Best time to travel to Tasmania

Whale Watching in Tasmania

The annual migration brings whales to Tasmania waters

Best time: May–November

Whale Watching in Tasmania
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Whale watching is a must in Tasmania. The island state is blessed to be positioned on humpbacks' and southern right whale migration routes. Tasmania's east coast usually attracts the most whales, especially such locations as Frederick Henry Bay and Great Oyster Bay. Humpback whales head north to Queensland and Western Australia waters between May and July and return to Antarctica between September and November. Meanwhile, southern right whales go north in June–September and return south between in September and late October.

Tasmania has relatively calm waters and whales spend some time here during their epic annual journey. They often perform amazing acrobatic stunts, jumping out of the water, spinning and going back underwater with a splash.

Tassie is an excellent spot to observe whales from the coastline. Most whale watching cruises depart from Frederick Henry Bay and Great Oyster Bay. There are regular whale sightings near the South Arm Peninsula, close to Hobart, and also near the Tasman Peninsula, in the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, and off Bruny Island coast. The largest tour operator includes Pennicott Wilderness Journeys that depart from Hobart and Port Arthur to Bruny Island and Tasman Island.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Tasmania for whale watching?

The ideal period to explore Tasmania's waters for whale watching is from May through November. This is a period when humpback whales and southern right whales migrate between their breeding and feeding grounds in Antarctica. Humpback whales can usually be observed between May to July and from September to November, while southern right whales appear between June to September and from September to October. Some of the best locations for whale watching are Frederick Henry Bay and Great Oyster Bay, both located on Tasmania's east coast, which offers calm waters making it the ideal spot. Show more

Where are the best locations to observe whales in Tasmania?

Tasmania's eastern shores are the go-to spot for whale watching, primarily where Frederick Henry Bay and Great Oyster Bay are stationed. The coastline around the South Arm Peninsula, d’Entrecasteaux Channel, and the offbeat coast of Bruny Island also serve as a suitable spot to observe whales. The Pennicott Wilderness Journeys tours are worth mentioning, which operate from Hobart and Port Arthur, offering visitors a chance to get an up-close view of Tasmania's marine wildlife, making it a memorable experience. Show more

What kind of whales can be seen in Tasmania's waters?

Humpback whales and southern right whales can be sighted along Tasmania's coastline. These whales have a particular migration period between their breeding grounds in Antarctica and their feeding grounds in warmer parts of the world near the equator. Humpback whales are around 16 meters long, weighing up to 30 tonnes, while southern right whales could grow up to 18 meters long, weighing roughly 80 tonnes. Their acrobatic activities such as breaching and tail-slapping provide a tourist to experience Tasmania's marine wildlife admirably. Show more

How long do the whales spend in Tasmania's waters?

Whales move annually to Tasmania's waters during their migration period, staying here for several weeks to a few months. Humpback whales frequently travel to various parts of Australia between May and July, returning to Antarctica between September to November. On the other hand, southern right whales move to the warmer parts of the earth from Antarctica between June and September, and from September to October, they travel back. Tasmania's serene waters provide a calm atmosphere for these whales to rest and feed, providing a great place for observers to watch these fascinating creatures. Show more

Which tour operator offers the best whale watching experience in Tasmania?

For those interested in whale watching, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys happens to be Tasmania's prime tour operator in this area. They operate cruises that give visitors the opportunity to go to various places such as Tasman Island and Bruny Island departing from Hobart and Port Arthur. These cruises offer tourists a close view of Tasmania's marine wildlife. The company's highly-knowledgeable guides offer visitors significant insight into Tasmania's ecology and coastline history, making the tours an unforgettable experience— indeed, the best whale watching experience one could find in Tasmania. Show more

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Last updated: by Olha Savych