The save the whale campaign that began in the 1970s saw a remarkable turnaround for most whale species, many of which were critically endangered, thanks to a couple of centuries of merciless hunting. This is without a doubt the biggest wildlife success story of our time and today, we still pursue the whales in out boats, only now we simply observe their amazing surface behaviours.
The Best Whale Watching Locations
The west coast of Australia is one of the best regions to experience whale watching, with the Sapphire Coast area of NSW is considered the prime spot where you can enjoy the Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales that migrate north to the Great Barrier Reef during the months of May, June and July. This is the first stage of the migration, with the return journey back to the cool waters of Antarctica coming in August and September. Other ports for whale watching are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, while whale watching in Eden is considered one of the best venues.
Surface Behaviours to Look for
The majestic Humpback Whale has a full set of surface actions they like to perform, including:
- The blow – This is when the whale exhales, sending spray high into the air and the whales do this after a dive when they need to breathe.
- Pec slap – This is when the whales slap one of their long pectoral fins down into the water surface, creating a slapping sound. We don’t know why they do this, some people think the whales are sending the whale watchers a greeting, while others feel sure that this is a form of communication among the whales.
- Tail slap – The whale sits vertical in the water with its tail out of the water, which they slap down onto the surface. A Humpback Whale might do this a dozen times, one after another, which is thought to be a signal or form of communication with other whales.
- Spy hop – The top one third of the whale pokes out of the water, allowing the animal to see what’s going on above the surface. Whales, like humans, are very curious and they are probably just as interested in the boat as you are on them.
- The Breach – This is the favourite move, when the whale dives down a way, then turns and heads straight up for the surface, powering hard with its tail and the whale breaches almost all of itself out of the water, only to come crashing down on the surface.
If you search online, you will find a lot of resources about all species of whale and then you can book your whale watching trip out of Eden.