Whale Watching Tours are a fantastic way to spend the morning or afternoon. These kings of the ocean visit each year between June and October and can be viewed up close on a whale watching tour. Click/tap to find out about the Whales of the Southern Ocean.
If you are coming to Albany to watch the Whales, we recommend booking your whale watching tour in advance.
Whale Watching is a fantastic way to spend the morning or afternoon. The King George Sound is a sheltered harbour offering two passages to the Great Southern Ocean.
The whales come and go in these sheltered water and it is unusual to go out and NOT see these humble, giant creatures.
The great Humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year as they migrate between Antarctica and Australia.
If you are interested in Whale Watching, you can find a Map to the Albany Pier [click here] or scroll down to see the map on this page. This is where you will find the two whale-tour operators. Ample parking and toilets at the pier.
An ideal whale habitat, the sheltered waters around Albany and Denmark are ideal for young whales preparing to take the long journey south to the deep southern ocean around Antarctica.
I'm glad to know our friends of the sea find this area peaceful again. The whales come and go in these sheltered water and it is common to see several of these humble, giant creatures. Both whale-tour operators work from the Albany Pier.
Our whale-watching experiences in Albany, WA have always been fantastic. They are fun for everyone, engaging and refreshing, and the waters of King George Sound are truly beautiful.
Heading out of the Princess Royal Harbour into the King George Sound it is easy to see why shipmen rejoyced to see the deep water harbour, offering easy access to land with the deep blue water of the sound emptying into the Southern Ocean.
It is still today one of the worlds best natural deep water channels.
Dolphins and Seals can be seen in the sheltered waters, the seals most often laze in on the warm rocks off of Seal Island (below).
We found "Sail Away" easy and comfortable, the pace most enjoyable in the beautiful sailboat.
John's knowlege of the local wildlife extends back along his years. We have no doubt you'll be delighted.
Family Friendly Whale Tours
Each time we visit the whales our entire family participates in the adventure, and everyone enjoys the time on the ocean spotting seals, whales and dolphins.
Albany Whale Watching
If you're visiting the Rainbow Coast btween June and October be sure to take the opportunity to go on a Whale Watching Tour. It's a memorable experience!
Map of Albany Pier for Whale Watching Cruises. Albany Whale Tours start here! Tap the markers for information about the locations on the Map below.
We saw our first whale off the Torndirrup Peninsula near the Blowholes, since then we have sighted dozens of whales from both the shore and Whale Tours. It was beautiful to watch the humpback whales glide and splash, spouting water into the sky every so often. Majestic and magical creatures these are... Read more detailed information on the Whales of the Southern Ocean along the Rainbow Coast.
There is an attraction in Albany called Whaleworld which once was once a whaling-station (Ick!) and is now a historical monument to our carelessness. Call the tourist information for details. We find it not very appealing to discuss, except to point out its brief history and to oppose those still 'hunting' whales in the open ocean. Really! Ick. Leave them alone!
JAPAN STILL WHALING DESPITE SANCTUARY:
The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary was established by the IWC in 1994 with 5 countries supporting the agreement and Japan opposing it. The status of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary is reviewed and open to change by the IWC every 10 years. During the 2004 meeting a proposal was made by Japan to remove the sanctuary, but it failed to reach the 75% majority required (it received 25 votes in favour and 30 votes against with two abstentions).
As sanctuaries only apply to commercial whaling, Japan has continued to hunt whales inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary because its whaling is done in accordance with a provision in the IWC charter permitting whaling for the purposes of . Japan also lodged a formal objection to the sanctuary with regard to minke whales, meaning that under IWC rules, the terms of the sanctuary do not apply to Japan with respect to minkes. The catch of the 2005 season (Dec 05-Mar 06) inside the sanctuary included 856 minke whales and ten of the endangered Fin whale. In 2007 - 2008 Japan planned to take 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales.
(*source Wikipedia Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary)
Whaling in Western Australia was one of the first viable industries established in the Swan River Colony following the arrival of British settlers in 1829. The industry had numerous ups and downs until the last whaling station closed in Albany in 1978.
There are two main species of whales (order Cetacea) which form aggregations along the Western Australian coastline: the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis), and the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). The Southern Rights are slow swimmers and their carcases tend to float due to the high concentration of oil in the blubber - hence the name "right" as it made the task of the whale chasers easier. Its conservation status is now listed as "endangered" as result of more than 150 years of hunting.
Both species migrated along the north-south coastline stopping in bays such as Geographe Bay (east of Cape Naturaliste) and Flinders Bay (east of Cape Leeuwin) for mating and breeding. Other species occasionally caught were Sperm Whales and Blue Whales, although these tended to be seen mainly along the southern coast of Western Australia.
(*An entire history of the Western Australian Whaling 'Industry' can be found on wikipedia: Whaling in Western Australia)
More information on the south-west coast in our other Western Australian travellers guides:
The Albany is the oldest settlement in Western Australia. Filled with history, surrounded by beaches and waterways, and a great place to visit while on holiday on the south coast of WA. Visit Albany today.
Fremantle, the Port City, is located south-west of Perth at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle's vibrant nightlife, music scene and cafe' culture make Fremantle a perfect getaway from the bustle of Perth. Beaches, history, shopping, dining out, and more. VISIT FREMANTLE
The Margaret River Region is an area of magnificent beauty on the western coast of the south west of WA. From the expansive shores of Busselton on Geographe Bay, through Dunsborough & Margaret River to Augusta, the Margaret River Region is fantastic. VISIT MARGARET RIVER
Denmark WA is one of the most beautiful places along the south coast as it has forests, beaches, rivers and waves. Everything you need for the perfect south coast holiday. Denmark Wineries are popular too! Info on Denmark Town including shopping, dining & history, VISIT DENMARK WA