Whale Watching is a fun and unique experience in Port Stephens. On a whale watch cruise you may come across one or more of the following types of whales - Humpback, Melon Headed, Brydes, Southern Right, Pilot, False Killer and the Orca whale. In Port Stephens the most common whale to see is the humpback whale.
You can distinguish the humpback whale from other whales by its small dorsal fin that you see sticking out of the water when the whale arches its back to dive. That is how the humpback whale got its name. They can also be identified by markings under their tail and flippers.
The whale watching season in Port Stephens runs from around early May until late November. Around 8,000 of the world's humpback whale population pass the Port Stephens coast line on their 12,000 kilometre migration every year.
The humpback whale commences a northern migration from May to August, travelling from its feeding grounds in Antarctica to the warmer waters of the Pacific. They then make the return voyage from August to November. This is the longest recognised migration of any mammal on earth and the reason for the journey is to breed.
Humpbacks are popular with whale watchers in Port Stephens due to their spectacular display of acrobatic tricks. You can see the whale breach, this is when the whale leaps out of the water, and rolls in the air with its fins stretched out like wings and then crashes back into the water. Other tricks you might see are a tail slap, pectoral slap, a spy hop when the whale's head bobs up out of the water or a body roll.
Humpback whales have been protected since 1965. The Length of Adult humpbacks range from 14 metres to 18 metres and they can weigh up to 50 tonnes. Calves are 4 metres to 5 metres at birth and weigh round 2 tonnes.
When I experienced a whale watch cruise I saw two humpback whales just off Fingal Beach as well as dolphins and seals. It was amazing to see the whales up close and in their own natural habitat. Both humpbacks performed a breach as well a tail slap and pectoral slap. The cruise was also very relaxing and informative and definitely something I will do again and suggest to others.
If you choose to have this amazing experience in Port Stephens just remember there are some rules such as: do not disturb or harass the whales, do not feed or touch and keep noise to a minimum.
Posted By chantelle
Updated : 9th October 2022 | Words : 425 | Views : 4068