Whale Watching in Western Australia
Whale watching is one of the most popular activities within Western Australia; particularly along the coastline where several species are often spotted throughout the year – with others appearing in spring and autumn exclusively. As a result, several ferry services have recently established themselves in the most prominent locations – especially Rottnest Island, where the Rottnest Express has become one of the most popular coastal ferry services.
The types of whales in the region
Australian waters play host to some of the largest numbers of whale species in the world, with almost two dozen migrating through the region, or considering it their home all year around. Some of these whales include the pygmy whale, a member of the baleen whale family; one that was previously thought of to have been extinct.
Other moderately sized whales include the dwarf minke whale and the sei whale. Although not technically a whale, many experts consider the basking shark to be a type of whale – and these are commonly spotted around the coastal line, or further out where they are typically spotted searching for food.
As expected, the notorious blue and humpback whale species are an occasional sight in and around Rottnest Island – in fact as their migratory path takes them alongside the eastern side of the island, it’s common to see them in pods several times a year; making for very popular attractions for tourists and whale watchers.
Tips for whale watching in Australia
Although it can be possible to bear witness to the larger species as they approach the coast from the comfort of the bay – the majority of whale watching enthusiasts will consider booking themselves into a ferry tour to get as close as possible to these huge underwater creatures. There are several to choose from on the island, as well as others that operate from the Perth coastline.
It’s advisable to book in advance, especially when doing so for the purpose of a whale watch experience, as these events tend to sell out fairly quickly and missing out on a place can be disappointing. Getting in touch with a ferry service can be the most advisable option, as they will typically be able to offer advice and guidance relating to the times of year to enjoy the most visible sightings.
It’s also important to note that some species of whales will only pass through the region, while others may be a more permanent presence. In order to avoid disappointment doing a bit of research can be beneficial, as it can provide information relating to where and when particular species may appear and how best to spot them.