Whale Watching

Get up-close and personal with Tassie’s gentle giants

WHAT SPARKS YOUR INTEREST?

Humpback Whale calf breaching during summer migration
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & bodhiimages

A Humpback Whale surfacing near The Friars
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Filip Kulisev

Sunrise over Great Oyster Bay
Image thanks to: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

Iron Pot Cruises
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Peter Aitchison

A Humpback breaches off the southern coast of Tasmania Australia

Whale Watching

Whale tail - Tasmania, AustraliaYou just can’t go to Tasmania without whale watching. Your trip would simply be incomplete! With whales jumping out of the water, spinning in the air, and diving back in with a huge splash, you will find yourself gasping in delight. What makes whale watching in Tassie an experience of a lifetime is that its waters are home to one of the rarest species of whales – the Southern Right Whale. Due to its relatively calm waters and being in the whale migration path, Tasmania is one of the best places to spot these magnificent sea creatures. It is especially attractive to landlubbers. If you are not that comfortable being out in the open sea, but want to behold whales in their natural splendour, then Tassie is the perfect destination since you do not have to go too far from the coastline. It won’t be long till you find yourself saying “Thar she blows!”.

Where is Best?

Go where the whales are: on the east coast. Frederick Henry Bay and Great Oyster Bay are where the most whales are spotted. We do not know if the reason is that the whales like the calmer waters or because these areas are almost always teeming with observers, but the east coast should be on your list of stops if you want to see whales.

When to Go Whale Watching?

The good news is that you have a relatively big window to see whales.

Are you a fan of Humpback Whales? Visit between May and July. During these months, Humpback Whales migrate from the south towards Queensland and Western Australia. Alternatively, visit from September to November to observe them as they go back south.

Do you want to see the rarer Southern Right Whale instead? Plan a trip from June to September, which is when the whales head towards south of the mainland. From September to late October, you can still spot them as they go back in the opposite direction.

Whale Talk

Let’s put on our zoologist hat for a moment and understand whales a tad, shall we? At the very least, it’ll give you bragging rights when you come back from your trip!

Kinds of Whales
Whales, like dolphins and porpoises, are cetaceans. There are 2 types of cetaceans: baleen whales and toothed whales. Baleens eat krill and other tiny sea creatures. They have 2 blowholes, which they use to breathe when they surface. Toothed whales, on the other hand, use their teeth to catch fish, squid, and other larger sea creatures. They only have 1 blowhole.

Tassie is home to 2 famous kinds of baleen whales: the Humpback Whale and the Southern Right Whale. These two are some of the largest baleens, making spottings spectacular events.

Whale Migration
Whale braching during the migration season - Tasmania, AustraliaAnimals migrate for two reasons: to find better food sources or to breed. The Humpbacks and Southern Rights migrate because of the latter. Lucky for us, whales follow a migration pattern, making sightings more predictable.

Plan a trip from May to July or September to November if you want to watch the immense Humpbacks make their way through the waters of Tassie’s east coast. Block off your calendar from June to October to spend time admiring rare Right Whales.

Did you Know…?

You probably know this already, but whales are mammals just like us. Whales can see us and actually look at us as we watch them. Maybe that’s why they are such show-offs!

Blowholes are the whales’ nostrils.

Whales can communicate through vocalisations known as the “whale song”. Not all whales do the “whale song”. Male Humpback Whales do so but only during mating season and only in their mating areas.

Humpback Whales can eat up to 1.5 tonnes of food a day!

The Southern Right Whale is a social animal that likes interacting with other whales, dolphins, and even humans. Humpbacks, on the other hand, prefer to travel alone or in small pods of two or three.

In the 19th century, Tassie’s whale population was so big that residents of a suburb of Hobart were constantly annoyed by the noise they made.

What to do

Whale Watching

Tasman Island Cruises Full Day Tour from Hobart

Hobart - Tasman Peninsula

Itinerary

07:30am – Check in at Pennicott Wilderness Journeys Centre
07:45am – Bus departs
09:15am – Arrive on Tasman Peninsula, Morning Tea
10:00am – 3 Hour Wilderness Cruise
01:00pm – Cruise concludes
01:15pm – Lunch, followed by local sightseeing
04:30pm – Bus departs
06:00pm – Arrive Hobart, hotel drop-off

Departure Point

The Full Day Tour departs from the Pennicott Wilderness Journeys Booking Centre.  This is situated on Hobart’s waterfront on Franklin Wharf, next to the Constitution Dock Lifting Bridge.  Please check-in by 7.30am for an 7.45am departure.

Morning Tea & Lunch

Your day includes morning tea and lunch served at local restaurants on the Tasman Peninsula.

Things To Bring

Make sure you dress warmly for the cruise – warm jackets, scarves, beanies and gloves are recommended. And don’t forget your camera!

Book Tasman Island Cruises Full Day Tour from Hobart
AU$225

1 Day Tour

AU$225

1 Day Tour

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Bruny Island Cruises 3 Hour Cruise with Kettering Bus Pickup

Australia's Best Tourist Attraction 2015. Self drive to Adventure Bay and join our award-winning 3 Hour Wilderness Cruise. See towering sea cliffs, explore caves and sea stacks. Encounter wildlife such as seals, dolphins and seabirds.

AU$150

AU$150

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It only takes 2 minutes

Bruny Island Cruises 3 Hour Wilderness Cruise

Adventure Bay - Bruny Island

Self drive to Adventure Bay and join our award-winning 3 Hour Wilderness Cruise. See towering sea cliffs, explore caves and sea stacks. Encounter wildlife such as seals, dolphins and seabirds.

AU$135

3 Hour Wilderness Cruise

AU$135

3 Hour Wilderness Cruise

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It only takes 2 minutes

Seal & Ocean Expedition - Observer

Eaglehawk Neck - Tasman Peninsula

For those who would like to join the Seal & Ocean Expedition, but aren't keen to jump in the water with the seals. You are welcome to stay on the boat & watch the seals without getting your face wet.

AU$110

3 to 4 Hour Boat Trip

AU$110

3 to 4 Hour Boat Trip

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It only takes 2 minutes

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