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Augusta gears up for bumper whale watching season

May 29, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Visitors can prepare for what is expected to be another bumper whale watching season in The Margaret River Region, Western Australia, with tours kicking off this June long weekend.

Local tour boat operators Albatross, All Sea, Naturaliste and Legend Charters will be officially commencing whale watching tours in Flinders Bay, Augusta this weekend, with some having already taken their charter boats out this week.

Up to 35,000 Humpback and Southern Right Whales, and even the occasional rare Blue Whale, travel through the waters of The Margaret River Region on their northern migration.

Paul Cross from Naturaliste Charters confirmed there has been sightings in Flinders Bay already.

“Just yesterday I saw a pod of about four whales out there underneath the lighthouse playing, with a few breaches,” he said.unnamed (28)

Terri Mitchell from Albatross Charters said it was an extremely exciting time of year.

“As the whales move into Flinders Bay, we are fortunate enough to see some of the most spectacular activity displayed anywhere in Australia, and even worldwide,” said Ms Mitchell.

“What’s so unique about whale watching in the south west is that Flinders Bay in Augusta is the first port of call for the whales on their northern migration from Antarctia.

“Marine biologists have studied the whales’ behaviour in the South West and realised that they stop in Flinders Bay for ‘partner picking’ – then they continue their journey to the North West,” said Ms Mitchell.

Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association CEO Pip Close encouraged all visitors and locals to jump aboard a whale watching tour this season.

“Whale watching is a superb way to experience the beautiful natural environment of The Margaret River Region – it’s an iconic Winter experience,” said Ms Close.

“Augusta is a beautiful part of the world and whale watching is a great reason to head down to explore Cape Leeuwin and the Augusta area,” she said.

“Whales can often be spotted from the top of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse or through the binoculars in the lighthouse grounds – a great option if you don’t have your sea legs!” said Ms Close.

“What’s great about the whale season here is that it starts at the southern end of the region in Flinders Bay, Augusta, then the whales move north and can be spotted in Geographe Bay off Dunsborough and Busselton later in the year – resulting in an incredible six month whale watching season,” said Ms Close.

Paul Szczypior from All Sea Charters advised that although the Humpbacks give birth up north, the Southern Right Whales breed in Flinders Bay.

“We’ve seen Southern Rights nursing their calfs just behind the breakers,” he said.

“Every tour is different – you never know what you might see – last year we had a very friendly young male who we named George, who loved to see the boats, the odd Minke Whale and even a Blue Whale,” said Mr Szczypior.

“There’s always plenty of marine life in Augusta – seals, dolphins, schooling fish, tonnes of birdlife, and good views of the lighthouse and stunning rugged coastline,” he said.

Whale watching tours depart from Flinders Bay Boat Ramp in Augusta and can be booked at the Margaret River or Augusta Visitor Centres.

Tours of Australia’s tallest lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin are also available to visitors all June long weekend.

For more information, or to book a whale watching or lighthouse tour, visitwww.margaretriver.com, call +61 8 9780 5911 or email welcome@margaretriver.com.

Two night packages including a whale watching tour and acocmmodation at Darby Park Margaret River, Margarets Beach Resort or Quality Inn Margaret River are also soon to be available onwww.margaretriver.com.

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