Happy hump day! Humpback whale season is starting, here’s how to see them up close

Humpback Whale Season WA North West
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Normally we’d be bemoaning the arrival of hump day… But in this case, we couldn’t be more excited!

Every year between July and October, our spectacular West Australian coastline transforms into the Humpback Highway as these gentle giants make their annual migration from their summer breeding grounds in the North West to their winter feeding grounds in the icy waters of the Antarctic.

During this time, Ningaloo Reef is home to one of the highest densities of humpback whales in the world – and Ningaloo Marine Park is the only place in WA where you can interact with them in the water!

Humpback Whale Season WA North West
Image credit: Ningaloo Discovery

Growing up to 19 metres in length and weighing up to 40 tonnes (she thicc), the best way to truly appreciate these majestic creatures is on a dedicated in-water interaction tour from Coral Bay or Exmouth, led by expert guides dedicated to providing eco-friendly and sustainable experiences with strictly capped guest numbers – meaning happy humans and happy whales!

And while meeting a humpback whale is a breathtaking experience itself, each tour will start with a snorkel on Ningaloo’s inner lagoon while a spotter plane locates whales – so you can take in the otherworldly coral seascape and hopefully meet a few other sea creatures.

Prefer to stay dry? Every in-water interaction tour has a couple of dedicated ‘observer’ only places, or you can join a dedicated whale watching tour from Kalbarri, Coral Bay or Exmouth. From the comfort of the deck, you’ll get to witness the majestic sight of humpback whales breaching, rolling and playing – and may also spot turtles, dolphins, dugongs and other whale species including minke whales, southern right whales and orcas!

Humpback Whale Season WA North West

Really don’t have your seafaring legs? The Coral Coast is absolutely chock-a-block with prime points to watch some whales – from Geraldton’s Back Beach all the way up to Exmouth’s Vlamingh Head Lighthouse:

Geraldton

  • Back Beach
  • Geraldton Esplanade

Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs

  • Shellhouse Grandstand 
  • Island Rock
  • Eagle Gorge 
  • Pot Alley
  • Mushroom Rock
  • Rainbow Valley
  • Red Bluff Lookout

Shark Bay

  • Skipjack Point
  • Steep Point
  • Turtle Bay (Dirk Hartog Island)

Carnarvon

  • Blowholes Lookout Area
  • Point Quobba Campground

Exmouth

  • Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
  • Bundegi Beach

For more information on how to make the most of WA’s humpback whale watching season, head to the Australia’s Coral Coast website.

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