Experience Whale Watching in Dunsborough’s Picturesque Seaside

dunsborough whale watching

Naturaliste Charters offer extraordinary Dunsborough Whale Watching Experiences that depart daily from September through to early December. With fully qualified Marine Biologists in our crew, our tours are not only inspirational but also educational!

For up to four months during the Austral Spring, whales can be found migrating along the Dunsborough coastline. Hop aboard our vessel for an incredible up close and personal experience with these magnificent marine animals!

Whale Migration in Geographe Bay, Dunsborough

Migration whales begin their journey in early Autumn heading north past Cape Naturaliste to an area called Camden Sound in Broome. While in the warm waters, they will mate, give birth and utilise the protected areas to nurse their young and rejuvenate and replenish their skin. From here the whales turn around and come back south. It is on this southward journey that the whales visit us here in Geographe Bay on a Dunsborough Whale Watching Tour.

On all of our tours we encourage you to bring your own reusable drink bottle and keepcup. We are on a mission to minimise single use plastic and help combat our war on waste as it is the right thing to do in Dunsborough. Complimentary coffee, herbal teas, filtered water and biscuits will complete your comfort on board.

Expedition Details

Duration: 2.0 hours Please allow up to 3 hours depending on wildlife sightings

Bonus inclusions - Join Naturaliste Charters on a Whale Watching tour and receive 20% off Lunch or Dinner at Augusta Hotel, 15% off at the Equinox Bar & Cafe Busselton OR 15% at Occy's Dunsborough
Please be on time as we cannot wait for you. Please arrive at the departure point 15 - 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time so we can board all passengers and depart on time, which means more time with the whales!
Dates: mid August to mid November
Departure time
Departing 10am & 2pm daily 
4:30pm Sunset Tour - mid-September to end of November (minimum of 10 adults or equivalent required to confirm this tour)
Pro Fisherman's Boat Ramp, Geographe Bay Road, Dunsborough (opposite McDermott St, Quindalup), approximately five minutes drive from the Dunsborough town centre.


Travel in style and comfort on board the Alison Maree

The Alison Maree is the largest and most comfortable vessel in the region providing first class safety and stability. Alison Maree is a 20 metre Catamaran built in Western Australia in 2012, has a passenger capacity of 90 and is perfect for people of all ages.

With a huge layout, you can be seated downstairs inside in the warmth, or venture onto anyone of our three exterior viewing platforms. The bow or front viewing area is for the most adventurous and allows you to be right there amongst the action! The stern or back viewing area is for those who are more cautious. A daybed and seating will ensure you are riding in comfort or if you are uneasy on your legs this is a great place to view from.

Upstairs there is a 360 degree view of the ocean! Inside and outside viewing areas means you will not miss out on any of the action while on a Dunsborough whale watching tour. Open to everybody, the wheelhouse is a magnificent feature provided at no extra cost to you. Here you can talk with our Skipper, the master of the vessel. Leather couches and seating ensure you are comfortable while observing the whales! All railings are high enough to ensure maximum passenger safety and also to keep those little ones in!

Our Dunsborough departure is very family friendly, offering 2x modern toilets, and plenty of room for a stroller. Please note if you wish to bring a stroller on board it will need to be light as we do board from the beach and it will need to be carried over the sand and our crew can then assist from there. We have life jackets on board available for both children and adults for peace of mind, however operating in the calm waters of Geographe Bay most people are comfortable without them.

Beach Boarding; a unique experience! 

Our Dunsborough Whale Watching Tour is very unique! Typically, boarding a whale watching vessel is done so from a marina or jetty. We have chosen the location here in Quindalup because it means you get the experience of the most incredible coastal views of the South West. The perfect backdrop while watching whales frolic in the bay.

If you are looking for things to do in Dunsborough or any Dunsborough activities read on to find out more!

This location is a beach boarding but don’t let that scare you.

Dunsborough is one of the best places in Australia to sight whales (voted second best location in Australia in 2018), however, since there are no Marina facilities here and we have had to be very clever and come up with a way to board passengers comfortably on to a large vessel.

We have fully engineered a ramp complete with handrails, you walk over this (to avoid getting wet feet) and take a step into our fully maintained tender vessel Indi Maree. We then transfer you to our larger vessel where you simply take a few comfortable steps to get on board. This adds to the experience and both kids and adults alike seem to love it!

Due to this style of boarding it means that passengers who are differently abled may need further assistance. If you have any question in regards to this do not hesitate to contact our office on 9750 5500.

However, if you are looking for something a little different, why not try another one of our tours! We have an alternative option in Busselton! Busselton Whale Watching Tours operate during the same season as Dunsborough Whale Watching Tours. Located at the Busselton Jetty, boarding is much easier to navigate with ramps and a stable boardwalk. Check out these tours by clicking “Tours” from the drop down menu on our website and locate the “Busselton” tab.

Dunsborough whale watch

Types of whales in Dunsborough

There are two main species of whale which will migrate into Geographe Bay; Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales. Both species previously hunted to the brink of extinction, their populations have made a comeback! In particular the Humpback Whale. With only a few hundred left in the entire Western Australian population, we now get to experience a small portion of almost 45,000 whales! Not all of these whales will venture into the bay but we will witness mothers and calves utilising the calm, shallow waters of the bay to rest and recuperate. Geographe Bay is the last stop on their ten thousand kilometre journey.

Southern Right Whales also utilise the calm, shallow bays to nurse and rest. They will spend much longer in these areas – weeks sometimes even months! It is not widely known that Geographe Bay is an important nursery area for these whales and the more we learn about them the greater this importance becomes.

There are two other species of whale which frequent the area; Minke whales and the largest animal on the planet, the blue whale! Chance encounters are a possibility here, making Dunsborough the best location to go whale watching! So if you are still wondering what to do in Dunsborough, then join us on one of our tours to discover more. 

Naturaliste Charters is the premier whale watching company in the South West of Western Australia. We began charters 25 years ago and were the first company to introduce this style of marine tourism experience in the area.  We are a family owned and operated business and employ local crew! Dunsborough Whale Watching Tours are not to be missed! Book now or Contact us for more information about our tours.

Dunsborough Whale Watching Southern Migration

Experience the southern migration of the great whales from the picturesque seaside town of Dunsborough. This incredible journey is the longest migration of any mammal on earth. From the beginning of September, humpback whales return to the feeding grounds of Antarctica. In October, we begin to see blue whales in the bay as they too head south. The southern migration is special. In the protective care of their mothers, calves leave their birthplace in the tropical north and make the epic trek south to Antarctic waters for the first time, an incredible journey for a baby just months old. The calm, protected waters of Geographe Bay offer a welcome respite to the weary wanderers, an opportunity to rest before crossing an entire ocean for the first time.

Cruise on the calm blue bay, waters so clear you can see the emerald seagrass meadows below, the foundation of an ecosystem more productive than a coral reef, and a nursery for some of our most highly prized fish species.

The relaxed cetacean visitors are unconcerned by our careful and respectful approach. Be enthralled as curiosity outweighs caution and a calf approaches our vessel, or nurses in the shallows as you watch. Feel an incredible sense of awe as you appreciate the sheer size of the largest animals on earth, often swimming so close you will hear them breathe.

As we drift peacefully past the stunning shores, see fur seals resting between fishing expeditions on the rocks. Look out for sea eagles and ospreys soaring overhead, while petrels and shearwaters skim the surface and diving gannets drop from the sky to capture fish in the depths. Pods of common and bottlenose dolphins often join our tours, surfing alongside, or treating us to stunning aerial acrobatic displays.

​We look forward to welcoming you on board for a Dunsborough Whale Watching Tour with Naturaliste Charters.

If you are looking for other Dunsborough activities while here for your whale watching tour then read on. The main strip in town (Dunn Bay Road) has all you could need for the perfect spring or summer day. Cafes galore, local fashion outlets, plus many places to eat and drink. If you don’t know what to do in Dunsborough for lunch then head to the town’s heart and one of the many restaurants may take your fancy.