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Whale watching is a leading wildlife activity in Australia and around the world. For the past several decades, whale watching has gained popularity and reached new heights. There are many tour operators ferrying guests on whale watching cruises around the world. In Jervis Bay, there’s only one operator to consider: Jervis Bay Wild.

Here’s your primer on whale watching in Jervis Bay, NSW.

What whales will you see in Jervis Bay?

On a whale watching tour with Jervis Bay Wild, the main focus will be humpback whales. These are amazing creatures that grow up to 16m in length and weigh in at a remarkable 36,000 kg. These massive mammals don’t have teeth, but instead filter their food using baleen plates. They eat a lot—as much as 2500 kg of plankton, krill, and other small fish during their feeding season. Humpbacks are known for their distinctive “songs,” which they sing to each other using whines, calls, groans, and other sounds. The purpose of these songs remains somewhat of a mystery, and is still being avidly researched.

When is whale watching season?

In Jervis Bay, whale watching season begins in May and continues until November. The humpbacks migrate on a yearly cycle, and though we don’t know the exact day when the whales will first be spotted in our area, their patterns are clear, and we always know when to expect their arrival. Our whale eco cruises run through these months, and sightings in the midst of the season almost always happen daily.

Why are the whales migrating?

Migration is a major part of the humpback whale life cycle. These mammals make one of the longest animal migrations known to man, and they do it without fail every single year. The reason for the migration is weather and availability of food, coupled with a few other factors. In the summertime, the humpbacks are down to the south in chilly arctic waters, where they are feeding plentifully on krill. This is their feeding season and it readies them for the long journey ahead.

As the weather begins to shift, the migration starts, the humpbacks departing north for warmer waters. In the northern hemisphere, the direction of their journey is reversed. In these warm waters (such as those found of the NSW coast) whales can safely give birth to their young. The temperate waters make survival easier for the young calves, and also avoid the presence of natural predators. Soon after, the whales mate again and the cycle starts anew.

What do I need to bring?

Joining us in search of the mighty humpback? You don’t need to bring much on your cruise, but we recommend a bottle of water, a light jacket in case of crisp breezes, sun protection (sunnies & sun cream), and a positive attitude! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

Where can I book my whale watching cruise?

Let’s get sailing! You can book a Jervis Bay whale watch HERE or join us for one of our other exciting wildlife offerings. We’ll see you on the water.