Get Out In The Whale-derness

The Margaret River region plays host to an estimated 35,000 whales migrating from the Antarctic between June and December every year. Witness these astounding animals from the shore, the top of a lighthouse or on a Whale Watching Tour.

Witnessing the enormity and grace of a whale is an experience that’s hard to beat.

To encounter these creatures in considerable numbers, interacting with each other or nursing their young, is an experience like no other.



After having been hunted almost to extinction until the 1970’s, the whale population has recovered to such a level that an estimated 35,000 whales migrate from the Antarctic to our warmer waters every year. With a 6-month season, from June to early December, Your Margaret River Region is one of the best places to whale watch in Australia.

Humpback, Southern Right, Minke and Blue Whales all make the epic journey. Their first port of call is Flinders Bay in Augusta, where the best time to see them is June to August. Augusta is one of the few places where you’ll see the Southern Right and Humpback whales interact. Humpbacks, renowned for their agility, gather in groups of males and engage in breaching, spy-hopping, lob-tailing and tail-slapping. Acrobatics play out during courtship. Southern Right whales will often calve in the bay and sometimes can be seen doing so in the shallows.

The Humpback whales then head directly up north, where the pregnant females who mated last year have their calves (babies). They then return to Geographe Bay near Busselton and Dunsborough where they rest and nurse their young from September to early December.

You can watch the action unfold on the horizon from the shore, along the Cape to Cape Track or from the top of a lighthouse, or get up close on a whale watching cruise departing from Augusta, Dunsborough and Busselton throughout the season.


An estimated 35,000 whales migrate along the coastline of Your Margaret River Region each year – that’s twice as many as off the east coast of Australia!

Whale Watching Tours

The only way to really gauge the size and agility of the gigantic whales is to encounter them up close on a whale watching cruise. You’ll be in awe as you witness a small part of their magnificent journey and their antics along the way!

No day on the ocean is ever the same, but the captain and crew of these cruises are highly experienced at reading whale behaviour, so they will put you in the best position to have the most amazing view.

On your way out to open water, decide whether to cruise in comfort by relaxing inside on the comfy chairs or go out on deck and enjoy the sea breeze in your hair. The region has a variety of different tour operators, so you can choose from luxurious charters to purpose-built whale watching vessels – whatever suits you best. All serve on-board refreshments, offer expert commentary and years of experience on our seas. A number of the whale watching charters are fitted with hydrophones so you can listen to the fascinating sounds of whale song.

From June to August, whale watching tours depart from Augusta, while from September to December they depart from Dunsborough and Busselton. If you have mobility requirements, it’s best to ask for detailed information from the individual tour operators.

Your Margaret River Region Whale Watching Tours

Southern Right or Humpback?

The Southern Right Whale

  • Conservation Status: ‘Least Concern’
  • Description: Southern Right whales are grey in colour and can grow up to 17 metres in length. The whales are baleen whales with a bow-shaped lower jaw and a head that is up to one quarter of its body length. Southern Right Whales were named so because they were considered the “right” whale to hunt due to the fact that they floated when dead, yielded many barrels of oil, and had long baleen plates.

The Humpback Whale

  • Conservation Status: ‘Least Concern’
  • Description: The Humpback Whale is black or grey with a white, grooved underbelly. Humpbacks are well known for their playful behaviour and can often be seen jumping out of the water in magnificent displays of breaching. Scientists are unsure why humpbacks breach, but believe it may be related to courtship or play activity. Humpback whales weigh up to 65 tonnes and the female is larger than the male. The humpback whale is capable of living up to 95 years.

Insiders’ Information

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Choose from hotels, resorts, farmstays, guesthouses and self-contained apartments for the perfect place to stay.

Walking and Hiking

Immerse yourself in natural beauty on the region’s many tracks and trails.


With over 95 cellar doors are open for tastings, start planning which ones you’ll visit with our Margaret River wineries list.


Contact Your Margaret River Region experts 7 days per week. Email or call (08) 9780 5911.