers underwater. These songs are composed of repeated sound sequences and can last up to 20 minutes! According to researchers, the goal is to attract females and establish dominance among other males.

The Best Whale Watching Sites in Australia

Australia offers many places to watch whales, both from the coast and via boat tours. Here are our top spots:

Coastal watching

For example, the coastal town of Byron Bay. The cliffs of Cape Byron, the easternmost point of Australia, offer a breathtaking view of the ocean. From the lighthouse, you can spot humpback whales breaching or blowing jets of water.

Further north, Hervey Bay attracts whales with their newborns thanks to its calm and sheltered waters.

Finally, Hastings Point Lookout is another prime location. Park facing the ocean and be charmed by the magic of the spectacle (tested and approved!).

Ocean watching: the most magical

For a more immersive experience, many boat tours are available. We recommend choosing tours that are respectful of animals! They are conducted by operators who adhere to sustainable practices to avoid disturbing the whales. These tours allow you to get closer to these sea giants while minimizing the impact on their natural behavior.

Watch whales in Australia on a “small group” tour with us!

Dreaming of seeing whales up close but not sure which tour operator to choose? Want to have an experience that also contributes to scientific research and the conservation of this species? Choose our organized tours!

At Vanz Travel, we have researched operators’ policies on whale and habitat protection. That’s why we offer you two tours: one departing from Byron Bay and another from Hervey Bay.

Whale watching tour in Byron Bay

The advantages of small groups

Go on a 3-hour excursion to discover whales, departing from Brunswick Heads. You’ll be on the boat “Apollo 2” in a small group of up to 12 passengers. This organization aims to respect the tranquility of the animals while offering each participant an exceptional view. Ideal for better observation and capturing memorable moments!

Marine biologists by your side

Passionate marine naturalists accompany you: they will lead you to the best places to watch humpback whales breaching, fin slapping, and even approaching your boat. The scientists will also reveal secrets, enlightened commentary, and anecdotes throughout your excursion. Don’t hesitate to ask all your questions!

Additionally, the equipment includes an underwater hydrophone, allowing you to listen to the enchanting songs of humpback whales. An added sensory dimension to this exceptional sea experience!

A 100% guaranteed experience

If you don’t see a whale during the cruise, we offer a free return.

We guarantee a safe, comfortable, and fast excursion, allowing you to fully enjoy the magnificent coastal scenery of Byron Bay.

For more details and to book your adventure, see the activity sheet. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Whale watching tour in Hervey Bay

A tour in calm waters

Embark on a 3-hour trip aboard the Ocean Defender, a state-of-the-art vessel designed for comfort and panoramic views. Hervey Bay is known for its calm waters, making the cruise particularly pleasant. You can enjoy the scenery while waiting for the first appearances of the whales. Snacks and drinks are also included.

Hervey Bay whales are known for their curiosity and proximity to boats. Watch them up close as they play and socialize in the sheltered waters of the bay.

By a pioneering Australian foundation

Whale migration observation is guaranteed from July 15 to October 9. It is conducted under the direction of a pioneering foundation in whale research for over thirty years.

Each ticket sold supports educational, conservation, and research projects, making your participation a concrete gesture for marine conservation.

Marine biologists by your side

Marine biologists lead the excursions. The foundation’s team of scientists also holds the most comprehensive database on humpback whales in eastern Australia.

You can hear the enchanting melodies of whale songs thanks to underwater hydrophones, adding an auditory dimension to this already magical experience.

For more details and to book your adventure, see the activity sheet. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Article written by Manon from