spot a whale on the fleurieu
Updated: May 2019.
Winter is a spectacular time of year on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With a temperate climate of cool but often sunny days at a median high of 16 degrees celsius in the southern tip of the Fleurieu, it's a great place to visit. To help you plan your whale sighting activities we've compiled some of our favourite ways to enjoy these magnificent creatures, less than 1 hour 30 minute drive south of Adelaide.
where to go
The Southern Fleurieu Peninsula often starts to see the Southern right whales in May, spiking in numbers in June through to August, tapering off into September. What a spectacular sight and fantastic activity for all ages and abilities. There are fantastic land-based opportunities peppered along the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula coastline, as well as comfortable water based options.
Here's a few to get you going:
Starting at Horseshoe Bay, across the headland to Knights Beach is the Harbour Master's walk. Follow a cobblestone path around the headland of Freemans Knob past Ladys Beach, Rocky Bay and Green Bay before reaching Knights Beach. Less than a 2km stroll with some of the best Whale spotting sites around. The trail returns along the Esplanade and the Centenary Stairs and past Freemans Lookout. Get up high and enjoy the migration sensation!
Another Whale viewing hot spot is Batalang (Basham Beach) Conservation Park which links Middleton and Port Elliot (Fisherman Bay) along the foreshore. Great place to see the Southern right whales during the migration period as mothers and calves often take shelter in the bay.
Victor Harbor, Granite Island, Encounter Bay and high on 'The Bluff' (Petrel Cove) also have wonderful land based whale spotting. And why do the whales stay and play? Not only to birth or find a mate, it seems our water is relatively warmer than their summer home in the sub-Antarctic!
If you want an on water experience to enjoy the magnificent sealife, you could give The Big Duck Boat Tours a call. Departing from the causeway midway between Victor Harbor and Granite Island there's a good chance you'll see New Zealand Fur seals and Australian Sea Lions and common and bottlenose dolphins. Not enough for you? Well, depending on your choice of tour you'll enjoy seabirds including petrels, shearwaters and cormorants. Who said there's nothing to do in South Australia in the winter?
For more information or any ideas of what to do and where you can stay, check out the details below.
Where to Stay
Contacts for information & bookings
Five Visitor Information Centres are spread across the Fleurieu Peninsula. Each has a dedicated team of locals and resources to support you during your stay.
They can provide you with assistance in booking your trip, planning details for your visit, or give advice on what is happening in the region during your stay.