Whale watching in winter
When you think of winter holiday destinations, you don’t automatically think of the beach do you? Well in Victoria, many people do, and the reason is to welcome home some VIW’s (very important whales) from their long migration up from the colder antarctic waters. visit the waters along the Great Ocean Road between June and September – the majestic Southern Right Whale.
The sheltered waters of Lady Bay becomes the nursing and playground for the Southern RIght Whale between May and October. The protected bay is perfect for the gentle giants to give birth and raise their calves.
The whales migrate each winter from the cooler waters of the Antarctic and have been visiting since records began.
Watch from the shores as these massive creatures frolic in the water and put on a spectacular show of tail slapping, spy hopping and fluke waving as they loll about in the warmth of the coastal waters.
The Logan Beach Whale Watching Platform east of the Hopkins River, is a perfect viewing point. Notifications of whale sitings can be found at the Visitor Information Centre and on the Great Ocean Road Whales Facebook Page.
Southern Right Whale Nursery
Almost every year between June and September, female Southern Right whales return to the waters of Warrnambool’s Logans Beach to calve. The whales often swim within a hundred metres of the shore. They can be viewed from a specially constructed platform in the sand dunes or from the beach.
Download the map and let's go! Along the Whale Trail through Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland, also known as the ‘whale corridor’, you’ll spot Southern Right, Humpback, Blue and the occasional Orca. Here is all you need to know before you jump in the car for this must-do winter road trip.
Why do whales come to Warrnambool?
Southern Right Whales have been visiting Warrnambool for hundreds of years. Once they were hunted almost to the point of extinction, but since whaling was outlawed in 1935, their numbers have been growing.
In summer, Southern Right whales live in the sub-Antarctic. In winter, they migrate to warmer waters around the southern areas of Australia.
The females migrate to the “nursery” areas close to the shore to bear their calves, while the males, yearlings and young adults remain further out to sea.
The normal pattern for Warrnambool whales is for them to snoop around the coast for a few days and then start heading to Logans Beach. Once the Logans Beach area has been 'scouted' by the mother whale they go back out to sea and have their calf.
They then return to Logans Beach to care for their new born whale calf through winter before returning to the southern oceans in September and October
Whale watching platform
Logans Beach Road, off Hopkins Point Road, Warrnambool
Practical viewing tips
- Call the Visitor Information Centre beforehand to check whether the whales are in the area.
- Sometimes whales may not be visible at Logans Beach, even though they are in the region – make time for multiple visits.
- Please keep off the fragile vegetation and sand dunes, and use the facilities provided.
- Binoculars or a telescope can enhance viewing.
- Be prepared for windy or wet conditions.
- Nearest toilets – 1km Hopkins River.
- Take a whale watching tour