ExperienceWhale Watching


One of the longest whale watching seasons in the world

Follow the epic annual migration of humpback, southern right whales and the rare blue whale, from the food-rich Southern Ocean to warm breeding grounds on the north Kimberley coast.

Seven months of sensational viewing

The season begins in May and finishes in December, watching the whales as they swim along the continental shelf, hugging the coastline. In some areas, the playful giants come so close to shore, you can see them clearly through your binoculars from vantage points and viewing towers along the coast.

The best time to observe these gentle giants of the ocean is at midday, when the sun is directly overhead. To get closer to the breaching, spy-hopping and tail-slapping action, jump aboard one of the many whale watching cruises available.

Southern Right Whale

When and where to go whale watching

Find whales in the South West and Golden Outback regions

From May to September, all eyes watch the waters of Flinders Bay in Augusta, where migrating whales gather to rest and play. During this time they can also be seen from several vantage points throughout Fitzgerald River National Park (located between Albany and Esperance). And from July to October, you’ll see them frolicking in King George Sound, near Albany. Ironically, they’re also spotted just a few hundred metres from the slipway of Albany’s old whaling station.
You can also join a tour from Dunsborough or Busselton.

Find whales in the Coral Coast and North West regions

Further north, the humpback whales reach Kalbarri, Exmouth, Coral Bay, Broome and the Kimberley between June and November. They can be seen from Kalbarri’s scenic vantage points at Natural Bridge, Eagle Gorge and Red Bluff. You’ll need to join a watching or interaction tour in Coral Bay and Exmouth to reach the whales beyond the Ningaloo Reef, and in the Kimberley, you can spot mothers and calves taking shelter in the waters of Camden Sound and Broome’s Pender Bay.

Find whales off the coast in Perth

On their return journey, between September and December, humpbacks take a rest-stop in the coastal waters of Perth and Geographe Bay. You can catch the tail-end of the whale season by joining a tour from Rottnest Island, Fremantle or Hillarys.

Whale watching in Flinders Bay, near Augusta

The Killer Whales of Bremer Bay Canyon

Did you know that if you head 60km off the coast of the South West, you'll encounter the largest pod of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere? Technically belonging to the dolphin family, the killer whales are drawn to the marine-life hotspot of Bremer Bay Canyon, where you'll also find whales, dolphins, sea lions and masses of sea birds.

Expeditions to see the killer whales (also known as orcas) depart daily in February and March, with proceeds from the tours supporting vital scientific research.

Click on the map below to find the nearest tour operator in the region you are interested in exploring.