There are some spectacular sights along the South Australian coast. Not much compares to the annual migration of the magnificent southern right whales.
Every May, up to 80 southern right whales head to the Eyre Peninsula and Fleurieu Peninsula to rear their young. They stay over winter, particularly under the Bunda Cliffs in the Great Australian Marine Park and at Victor Harbor and Goolwa.
In October, they slowly return home with as many as 40 calves in tow. Find a good vantage point and you’ll snap some great photos as they “spy-hop” (stick their head out of the water for a look), “tail slap” and “breach” (when their entire body comes out of the water). This sometimes happens just 30 metres from the shore.
Named southern right whales because they were the “right whale to hunt”; they’re an endangered species, making this breeding ground very important.
Whale interpretive centres
Learn more about these gentle 18 metre, 90 tonne giants at the two interpretive centres. You’ll find one in Victor Harbor and the other at Head of Bight on the breathtaking Nullarbor Plains coastline. The centres are open from June 1 to October 31 (9am-5pm).
The Head of Bight Interpretive Centre features a 300 metre boardwalk and specially built viewing platform. They are both wheelchair accessible and have wheelchairs available to borrow.
You can also join a chartered boat tour with Fowlers Bay Whale Watching Boat Cruises. Departing daily from the Fowlers Bay Jetty, each tour lasts approximately one and a half hours with guaranteed sightings and up close experiences with the magnificent southern right whales.
In Victor Harbor, pickup free whale watching maps and sighting information. Look out for some onshore, whale-themed activities including festivals, science, craft and storytelling.
For more information, call 1900-WHALES (1900 942 532) or visit the South Australian Whale Centre website.
When you see a whale, make sure you’ve got your camera ready for some great pictures. There are often annual photographic competitions, like the Prints of Whales competition.
Come to South Australia for one of nature’s rare treats, whale watching!
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Things to do
Here are some great ideas for you to try while you’re exploring South Australia.
There are plenty of events on in South Australia. Here are some ideas you might like.