Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to BLOG

The Relationship Between Whales and Australia

a group of people swimming in a body of water

When it comes to whales, Australia is known as one of the most privileged countries. There are more than 50% of the world’s cetaceans found in the waters off Australia. As per a recent research report, almost 45% of whales visit as well as live in Australian waters permanently.

Australia’s relationship with whales regrettably commenced in the 18th century due to the whaling industry soon after the arrival of first settlers. There were numerous whaling stations built in the 19th century along the coastline. This was also the commencement of Australia’s first export industry.

Moving forward from these darker day, there are still many species of whales that cruise along the New South W(h)ales coastline, as whaling has now ceased in these waters.

Based on growing tracking and research information, there are positive signs indicating an increase in the number of whale species in Australia. Whales have always been a big part of Australian history and, now more than ever, a symbol of environmental awareness and pure natural spectacles.

The distribution of this majestic creature varies widely in Australia. There are some species such as Orcas that are generally found in all waters. With them, there are some more elusive species, like beaked whales. Not to mention, some whales are so sparse and rare,  that there is little detailed information, and unfortunately it is only when they become stranded or beached are we learning more.

Whales and Aboriginal Culture

Contemporary stories and rock engravings show a strong history relationship between whales and local Aboriginal people. The majority of these paintings and rock engravings are thousands of years old. Whilst, there are more contemporary stories of interesting whale encounters and anecdotes such as Willy the Whale and The Killer Whales of Twofold Bay that can be found across NSW. All of them reinforce history and strong relationship these whales have with Australia.

Whale Watching in Sydney

Today, whale watching in Sydney is the most exciting and amazing expedition for many tourists worldwide. There are almost 45 distinctive species of whales that are found in Australian waters during the May to November whale watching period.

Not to mention, Southern right whales and Humpbacks are the most frequently seen whales in Australia that are mostly present along the coastline. Some other great whale species you are likely to find include;

  • Orcas
  • Minke
  • Pygmy sperm
  • Bryde’s

Off the east coast of Australia, there is a great opportunity to see most of the large whales migrating. But their migrating patterns can significantly vary from one species to other and between and within populations.

Our Whale Watching Tours provide for an amazing opportunity to continue this relationship with these giants of the sea.  Our tours are suited to all ages and is ideal for a family day out with a hot breakfast of BBQ buffet lunch included. We have experienced guides providing live commentary and interesting facts about the whales in general and those that we recognise and see every year.

  • Posted in: