While the slow approach of winter means that we must bid farewell to sun-soaked afternoons, long and lazy days on the beach and the typical merriment of sunnier climes and brighter skies, there are – of course – several reasons to look forward to the colder months. From the chill in the air to the better surf conditions; from the more bearable temperatures to the opportunities to whale watch, there are ample reasons to embrace winter.
As one of the biggest mammals on the planet, seeing whales in their natural habitat really takes some beating; and few things are quite as mesmerising as witnessing a whale breaching. And for those living in Victoria, whale watching season is at its best between May and October. Whether you’ve got your sights set on a whale watching tour, or are hoping to catch a glimpse while on a morning stroll, here are the best locations for a spot of whale watching in Victoria.
Great Ocean Road
For whale watching in Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is a piece of prime real estate, and between May and September, there are several scenic spots to see the likes of Southern Right and Blue whales breaching, blowing, lob-tailing and tail-flapping. Along the Whale Trail through Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland, also known as the ‘whale corridor’, you’ll spot Southern Right, Humpback, Blue and the occasional Orca.
A Victorian city loved for its enviable mix of seaside location, tourism and family appeal, Warnambool is also beloved by locals and tourists alike for its endless whale watching opportunities during the cooler months. Whales have been visiting Warrnambool for hundreds of years, and almost every year between June and September, female Southern Right whales return to the waters of Warrnambool’s Logans Beach to calve. The whales often swim within a hundred metres off the shore and they can be easily viewed from a specially constructed platform in the sand dunes or from the beach, making it one of the best places to go whale watching in Victoria.
Further west along the coast from Warrnambool is Portland – a city located on the far south-west coast of Victoria, mid-way between Port Fairy and the small town of Nelson. Between May and October, whale-watchers can witness the majestic creatures frequenting Portland Bay. Cape Nelson and Cape Bridgewater, and there are ample vantage points to watch as the blue whales and southern right whales frolic in the water.
Just a three-hour drive from Melbourne, you’ll find one of the most picturesque places and best places to go whale watching in Victoria. Wilsons Promontory offers visitors an unrivalled backdrop for whale-watching, and would-be spectators will enjoy views of whales, dolphins, seals, and other amazing marine life along the tunning east coast. Boasting an abundance of coastal scenery, including remote sandy beaches, rolling forests, coves, isolated rocky islands, and towering cliffs, this stretch of shoreline sees whales exhibiting such behaviours as tail and peduncle slapping, spy-hopping, breaching, feeding, whilst others are just travelling through the area.
One of Victoria’s most spectacular stretches of water, it’s easy to see why Phillip Island’s pretty coastline is so popular when it comes to whale watching. And whale watchers who are keen to see all manner of water-life will love Seal Rocks, where thousands of curious Australian Fur Seals can be spotted in the water and on the rocks, going about their day in this natural habitat. A prime spot for Encounters with migrating humpback whales, frolicking dolphins and seabirds such as Shy Albatross and Australasian gannets, Philip island is undoubtedly one of the best places for whale watching in Victoria.
Based in New South Wales? Here are the best places to watch whale watching in Sydney.