Southern Right Whales visit Portland Bay & Bridgewater Bay whilst they are transiting through our Southern Ocean waters each winter.
Southern Right Whales are distinguished and easily identified by their lack of dorsal fin and large white bumps (callosities) which occur on the top of their head, along the edges of the lower jaw and above the eye. Being predominately black in colour, Southern Rights have large rounded flippers and flukes are often lifted out of the water as the whale dives.
The shapes of the white callosities on the head are unique for each individual and provide an easy means of identification.
Winter Southern Right Whale Viewing Spots:
Portland: Lee Breakwater & Nuns Beach: Itís not uncommon for southern right whales to come within meters of the north side of the Lee Breakwater as they come in close to Nuns Beach. You can often stand right on the sand at Nuns Beach and watch the whales within 20 meters of shore. Standing up on the cliff-top affords brilliant views particularly under the lighthouse at Whalers Bluff and from the Ploughed Field. From the cliff you can often view Southern Right whales resting in Portland Bay and watch as they enter Portland Harbour.
Portland Harbour: Southern Right Whales will enter the calm deep waters of Portland Harbour and can be viewed from all vantage points. Visitors to the Maritime Discovery Centre have enjoyed watching whales navigate their way around the moored yachts and boats or passing close by the trawler wharf and port.
Cape Bridgewater: There are many great spots for viewing Southern Right Whales around Bridgewater Bay, whether it be on the Great South West Walk, rambling out to the seal colony at the tip of Cape Bridgewater or meandering out to the Blowholes and Petrified Forest. In Bridgewater Bay you can also view them from right on the beach or whilst having a coffee at the beach side cafe.