Whale Watching

Phillip Island is an ideal place to spot whales, our whale spotting season is from May to October. The most common whale of the three whales types most seen in these southern waters is the humpback. As they cruise along the Bass Coast toward warmer waters.
You might be lucky to see southern rights, and – on rare occasions – orcas.
Walk, ride or drive the Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, which will lead you to a range of coastal viewing points.
Prime spots on land to see these marine mammals include Cape Woolamai, Pyramid Rock and the Summerlands area.

For your best chance of seeing whales keep an eye out on the below Facebook pages. Most updates are near to real-time sightings on where the whales could have been seen.  Be ready to grab your binoculars and head out to the lookouts to spot the whales yourselves.

Whale sightings Facebook pages: Two Bays Whale ProjectPhillip Island Whale Watchers, and Wildlife Coast Cruises.

 

 

Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail

 

Pick up or download the Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail brochure for good vantage points to spot whales from.

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.

Download Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail

We know everyone gets excited at the viewing platforms, please be patient and kind observing the COVID safe practice when out and about.
Remember to look after the coastal environment by watching out for wildlife on the roads, and by keeping to the tracks.

 

Wildlife Whales App

Wildlife Coast Cruises have a wonderful APP  with lots of information for Whale Watchers here and at Wilsons Prom

Search for “wildlife whales” in your app store or google play

 

   

 

Share your Whale Sighting

If you’re lucky to see whales, please share your sighting by reporting your sighting on        ‘PodWatch’ https://www.dolphinresearch.org.au/report-sightings-page/   or call Wildlife Coast Cruises on 1300 763 739.

Along Bass Coast, you also have the opportunity to view these majestic creatures from the air and the sea. For details on cruises,
please check our boat tours page.

 

 

 

 

Whale Spieces

What type of whales can you see in Victoria?

You are most likely to see Humpback whales and at times, Southern Right whales.

Humpbacks are the most playful of all whales, which is why they are easiest spotted. Other species like Minke whales, false killer whales, killer whales and pilot whales also pass along, but in much lower numbers so while you might see one it is less likely.

Download the  Marine Mammals of Victoria ID guide

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Have the characteristic white ventral (under) side, long flippers, a relatively small dorsal (back) fin and a rounded blow. Their name comes from the way their backs arch when they dive.  Did you know that the blow was originally called ‘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.

Humpback migration can take up to eight weeks, during which time the whales are swimming continuously.

Southern right whales (Eubalaena australis)

Southern Right Whales are similar in size but are heavier than Humpback whales. They are nearly black in color and move slower, lack a dorsal fin, have rounded flippers, and have a V-shaped blow. They can sometimes be seen in quite shallow waters within a 100m from the coast.

Southern right whales live throughout the Southern hemisphere, they are migratory whales, commuting annually between their warmer breeding areas and colder favourite feeding areas. Their breeding areas are often close to shore, off southern South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and various temperate and sub-Antarctic islands. Their feeding areas are located farther south in colder waters; including Antarctica.

There are approximately 8,000 southern right whales spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.

Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

Occasionally visit the waters around Phillip Island as seals make up an important part of their diet. These whales often forage in groups up to 12 whales. Killer whales can be identified by their tall black dorsal fins (males) and distinct white markings on the face and ventral side.

Orcas are highly intelligent, highly adaptable and able to communicate and coordinate hunting tactics. They are extremely fast swimmers and have been recorded at speeds of up to 54kph! A wild orca pod can cover over 160 kilometres a day, foraging and socialising.