Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whale Watching in Australia

A record number of whales off Australia's South Coast this winter and spring lures whale watchers to the spectacular Grand Pacific Drive around Wollongong.

It is one of Australia’s most beautiful coastal drives, with lofty lookouts and sweeping views over the ocean to the migrating 40-ton mammals. And it's just one hour south of Sydney.

Or, get even closer to the whales aboard one of the area's whale-watching cruises. Look for large pods of whales, including the acrobatic humpback variety. Also, if you're lucky, you'll spot plus southern right, pilot, killer, fin and minky whales.

Peak viewing periods are late August through November for the whales’ southern migration, and June-July for their return to northern waters.

Kiama-based charter boat MV Signa offers two-hour whale-watching cruises.. Tickets are $55, including refreshments. The South Coast’s biggest whale and dolphin-watching operator, Jervis Bay Whales, has three-hour tours on 140-passenger catamarans. Pricing is from $55 adult, $28 children, or $130 per family, including morning tea.