In Augusta, a seaside town in the South West of Western Australia you will find Flinders Bay, a calm protected bay, near where the Indian and Southern Ocean meet. Flinders Bay is also incredibly special as every winter from about May – August this destination comes alive with resting, frolicking and playful whales all interacting in the bay.
Imagine swimming from Antarctica to Augusta, it wouldn’t be possible, not for us humans anyway! However, for many whale species including the Humpbacks, Southern Rights and Blue Whales this is something they do every year. Safe to say after swimming such an astonishing distance they are in need of a rest! Flinders Bay is the ideal location to stop and regain some strength after the harsh conditions that they have faced during their transit from Antarctica. Incredibly enough though, this is just one of their first stops on their major migration to the warmer waters in the Kimberly’s, North WA.
Winter Season’s First Whale Sightings
Every winter season the locals (and our crew) buzz with excitement as the first whale sightings begin. We get numerous calls into the office with many expressing their excitement of their early season sightings! Soon after the Whale Watching charter vessels will arrive into the Augusta Boat Harbour, with everyone full of anticipation on what this new season will bring. Next the tourists arrive, generally rugged up nice and warm (highly recommend the warm clothing) ready for their Augusta, Western Australia Whale Watching Experience.
In 1993 Naturaliste Charters operated the first ever Whale Watching tour from Flinders Bay, Augusta. We are incredibly proud to still be able to offer this now in 2021. We provide Whale Watching tours from the Augusta Boat Harbour at 10am and 2pm daily from May to August.
Enjoy peace of mind knowing that we don’t need to travel far to find the whales, some days they can be found right outside the harbour! I remember once we couldn’t pull back into the harbour after a tour as a Southern Right Whale was blocking the entrance! Not a bad problem to have, I guess.
Our Whale Watching Experiences in Flinders Bay are always an adventure!
See below an example of a previous tour so you know what you can expect when you join a tour with us:
Our morning tour was action-packed! We’d barely left the marina when we spotted two massive white plumes erupting out in the middle of the bay! Two playful humpbacks were entertaining us with every trick up their sleeves! The head lunges soon changed to breaches, pirouettes with the pair finishing off with belly rolls and pec waves! We spent the majority of the tour moving from one energetic pod to another as they all communicated their locations though the cracking of their 40-tonne bodies breaking the surface!
By the afternoon the wind had dropped right off, and the conditions improved throughout the whole tour! The calm, glassy seas resulted in the whales heading out wide and beyond the Islands. At one stage we had four different pairs of humpbacks cruising past the vessel, getting close enough to really discern their enormity! The afternoon was so tranquil in contrast to the active morning. The glimmering water made it hard to pick where the whales would surface next, with every moment the suspense would rise around the vessel. The sound of powerful exhales broke the silence, soon followed by loud and excited cheers!
The whales definitely weren’t in any hurry and neither were we! It was so pleasant rolling over the swell as the sun shone through the breaks in the cloud and the mist covered the coastline! Check out Nic’s incredible pics and be sure to check out her page. We can’t wait to see what she produces from today’s tours!
Your Whale Watching Experience at the Augusta Boat Harbour
You can find the Augusta Boat Harbour on Leeuwin Road, Augusta. It is approximately a 5-minute drive from the Augusta town centre or a 40 minute drive from Margaret River. When approaching the harbour, you will enjoy a bird’s eye view of both the harbour and Flinders Bay prior to making your descent down the hill, and reaching your destination.
Once you have arrived you are welcome to use the toilet facilities if required. Need warming up? Perhaps you might also like to visit the coffee van “Salt Sister” which is owned by a local lady, she provides superb coffee and friendly service. Once organised you can then make your way to the undercover area for check in for your Flinders Bay Whale Watching Experience.
Cruising down Leeuwin Road
Once you have finished your tour (or before if your early) you might like to continue cruising down Leeuwin Road past the boat harbour. When you take a drive down Leeuwin road, Augusta you will come across some pretty spectacular views of Flinders Bay. As you make your way down this scenic road be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the water (only if you are not driving of course!) as there is a great chance you may see a whale, or 10, you never know your luck… Remember of course, the best views of the whales are when you are on board a whale watching tour 😉
Along Leeuwin road there are a few spots you can pull in, get out of your car and stop to breathe in that beautiful ocean air and take in the amazing views. Flinders Bay is so magnificent because it can look mesmerising on both a calm sunny day as well as a cold stormy day. Not only are you treated with stunning ocean views, but you will also be delighted to see the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and St Alouarn Islands.
When you get to the end of Leeuwin Road you will find the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse…
The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, it is the TALLEST lighthouse on mainland Australia which was built back in 1895. Our friends at the Margaret River Visitor Centre run and manage this iconic destination. On a recent visit here, I was highly impressed with the state of art facilities they have available. Firstly, they offer tours to climb this remarkable lighthouse, be ready to give your legs a good work out! Also, something new and exciting is their Interpretive Centre. This centre is housed within one of the original lighthouse’s keepers’ cottages, it is an outstanding interactive experience that celebrates the history and lives of the numerous lighthouse keepers who were custodians of this rugged coastline, a truly remarkable landmark for Augusta!
Feeling a bit peckish… then this is another reason to visit this establishment. Enjoy spectacular views of Flinders Bay from their café. With hot soup, coffee, cakes and more this is a wonderful spot to dine with a view! Remember to keep your eyes on the water, you may see a whale blow, some dolphins or even our vessel the “Alison Maree” out on tour.
How will you choose to experience Flinders Bay?
There are many great things to do in the bay, whether it be a nice swim, enjoying the scenic sights, climbing the Leeuwin lighthouse or joining us – Naturaliste Charters for a Whale Watching Tour, you will be sure to have a good time visiting the area. Don’t forget your camera and your sense of adventure as there is plenty of “adventure” to be had in Flinders Bay, Augusta.