In Australia we are lucky to have visits from whales as they make their way up from Antarctica to the warmer waters of Australia during winter. There are a number of places along our coastlines where you can see whales and their calves that are born in these warmer and sheltered waters but arguably one of the most spectacular and prolific would have to be the Head of the Bight in South Australia.
That large chunk out of the bottom of Australia is the Great Australian Bight, and where you’ll find this whale watching area. There is a visitors information centre and easy access boardwalks and viewing platforms to see the magnificent creatures from above.
These are the best views I’ve ever seen of whales and at the time of our visit there were 24 of them off the coast. Each whale seemed to have a calf with it and they slowly cruised back and forth past the viewing platforms, some closer than others, but there was always at least one up close enough to see and hear. As they blew and sprayed you could hear the animals and the calves were especially playful.
We were lucky to witness a white calf that was also born this year in the Bight and the bright blue water made it easy to spot. Standing there watching the whales we saw them fin slapping the water, lolling on their backs and calves being gently nudged along.
The Head of the Bight and visitor centre is over 1,000 kilometres from Adelaide and there is free camping for self contained caravanners, just before you enter the gated visitor centre area. Another alternative is the Nullarbor Roadhouse which is not far away for caravanners to stay. The Head of the Bight visitor centre has a gift shop, toilets, light snacks and drinks and information available. If you are travelling with pets, they have to stay in your vehicle while you’re there.
The whale season is usually from June to October and the centre and boardwalk viewing areas are open from 8am to 5pm every day. You can easily spend hours here, watching the whales, they are quite mesmerising.
Ticket prices during whale season range from $16 per adults to $7 for children, but this price is half or less during the off season. Even if you weren’t lucky enough to see whales the cliff top views are breathtaking.