The Ningaloo Coast, and in particular Exmouth Gulf, sees the highest density of humpback whales in in the Southern Hemisphere during their annual 11,000km migration from Antarctica (June to November). During this period, an estimated 30,000 humpback whales visit the Ningaloo Coast on their way to their breeding and birthing grounds off the Kimberley.
Humpbacks are typically seen along the Ningaloo Coast from June, but numbers peak during July-November when these whales gather in and around the Exmouth Gulf to rest up before making their return journey south. At this time of year, many of the humpbacks are mothers with newborn calves which can be seen at close range.
In a first for Western Australia, tours to swim with humpback whales are now available out of both Exmouth and Coral Bay. Snorkelling with Ningaloo humpbacks provides a whole new perspective on the size and majesty of these great whales, with snorkellers permitted to approach within 30 metres of a humpback for a mind blowing face to face interaction. Humpback whale interaction tours are available from August to November.
Humpback whales are the fifth largest of the great whales, weighing up to 40 tonnes. They are also a very active whale species which can often be seen rolling around on the surface, slapping their fins and tails and even regularly breaching clear of the water; a spectacular sight you’ll never forget. Other whales that are regularly sighted off the Ningaloo Coast include blue whales, orcas (killer whales), pygmy blue whales, short-finned pilot whales, dwarf minke whales and Bryde’s whales, making the Ningaloo one of Australia's premier whale watching destinations.
Humpbacks can be sighted from the shore, with Exmouth’s Town Beach, Bundegi Beach or the lookout atop Vlamingh Head both good vantage points to spot them off in the distance. But for a guaranteed close up perspective, jump aboard a humpback whale watching tour departing from either Exmouth or Coral Bay to enjoy an up close view of the spectacular antics of these incredible creatures from the luxury of a custom built tour vessel.