Tips & Guidelines

May to October is the time when humpback whale and southern right whales migrate from Antarctica along the Victorian coastline up north to warmer waters off Queensland for breeding, before returning south to Antarctica in spring.

Along Bass Coast you have the opportunity to take advantage of land, sea and air based opportunities to view these majestic creatures on their journey.

Whale Sightings Map

Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail

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Follow the Whale Discovery Trail and stop at iconic bays, headlands and beaches to enjoy magnificent views as you search for whales. The Trail leads you to a range of coastal viewing points where interpretive signage provides an insight into the majesty and mystery of whales and their behaviours. nb. signs to be installed by the 7th July

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Have the characteristic white ventral (under) side, long flippers, a small dorsal (back) fin and a rounded blow. Southern right whales, on the other hand, are generally black in colour, lack a dorsal fin, have rounded flippers, and have a V-shaped blow. Did you know that the blow was originally called β€˜spout’ as people thought they blew out water? The blow appears like water because the warm air is released from the whales’ lungs at high pressure and condenses in the cold air.

Southern right whales (Eubalaena australis)

are smaller but heavier than the humpback whales. They are nearly black in color and move slower. They can sometimes be seen in quite shallow waters within a 100m from the coast.

Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

Occasionally visit the waters around Phillip Island as seals make up an important part of their diet. These whales are the fastest swimmer of all the cetaceans and can reach speeds of more than 50km/h while hunting.