Winter Whale Trail
Winter in Portland isn’t all grey skies and rainy days. The ocean adds powerful drama to the coastline, fireplaces crackle and invite cosy evenings, and crowds dwindle. And of course, our giant flippered friends return to the southern shores for their annual babymoon.
From May to September, the giants of the deep journey from the Antarctic to the warmer waters of the Southern Ocean to breed, birth and raise their calves. This is what we call that ‘whale corridor’. It’s the only place in the world where you can watch whales breeding so close to the shore, and we’re not at all surprised our mammal friends love to come here and play. It is one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the world – if we do say so ourselves.
Portland offers some of the best whale spotting vantage points to watch the Southern Right, Humpback, Blue, and the occasional Orca whale breaching, chin slapping, flippering and spy hopping. Southern Right Whales can be spotted close to shore and even into the harbour at Portland until October. But the region offers much more beyond blow holes and flipper slaps, see all there is to explore on our Winter Whale Trail Map.
Whale Viewing Locations
1. Wade Street Whale Platform: As you drive into town, stop off at Wade Street viewing platform see if the whales have arrived too. The whale lookout offers a great view of Portland’s Harbour all the way down to parts of Dutton Way.
2. Cape Nelson Lighthouse: Travel 10 minutes from Portland to Cape Nelson Lighthouse for a great vantage point to view these gentle giants. Locals joke that both Southern Rights and Humpback whales swim so close to these cliffs you can hear them sing. This is also a premier spot for sightings of the rare Blue whale as they travel through in the summer months and feed of the millions of krill brought to the surface in the ‘Upwelling’ (Nov – May).
3. Cape Bridgewater: You’re spoilt for choice of great spots to see whales around Bridgewater Bay. Whether it be while wandering on the Great South West Walk, above the fur seals colony on the tip of Cape Bridgewater, from the platforms of the Petrified Forest and Blowholes or beach-side on the sand or cafe of Bridgewater Bay.
Spot a Whale and Win
Join us in celebrating the return of the whales to the Glenelg Shire region by sharing your whale spot for your chance to win! Head to @visitglenelgvic Instagram to enter, or see our terms and condition(PDF, 91KB)s to find out more.