Southern Right Whales relax on Twofold Bay
July 29, 2016
The arrival of a pod of southern right whales, with a young calf, at Eden on the Sapphire Coast yesterday has been the source of celebration and close encounters.
In Eden on Friday, the whales delighted the townsfolk as they splashed about and snoozed. A group of Stand Up Paddleboarders were treated to a show of gentle acrobatics while whale watching charter Cat Balou idled nearby.
A protected species since the 1930s, the southern rights are loved by whale watchers for their peculiar looks and preference for lolling about behind the breakers, and they often stay in shallow waters for a couple of days much to the delight of onlookers.
Their calm nature cost them dearly in the mid 1800s, as they were easy targets for whalers. It’s estimated that the population in the southern hemisphere was culled by about 75% over just 10 year, in the quest for oil to light and lubricate an industrialising world.
Thankfully, the southern rights are making one of the speediest recoveries of any species on earth and researchers say there are 12,000 and growing by 7% annually.
The Sapphire Coast is one of the best places in Australia to watch whales from sea and shore. The rich waters have long been a migration path where southern rights and other whale species pause to feed, play and nurture their young before their journey to Antarctica for the summer.
The ancient coastline provides many elevated lookouts for short walks and picnic spots, and our family owned charters have decades of whale watching experience and even recognise some whales by sight. Each port offers a different experience, from sailing with whales at Bermagui to Eden’s rich Aboriginal and European history.
Whale watching ideas: See whales from shore or book a cruise.
Wilderness walks for whale watching: Choose your challenge – An hour, a day, or three.