Thar she blows: its whale watching season in SA

Date: 11 May 2018

South Australia’s whale watching season has officially started with the first whale recently spotted at the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Between May and October each year whales can be found in large numbers along Far West Coast Marine Park at Head of Bight, Encounter Marine Park at Victor Harbor as well as off the coast along the Eyre Peninsula.

The South Australian Whale Centre is officially opening the whale season on Saturday, 19 May in Adelaide city’s Rundle Mall and at Victor Harbor’s Whale Time Playtime Festival on Sunday, 27 May.

Department for Environment and Water (DEW) spokesperson Chris Thomas said the annual migration of whales to South Australian waters occurs during the cooler months, which is when they mate, give birth and nurse their young.

“Most South Australian whale sightings are southern right whales and sometimes humpback whales,” Mr Thomas said.

“Whale watching is a fantastic nature-based experience, about 400,000 people take part in this activity each year in SA.

“This year keep an eye out for our roaming marine educational caravan, known as Coral. Coral will be floating around Victor Harbor and Middleton over the cooler months and rangers will be on-board to help people whale spot.

“You can enjoy watching these magnificent whales breaching, body-rolling and tail-lobbing from viewing platforms, or even get a little closer by booking with a private tour operator.”

For whale-watching tips read the department’s Good Living blog.

To help protect the whales in South Australian waters there are approach limits in place. Generally vessels must not approach closer than 100m, but in more sensitive areas in Encounter Bay and Head of Bight, additional restrictions apply. Drone operators must fly their drone a minimum of 300m away from a whale. For more information visit the DEW website.