Between late May and early October of each year, Southern Right Whales establish a nursery just off Logan’s Beach here in Warrnambool. This is where the mothers choose to give birth and raise their calves, providing tourists with an amazing glimpse into the lives of these gentle giants. If you are interested in whale watching, this is certainly an ideal location.
No one is really sure why Southern Right Whales have chosen Logan Beach as one of their calving grounds, but some experts believe that their behaviour is similar to that of other herd animals. When it’s time to give birth, they will separate themselves from the herd and find a place where they can hide from predators. The whales seem to seek out beaches with high swells and breaking waves, as the background noise makes it hard for predators to detect them.
Most visitors choose to watch the calves frolicking from the Whale Viewing Platforms at Logan’s Beach. The platforms are open 24 hours a day and are completely free. Just keep in mind that the whales are not always visible, so ensure you have time for multiple visits just in case your first one or two are unsuccessful. We also recommend bringing along a telescope or binoculars.
There may be some charter boat tours available, which will take you out onto Lady Bay for an up close view of the mothers and calves. It is important to note, however, that Victoria has laws regarding how close boats can get to ensure that the whales are not disturbed. Many visitors actually find that they get a much better view from the Logan’s Beach Platforms.
These whales are actually one of the largest mammals on earth – they’re only marginally smaller than the Blue Whale. Females usually grow to around 19 metres in length and weigh up to 85 tonnes, whilst males grow to around 17 metres and weigh closer to 55 tonnes. Mothers will not eat for several months before giving birth and for around 4 months after giving birth; it is believed that this is why there is such a large difference between female and male size.
Warrnambool is one of the best places in Australia to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures – and you don’t even have to leave the safety of the beach! If you are particularly interested in seeing Southern Right Whales, you will find that this is one of the only locations where they are readily visible. Don’t forget to check the Visit Warrnambool website for sighting updates!