Published on 12 May 2022
Whale watching season has started with an impressive display in Portland, with not one, but two cheeky marine visitors exploring the Portland Harbour this week.
Two Southern Right whales were spotted on early Monday evening, with keen whale watchers catching a close glimpse of the mammals from the popular Lee Breakwater jetty.
Local photographer Nita Tonkin was quick to catch the two whales as they meandered through local waters, sharing her professional shots with Council’s Whalemail Facebook page.
The sighting, which was shared across social media platforms, generated much excitement from the general public with posts on Whalemail reaching nearly 11,000 people within a 24 hour timeframe, including more than 1,100 individual engagements.
Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said Portland was living up to its profile as a whale watching capital.
“From May until September, Portland’s spectacular coastline is prime territory for whale spotting. This includes humpback whales, southern right whales, blue whales and even orcas as they make their annual journey to give birth and raise their calves in Australia's warmer waters,” she explained.
“More than 150 whales, including humpback, southern right and blue, were sighted off the coasts of Portland, Narrawong, Cape Nelson and Cape Bridgewater in 2021, providing yet another strong and consistent year of visitation.
“Just like clockwork it is early May and the first of our marine visitors have made their way to our region. It is a promising sign that we will experience yet another busy and exciting season of whale sightings.
“There are plenty of unique vantage points in Portland to catch a glimpse of these creatures in action – whether that be our purpose-built viewing platforms, clifftops along the coast or even from our new Town Jetty. The whales have a way of surprising us by coming closer and closer to the water’s edge.
“I look forward to seeing locals, and welcoming a steady influx of visitors, as keen whale-watchers put their spotting skills to the test over the coming months.”
Whale watchers can register for instant whale sightings via the Whalemail webpage on the I am Portland tourism website, via www.iamportland.com.au/whale-mail-portland.
Whale sightings are also shared via social media on the Whalemail Facebook page. The Portland Visitor Information Centre will also fly a yellow flag every time a whale sighting is reported.
For further information on whale sightings in Portland, including the best locations for viewing, visit www.iamportland.com.au/whale-mail-portland.