Whale watching season has begun! Here at Jervis Bay Wild, this is our most thrilling time of the year, as we witness the annual humpback whale migration right here in our backyard.
Beginning mid-May, the whales start making their way from the southern Antarctic regions into the bay, and we start heading out daily to spot these magnificent creatures breach, expel water, jump, splash, and swim about, as they move slowly and regally through the sea.
Later in the season, newborn calves are frequently observed, swimming closely to their mothers; it’s an incredible miracle to witness.
The migration of the humpback whale
The humpback whale makes one of the longest migratory patterns in the animal kingdom, swimming thousands of miles every year. In the winter months, whales make their way from the arctic regions (where they live in the summer feeding on krill), to the warmer subtropical waters of the NSW and Queensland coasts where they give birth to their young. They return to the Antarctic later in the season. Before setting off, they consume krill by the tonne, fattening themselves up for the long journey ahead.
Once they’ve reached the tropical, temperate oceans, the breeding season begins. It is much safer for the young whales to be born in this climate, as the colder regions are home to significant predators. Here in the milder waters, the conditions are also gentler on the baby humpback. Though they will soon fatten up and gain strength by consuming countless litres of their mothers nourishing milk each day, they enter the world with little protection against the elements.
Whale Watching Cruises: FAQs
How long do the cruises last?
- Dolphin Cruise 1.5 hrs
- Jervis Bay Passage 2hrs
- Sunset River Cruise 2hrs
- Whale Cruise 2hrs
If you book a private cruise, you have the flexibility to choose the length of your cruise.
Who can come on a Jervis bay wild cruise?
We invite guests of all ages to come aboard our vessels. Prams can be accommodated, and we have wheelchair-accessible toilets on Port Venture.
What do I need to bring?
Each cruise has a list of specific items to bring, but for most of our cruises we recommend:
- Bottled Water
- Sunscreen and hat
- A light jacket in summer and a warm jacket in winter
- Towel and swimmers for boom netting
Port Venture has a fully licensed bar and complimentary tea and coffee available.
When is whale watching season?
Humpback whales embark on their annual migration in mid-May and can be seen through to November.
Will I definitely see dolphins and whales in Jervis Bay?
Part of the beauty of our tours is that you get the opportunity to observe wildlife in their natural habitats. Because we are meeting the animals in the wild, we can’t predict their behaviour with 100% certainty. While there is always a chance that the dolphins or whales won’t show themselves on a certain day, in our many years of offering whale watching cruises and dolphin tours, we’ve gotten to know the habits and patterns of our local wildlife extremely well. We’ll guide the vessel to prime viewing locations to get you the best possible wildlife experience. Because of our knowledge and experience and the abundance of marine life in Jervis Bay, the probability that you will see large amounts of wildlife on your tour is high. The bottlenose dolphins live right here in the bay, and rare is the day when they are not sighted multiple times on one of our cruises!