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Where to spot whales this winter

The whale-watching season is in full swing, and the majestic mammals have begun their migration across South Australian waters.

Jul 02, 2024, updated Jul 02, 2024
Humpback taken in June 2023. Photo: Andrew Chuck / Facebook

Humpback taken in June 2023. Photo: Andrew Chuck / Facebook

Whales are being spotted daily, with the South Australian Whale Centre reporting each sighting on Facebook and on their official online log, with two to three spottings a day in the past week.

The Department of Environment and Water’s Good Living site recommends the best spots for whale sightings and lists Encounter Marine Park in Victor Harbor as the top spot.

But the massive migrators – which include Southern Right Whales and Humpbacks – are notoriously unreliable and the waters off Victor Harbor are also very big, so we did our own digging to give you the best chance at spotting one.

Southern Right Whale breaching at Waitpinga Beach. 22 June 2024. Photo: Peter Zach / Facebook

Various spots around Victor Harbor have all become home to whales in the last few weeks, but the number one spot (according to the South Australian Whale Centre’s logs) has been out from The Bluff at Encounter Bay.

Other honourable mentions include Victor Harbor’s Granite Island and Port Elliot’s Freeman Lookout and Knights Beach.

And for those up for school holiday road trip, the whales are making their way to Head of Bight, with six or more spottings a day being recorded.

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A Humpback Whale in May. Photo: Andrew Chuck / Facebook

Southern Right Whales travel up to 5000 kilometres to warmer waters off the southern coasts of Australia to breed and raise their calves.

They can normally be spotted between May and November, staying for three to four months as they raise their young.

There are 3500 of these whales left in the world, and with South Australia being one of few places you can spot them, now is the time to get whale-spotting in (practically) your own backyard.

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