The Great Ocean Road at Warrnambool has one one of the best places to see these powerful creatures in a breeding nursery close to land. The whales often swim within 100 metres of the shore and you can see them from the viewing platform. You don’t have to hire a boat, just come to Logan’s Beach at the right time and its free.
The Southern Right whales come here to calve in these warm waters after they’ve been in the sub Antarctic during the summer months. They feed their young close to shore until September or October before leaving again for the cooler waters down south.
Each female nurses its calf for 12 months before they leave her and she becomes pregnant again in the next year.
Each year whales and calves perform for a gasping crowd and people smile and clap to see the antics of these magnificent creatures so close.
Sadly the Southern right whales were once hunted almost to extinction, but since whaling was outlawed in 1935 their numbers have been increasing. Today about a dozen breeding females use this nursery regularly.
The average length of the adult southern right whale is 15 metres and weighing around 50 tonnes.
The Southern Right whale is called this name because it lives in the southern ocean and also was considered the ‘right’ whale to hunt by early whalers. The whales were able to hunt the whale easily because it came close to the shore and it gave a good amount of oil when killed.
This particular type of whale can be recognised by its smooth, black back and lack of a dorsal fin. On the head of each southern right whale are a number of crusty barnacle like growths that are called callosities, and these markings differ from whale to whale making them easily identifiable for tracking.
Tips for whale watching
When to come – June to October.
Distance from Otway Coast towns
About 180 km from Wye River/Separation Creek / Kennett River to Warrnambool – 2 and a half hours. You can do a Whale Watching Trip to Warrnambool from the Otway Coast towns comfortably as a day trip.
What to take for the trip
It’s not possible to absolutely guarantee sightings so try to make as much time available for watching as you can and schedule multiple trips over a few days preferably. Bring binoculars. Wear clothes to protect you from potential windy and wet weather.