Best whale watching spots in Busselton, Margaret River and Albany

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Nikki King

14 Sep 2017

Spring has sprung in Australia’s South West and we’re not the only ones jumping for joy! Humpback whales are putting on a spectacular show in Busselton and Dunsborough in Geographe Bay and near Albany and Denmark on the Great Southern coast. The sun is shining, wildflowers are blooming and there’s no better time to witness whales frolicking in the Indian Ocean as you explore the southern section of the Bibbulmun Track or the Cape to Cape Track in the Margaret River Region. We offer self-guided and guided packages to discover these unspoilt, world-renowned walking trails in Western Australia. Here are some of the best spots to view humpback and southern right whales during spring in the South West.

BIBBULMUN TRACK  

Humpback whales travelling North West can be viewed from bays in Albany and Denmark from June to October each year. Some of the best land-based vantage points can be found along the southern section of the Bibbulmun Track between Walpole and Albany.  Many of these are featured on our 4-day Bibbulmun Track Walk which follows the dramatic coastline from Denmark to Albany.

Ocean Beach, Denmark – Wilson Head offers plenty of lookouts and viewing platforms to view the seasonal passing parade of whales, including Lions Lookout, which also provides stunning views of the Nullaki Cliffs.

Sandpatch – Located 15 kilometres from Albany, Sandpatch is considered one of the best locations along the South West coast to see humpback and southern right whales on their annual journey through the Southern Ocean. Pause at some of the lookouts to spot whales and enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and bushland.

Conspicuous Cliff – Situated 13 kilometres east of Walpole, the walkway to the cliff-top lookout may have dozens of steps, but it’s well worth the effort. Hikers are rewarded with views of the surrounding heathland and beach below, which sometimes hosts whales on their annual migration.

Rotary Lookout – Situated within Albany Heritage Park, Rotary Lookout is an elevated platform providing uninterrupted, panoramic views of the beautiful King George Sound and is a popular spot for viewing whales in the water below.

Torndirrup National Park – This ruggedly beautiful coastline features renowned ancient rock formations, The Gap and Natural Bridge, which are ideal vantage points for spotting whales. Alternatively, take the 1.5-kilometre walk to a crack-line in the granite to see the blowholes.

Albany’s Historic Whaling Station – Located 22 kilometres from Albany, this former whaling station offers stunning views of King George Sound and is a great place to view whales.

MARGARET RIVER AND THE CAPE TO CAPE TRACK

The South West of Western Australia has the longest whale watching season in Australia, starting in Augusta in June. By Spring, whales have migrated further north and can be seen from vantage points around Dunsborough and Busselton until the start of Summer. Here are a few of our favourite spots to view whales along the Cape to Cape track, which runs the length of the coast-line from Augusta to Cape Naturaliste (near Dunsborough).  Many of these spots are part of our popular Cape to Cape Walk.

Point Piquet – Located just a few minutes’ drive from Dunsborough between Meelup and Eagle Bay, the clear, turquoise water of Point Piquet is usually calm making it easy to spot humpback whales breaching in the bay.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse Lookout – Located at the northern end of the Cape to Cape Track, there’s a 1.3-kilometre return walk from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse car park to the whale watching platform. From here, view whales resting in the sheltered bay at the tip of the cape on before heading back to southern waters.

Shelley Cove – Situated within Bunker Bay, approximately 13 kilometres from Dunsborough, the viewing platform atop the limestone cliff provides an excellent vantage point for viewing whales.

Canal Rocks Rotary Lookout – Situated four kilometres south of Yallingup, there’s a 400-metre walk from the car park to spot whales and take in views of this stunning part of the coast.

Busselton – Whales stop by in Geographe Bay with their calves on their way back down to Antarctica, and you can spot them from coastal vantage points. November is the best time to spot the biggest of them all – rare blue whales!

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