On Saturday we hopped in our car and drove 280km to the southwest of Melbourne to spend our weekend watching the whales at Warrnambool. Warrnambool is a town at the end of the Great Ocean Road and it is famous for its Southern Right Whales that come to nurse their calves at Logans Beach.
The whale watching is only done from viewing platforms on the beach, there are no commercial whale watching cruises at Warrnambool (you can however take a helicopter and see them from the air - next time!). The platforms are large to accommodate all visitors and are built high on the dunes right aboveLogans Beach. We arrived Saturday afternoon, all rugged up as it was super windy with hot tea in our thermos - and we were really lucky!! There were at least three mothers with their calves roaming along the beach, some came really close to the shore, having fun in the waves. So beautiful! We spent a couple of hours taking pictures and following them with our binoculars.
After a good nights sleep at a local motel we headed back to Logans Beach on Sunday morning. The sun was out and the ocean was calmer than the day before, however - no whales. So we headed back to the town and had a hearty breakfast and tried our luck again.
And hooray, we were rewarded! When we returned there were at least two pairs to be seen and one of the juniors decided it was time to put up a show. And man, a show it was! The calve was jumping out of the water, backwards, to the front, splashing around, testing it strengths. It was amazing!!
And look at that lucky surfer - I am sure this was HIS day! So close to the jumping calve - absolutely stunning! Also a tiny bit scary as the mother was always near and she can grow up the 15 meters. You don't want to be too close if she decides to take a jump!
The southern right whales have almost be hunted to distinction in Southern Australia, nowadays the numbers are increasing but it is still an endangered species. I adore whales and I am sure we will be returning to Warrnambool next winter to see them again....
More on whales if you fancy - I recently swam with a (much smaller) minke whale in the Great Barrier Reef and we have also been lucky to see some pretty relaxed humpback whales off Cape Cod a couple of years ago.
Have you been whale watching before? Aren't they beautiful animals? *K