How to prepare for your Western Australian Whale Watching tour!

whale watching western australia

Whale watching by definition is to observe whales in their natural habitat. From the moment you book your tour to the days, months, even years following you can find yourself talking about “that time you went out whale watching”. Western Australian whale watching is unique in that we have the largest population of Humpbacks in the world! An estimate of about 45,000 of these curious and acrobatic giants migrate annually. From the cold waters surrounding Antarctica, they make their way north to try reach warmer waters in the states north western region. 

On this migration when the whales are heading north and then back south, they will encounter a few Western Australian whale watching boats! Naturaliste Charters are included. The original and the best in the south west! Here, lucky punters will observe from a distance while the whales go about their business. This could be courtship behaviour, socialising, mother and calf bonding or even a very energetic breaching whale!! Sometimes the whales are the ones doing the watching and our passengers will be “mugged” as whales swim around the boat checking out what’s going on ABOVE the surface! 

So you can barely contain your EXCITEMENT for your tour but you are still curious about a few things. In the following paragraphs you will read all about what you need to know before you go and how to prepare for your whale watching tour. From suitable ages, what to wear, even how long will it be until we see a whale, is covered. Read on to find out more.

How old do you need to be to go whale watching?

Here at Naturaliste Charters we welcome all ages on board for our whale watching tours in Dunsborough, Augusta, Albany and Busselton. Our expeditions provide an incredible opportunity to learn and with a fully secured and safe vessel children will feel comfortable while they go on an exciting adventure! It also may take you a bit longer to get used to your new found sea legs. If this is the case then rest assured as their is plenty of seating around the entirety of the vessel. 

From newborn to 90+ years old, age has no boundaries on our comfortable vessels. However at the end of the day you are the best judge of whether yourself or your children will cope being out at sea on a moving vessel.

Our Bremer Bay Killer Whale Expeditions DO have an age limit due to the nature of the expedition. We cater for the ages of 10+ years old. In this instance, our number one priority is your safety. If you have any queries in regards to age limits call our friendly staff on (08) 9750 5500.

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How to dress for whale watching?

Whale watching in Western Australia should come with a warning – BRING A HAT! The Aussie sun has a VERY high UV index and although the fresh sea breeze and clouds can make you feel cool when whale watching, the sun can be doing more damage than you think! We advise to bring a sturdy hat with a chin strap or rope toggle to tighten. The wind can often pick up causing hats to blow into the sea. Not great, especially if its your favourite hat. 

Next its a sturdy pair of shoes – whether this means HEAT WAVE’s or enclosed runners, it is up to your personal preference. We strongly advise against wearing high heels or your fanciest shoes as salt spray does tend to leave its mark.

“Dress for the weather plus an extra jacket!”. If its a hot day on shore there is a fair chance it is going to be hot while out on tour. However since we are out in the open we advise the extra jacket to protect against any sudden cold breezes.

Lastly, a good pair of Polarized sunglasses can make all the difference to your tour! Polarized sunnies work by blocking the glare that can come off the water! Meaning you won’t miss any of the Whaley-good action! If you are planning on a Bremer Bay Killer Whale Expedition we highly recommend these – oh and a sunglasses strap! I can personally recommend this. I am embarrassed to admit that I have lost one too many pairs of sunnies to the ocean! 

What to bring on a whale watching tour?

The aforementioned above! A quality camera is another piece of equipment to carry when whale watching in Western Australia as it can make for a fantastic way to remember your tour by! Our guides will often take pictures for you which means you can spend more time taking in all that is going on around you, however if you are an amateur all the way to an advanced photographer, there is a thrill that comes with “getting the shot” while out on the water. Each tour (except Killer Whale Expeditions) has an Australian morning or afternoon tea which includes tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits. However there is absolutely no restrictions if you would like to bring your own snacks or food for the tour. We do advise not to bring any large meals, because you know… sea sickness and all…

Our larger vessel Alison-Maree has been plastic free since 2019! YAY!!! If you have a travel mug and a drink bottle they are great additions too. However we do have compostable and biodegradable cups if you forget your own. 

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How long is the whale watching tour?

Our whale watching tours run for 2 to 2.5 hours. This includes Dunsborough, Busselton, Augusta and Albany. Tours may run longer if necessary – or if the whales are REALLY good.

Our Bremer Bay Killer Whale Expeditions run for 8 hours. We are the only operators who spend an ENTIRE day out with the Killer Whales, ensuring you can make the absolute most of your day!

How likely is it to see a whale on the tour?

On all of our tours it is VERY likely to see a whale. We operate each season when the whales are at their peak migration to ensure maximum chance of sighting. However there is always a chance we don’t see ANY whales. We are working with wild animals and they often do what they want, when they want! This is why we have a 100% whale sighting guarantee. If you do not see a whale while on tour you can return for free! Allowing even more chance to see something when whale watching in Western Australia. This is valid for the following seasons, so if you are holidaying and have places to be we allow ample opportunity for you to return! 

Now you know, so let’s go!! We hope to see you out on the water for whale watching in Western Australia

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