Disclaimer: Thank you to Out of the Blue Adventures for hosting us as your guests. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.
Each year between the months of May and November, large pods of Humpback Whales migrate from the Antarctic to warmer waters in the tropics to breed and birth their babies. The southern hemisphere Humpback Whales migrate up the eastern coastlines of Australia each year, and astonishingly enough, never deviate more than one degree a year from their migration course. Talk about precise! These fascinating creatures use landmarks and magnetic fields to navigate, and recent research even suggests that the Humpback Whale can use the stars at night to guide them.
These are truly remarkable creatures and seeing them has been a bucket list item of ours for years! Thanks to Out of the Blue Adventures, we enjoyed a full day of breathtaking scenery and whale sightings with their Premier Byron Bay Whale Watching Cruise.
We started the day departing from Ballina’s Richmond River as we entered the incredibly vibrant waters of Cape Byron Marine Park. Our eco vessel boat was pristine, comfortably providing seating for 20, with power and precision like you wouldn’t believe. Our experienced Skipper, (Dean) navigated the choppy waters with ease. As we set out for the open ocean, the onsite Marine Biologist (Gabrielle) gave us a briefing on Humpback Whale migration patterns along with stimulating facts about these majestic creatures as we entered into their natural habitat.
Humpback Whales full grown can be 15 meters long and weigh up to 50 tons … 50 TONS … that’s equivalent to 7.5 Elephants … Dumbo has nothing on these guys! Humpback baby whales are called calves, and can be 4 to 5 meters in size, packing on 45 kilos (99 lbs) a day as they feed from their mothers. We thought we ate a lot … apparently not. As we patrolled Byron’s Marine Park, it wasn’t long before we saw our first whale sighting. First, it was a mother and her calf barely breaching the surface. Little did we know that was just the warm up as shortly thereafter, the real show began. A massive full grown mother breached 40 yards off the port bow of our vessel. Then there was a whale tail slap off, where a mother Humpback whale was showing her calf how to slap the water with its tail (also called a fluke). Then, the calf imitated its mother, creating a huge splash in the distance as it playfully copied its mother. We were on cuteness overload.
The Humpback Whales then brought the tip of their heads to the surface as if they were imitating a rocket propelling itself straight out of the water. We had never seen anything like it before, it was absolutely adorable! Then, we witnessed an incredibly rare sight where two mothers conjoined with their calves to create a pod of four Humpback Whales as they playfully navigated the open blue ocean waters.
We could have followed them all day, but the tour did unfortunately have to conclude. We were truly left speechless by what we had seen, and thus understood why Cape Byron is one of Australia’s premier whale watching destinations. Out of the Blue Adventures delivered on their promise, by providing us with a unique and unmatched whale watching experience. This was a memorable ocean adventure we highly recommend and will never forget!