Winter whale watching in Apollo Bay

Southern Right whales can be seen along the south coast between May and September each year. Each female produces one calf every three years, usually born in August. Once their calves are well established they return to antarctica to feed through the summer months.

In 2011 the first sightings were about mid May at Logans Beach in Warrnambool and much further up the coast at Ocean Grove.

We had our first sightings off the beach at Apollo Bay early in June and another mid month just off the main beach. Over the last few years we have been fortunate to have pods stay along the beach for as much as a week at a time. They usually spent their days along the northern end of the beach, often only 100 metres off-shore, moving south near the harbour in the evenings. Our endless fascination with these wonderful giants is obvious in the ‘pods’ of people watching from the shore.

The drive along the Great Ocean Road provides many whale spotting vantage points. There are lookouts on higher sections of the road from Anglesea onwards. A new cliff-edge lookout at Split Point in Aireys Inlet provides a spectacular setting to view passing whales. There are numerous vantage points with parking spaces off the road between Lorne and Apollo Bay.

Because they pass quite close to shore or cliffs whale watchers can identify Southern Right Whales by their distinguishing features. Adults may be as big as 18 metres long, mainly black with white patches on their large rounded heads. They have short square pectoral fins and a distinctive v-shaped blow rather than a single plume.

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Great Ocean Road Apollo Bay