Posts by Category: Whale Watching

12 reasons Why Nelson Bay – Port Stephens is the best Destination for Whale Watching Australia

1. Whale watching in Port Stephens is conducted in what is the largest Marine Park in New South Wales (98,200 hectares). The Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park.

2. Nelson Bay Whale Watching runs for 6 months of the year. It includes the Northern migration from mid May to August when Humpback Wahles migrate to their calving ground in the coral sea. The Southern migration from August to mid November when the mothers and newborn calves make their way back down to the feeding grounds in Antartica.

3. Over 12000 Humpback whales are expected to migrate up the East coast in 2011, making the chance to see the spectacular giants very reliable They will start passing Port Stephens by mid May.

4. The whales migrate very close to Port Stephens making whales easier to spot and shortening the travelling time to get to the whales.

5. All Whale Watching cruises from Nelson Bay include a dolphin watch cruise. 3 different types of dolphins use the marine park: Over one 100 coastal bottlenose dolphins (100kg) can be found in the bay and are sometimes visited by their cousins the offshore bottle dolphin (up to 650kgs.) On most occasions the friendly short beak oceanic common dolphins (up to 100kgs) can be seen in very large pods when sailing past the offshore islands.

6. 8 species of whales can be seen in the park: Humpback whales (30t), Minke whales (9t), Southern Right whales (80t), False killer whales (2.5t), Sei whales (40t), Pilot whales (3.5t), Brydes (pronounced brudus) whales (30t), Fin whales (90t) and Orcas, these 6 to 9t killer whales have been seen in our waters but sightings are rare…

7. Cabbage Tree Island is unique attracting a Seal colony and a rare species of Petrel. During the whale season we regularly stop along the rocks to observe the Seals. Other wild life like sea turtles and little blue penguins are often part of the cruise.

8. Bird watching is ideal during whale watching, it’s a time when Gannets congregate in large flocks to feed and the Short tail shearwaters come by the thousands to nest on Broughton Island. Its cousin the Fluttering Shearwater is often seen in big flocks hovering over the water. Magnificent albatross like the Yellow-Nose Albatross are commonly seen, on some occasions the Sooty Albatross and a variety of Petrels are sighted. Some are residents of the Park like Wedge Tail eagles and the White Breasted Sea eagles, soaring above the headlands keeping check on the fish below.

9. The whales migrate in the largest group of islands along the NSW coast, all of them National Parks and the scenery is spectacular.

10. Whale watching is conducted along a scenic coast line composed of 2 large National Parks, the Tomaree National park to the South and the Mayall River National Park to the North. The Bay with its scenic volcanic headlands is itself twice the size of Sydney harbor and offers awesome views.

11. Whale watching in Port Stephens is so good that it can be done from the points and Headlands. One of the best view points is Telegraph point from Boat harbour just a short drive from Nelson Bay, but of course your best chance to have a great encounter and the closest view is from a whale watch boat.

12. Sailing is the ultimate way to whale watch, it’s so quiet you can hear them blow!

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Whales taking Port Stephens turn-off on the Whale Highway..!

What a week..! The Humpback Mothers and Calves have been on cruise control all the way down the North Eastern coast of Australia on the whale highway. For some reason, this week they have decided that Port Stephens is just to much of an awesome tourist destination to pass by without first poking their heads in to say hi!

On nearly every cruise this week there have been at least one pair of Mother and Calf Humpback whales either just between Tomaree and Yaccaba headlands, or, as happened on a couple of cruises, right inside the bay!

On yesterday’s cruise the whales were so far into shore they were just about crawling up the beach at Hawke’s Nest!

What does this mean…?

It means that Port Stephens is the prime spot for the absolute best whale watching experience, right now!

The whales travelling in so close to the headlands and islands gives us the opportunity on each cruise to “take a moment” and enjoy the scenery. !

Yaccaba Headland’s awesome display of Volcanic rock formations and caves is a great backdrop to watch the Bottlenose Dolphins, and this week, the Whales! Cabbage Tree Island is still playing host to a family of Australian Fur Seals and the pair of White breasted Sea Eagles are always flying overhead.

If you have the time, get to Port Stephens and book on a cruise. You will see and experience Whales, Dolphins, Seals, various bird species, Sailling and absolutely stunning scenery!

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Last days of Winter in the Whale Wonderland!

Spring has arrived in Port Stephens! Imagine celebrated Southern Right Whale Breach 001the last few days of Winter with some excellent weather and exciting interactions with  Humpback, Minke and Southern Right Whales!

The Minke Whales have been following huge schools of fish along with tens – of -thousands of migratory seabirds. These include Yellow Nosed Albatross, Fluttering Shearwaters & Australasian Gannets to name a few. Of course, when the fish are schooling, the Pacific Common Dolphin are never to far away. We have had some great days with the dolphins swimming on the bows of the boat!

On Monday, Yves, Lisa and the lucky passengers were treated to a Whale Symphony! One Humpback Southern Right Whale Breach 002was singing for nearly the entire cruise and it was so loud and clear that passengers could even hear it without the use of the Hydrophone (underwater Microphone). Lisa said “It was like the entire boat was a huge microphone” she could hear it as she stood high up above the passengers on the spreader of the mast!

Tuesday morning’s guests were treated to some great Humpback Whale tail flukes. On the way back to the Port as we passed the Fingal Lighthouse everyone cheered as we saw the extremely rare sight of two Southern Right Whales.  The best was yet to come…As one of them decided to do a full breach out of the water about 70metres from the back of the boat!

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