Whale Watching at Head of Bight
The jaw-droppingly beautiful Head of Bight, where the ocean meets the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia, is becoming renowned as one of Australia’s most spectacular whale watching sites.
Our whale watching tours in South Australia offer travellers a unique opportunity to view up to 120 southern right whales as they frolic in the waters of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.
You can stand atop the cliffs, where they rise 60 metres high above the sea, on an accessible purpose-built viewing platform and watch the whales with the backdrop of the spectacular Bunda Cliffs stretching for over a hundred kilometres beyond.
The whales regularly engage in tail-lobbing, flipper-slapping, head-standing. lopping, diving, spy hopping and slow-motion somersaults. At this special location, you are close enough to hear the sound when they breach and their ginormous bodies hit the water.
We’ll also take you out on a whale watching cruise where you’ll gain a whole different perspective on the magnificent southern right whales. Whale watching vessels aren’t allowed to go too close to these graceful giants of the sea however they are naturally curious and will approach us.
And whilst Head of Bight is most well known as a place to see southern right whales, you might be lucky enough to also see humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions, little penguins and other birds and marine life.
On Xplore Eyre’s 3-Day Head of Bight Whale Watching Tour departing Adelaide, in addition to these incredible whale-watching experiences, you’ll enjoy the world-class seafood of Australia’s Seafood Frontier, The Eyre Peninsula.
Go on a 3-day whale watching tour
It all begins with a short flight from Adelaide to Ceduna. From here, you’ll be driven in an executive four wheel drive to see some local sights and explore before checking in to your villa accommodation with views over the ocean.
During these three full days of spectacular scenery, whale sightings, and good old-fashioned, local hospitality, you’ll also have insights offered by the expert commentary of a knowledgable and passionate local guide.
Whether you jump on with other travellers for a scheduled small group tour, or choose a private tour option, this whale watching tour really is a uniquely wonderful experience.
When is the best time to go?
The best time to go on a whale-watching tour in Australia is the winter season, from June to August.
The whale watching season begins every year in mid-May when the southern right whales arrive at the Head of Bight to give birth, mate and socialise. It continues until late October when the calves have grown. Then they are strong enough to join their mothers on the long migration south towards Antarctica to feed for the summer.
Head of Bight Whale Watching Facts:
- Whales take up ‘residence’ at the Head of Bight (HoB) for the entire 5-month winter period.
- The best time to visit is in June, July and August when you are guaranteed to see a whale.
- In June 2014 an aerial scan counted 169 southern right whales, 2 humpback whales, a couple of great white sharks and lots of dolphins.
- 1000 whales have been recorded in the HoB region and some have been observed returning since 1991.
- Whales are usually seen in mother and calf pairs, but occasionally hang out in groups of up to 20.
- In June and July, most of the whales you see are adults but by late August you can commonly see the mothers swimming along the cliffs with their young calves at their side. At this time there are often 70 or more whales in the area visible from the platform.
- In 2012, 55 calves were born at Head of Bight.
- Around one-third of all southern right whales now seen in Australian coastal waters were born in the Great Australian Bight.
- By the time the whales leave in October, the calves have grown and have become strong enough to join their mothers on the long migration south.
- You may even be lucky enough to observe these 70-tonne mammals mating (look for groups rolling around on the surface).
Southern right whales were almost hunted to extinction. Because of this, these beautiful creatures have had complete protection since 1937 but they are still listed as “vulnerable”. The Head of Bight is recognised as a calving ground and nursery of international significance for the species.
The experience of a lifetime
Our small group 3-Day Whale Watching Tours depart Adelaide every Tuesday from June to October.
- See up to 120 southern right whales at stunning Head of Bight
- Enjoy a wildlife cruise in the Great Australian Bight Marine Park
- Feast on the premium produce of ‘Australia’s Seafood Frontier’
- Experience the vast outback and wilderness of The Nullarbor Plain
- Get your heart racing on a four-wheel driving adventure
- Take to the sky on a scenic flight over the Head of Bight (OE)
- Walk along the stunning and footprint-free beaches of the Eyre Peninsula