Whale Watching at the most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia.

During the last weekend of the school holidays, our part of the world experienced glorious weather.

We went in search of adventure!

We packed our drink bottles, snacks and binoculars. We jumped into the car, and headed to Byron Bay.

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We parked at Wategos Beach.

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I put Little Baker on my back, and we set off into the Cape Byron State Conservation Area. This section is known to ‘locals’ as the Lighthouse Walk. It is also known as a great vantage point for whale watching!

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The Arakwal people are the traditional custodians of Byron Bay.

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Looking out to Julian Rocks

We spotted a pod of Bottlenose dolphins (you’ll just have to take my word for it! I only had a camera phone). In fact, it is common to observe dolphins near Wategos Beach throughout the year.

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There are dozens of stairs on the steep, uphill walk. I did issue a couple of  reminders that I was carrying 13.5 kg (29 pounds) on my back.  In their exuberance, the boys ran ahead several times. I thought they were ‘peaking’ too early. 🙂

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The most easterly point of the Australian mainland: a great place to spot whales.

The humpback whale watching season extends from 1 June to 30 November, along the east coast of Australia. The most easterly point of mainland Australia is a popular whale watching spot.

We didn’t see any whales on our way up to the lighthouse.

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Ah, there it is! Just a few more stairs….. 🙂

Once we reached the ‘top’, we ate our snacks – homemade jam drop biscuits – then spent about half an hour looking for whales.

We spotted two individuals, both very far from the coastline. Rather, Mat spotted them (with the naked eye). He has always been very adept at spotting whales and dolphins. He can open a fridge and fail to see a jar of olives, but set him loose on the east coast of Australia, and he’ll be pointing out a whale in no time!

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We weren’t fortunate enough to witness a whale breaching (ie. ‘leaping’ above the surface of the water). We saw a lot of ‘blowing’ (water spouting from the whale’s blowhole), and ‘slapping’ (flukes hitting the surface of the water).

We had a quick look inside the tiny museum located in the ground floor of the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1901, and is still operational today. The museum contains photos from the period that a whaling industry existed in Byron Bay (from 1954-1962).  My children were astonished to learn that whales were once slaughtered in this town.

We observed at least two more individual whales on our walk back down to Wategos Beach. Again, no breaching, but lots of slapping and blowing.

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Dolphin-spotting

We also stopped to watch the dolphins again.  They were visible to the naked eye, only metres from surfers.

Where does your vegan family enjoy observing animals in nature?

Ally

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About Ally
Mamma. Vegan. I blog at Made of Stars.

16 Responses to Whale Watching at the most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia.

  1. uberdish says:

    Hi Ally – I really enjoyed reading all about your whale watching adventure with your family (your kids look like sweet darlings, by the way!). I have been talking about taking our family out east into Quebec, along the St. Lawrence, to see the whales for some time now. We definitely have to go soon! Close to home, we enjoy going on hikes through the forest. Usually we just see a lot of different birds and, of course, squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies. Luckily, never a bear. 😉

  2. VegCharlotte says:

    Wow, I’d love to go on a whale watching adventure! I’ve seen plenty of dolphins but no whales. Because of all the development in Charlotte, nature has been making inroads into suburbia and there’s actually quite a bit of wildlife in my neighborhood over the past few years. Lots of deer and owls and most recently coyotes. I’ve also seen some wild turkeys including one at Battery Park in New York City, of all places!

    • Ally says:

      Hi Catherine!

      It was fun! I’m hoping to do it again soon.

      It is sad when over-development impacts on the habitat of wild animals. It must be nice to live amongst deer and owls, and even coyotes.

      We have wild turkeys around here, we call them bush turkeys.

  3. Lovely photos Ally!!

  4. Brittany says:

    I NEED to go to Australia..like..NOW!! This place looks amazing, and I love the entire day you had. What a blast. I will literally watch for animals everywhere I go ahaha.

  5. sookisu says:

    Sounds like such an amazing day! I’ve never seen a whale so I would absolutely love to see one even just blowing. Happy holidays to you x

    • Ally says:

      It was! We used to do a lot of whale watching at my Aunty’s house. Her back deck overlooked the ocean (she has since moved house). We regularly saw whales during whale watching season. It was amazing. 🙂

  6. narf77 says:

    I come from an area in W.A. with a whale slaughtering past as well. They are starting to come back to the harbour in Albany W.A. now and give birth to their babies. Whaling stopped back in the 1970’s and I got to go to the whaling station on one of the last stinking festering days when they were boiling blubber. A disgusting and shameful way for we humans to treat our fellow mammals and all for a lipstick or a jar of fishing oil.

  7. What a beautiful beach! I have always wanted to see other parts of Australia and of course, see whales and dolphins in person! Thank you for sharing a beautiful post! x

  8. I can’t believe you live near such beautiful beaches! Well, I guess I can since you live in Australia…I am just way jealous! 🙂

  9. Sophie33 says:

    Amazing beautiful beaches indeed! Waw, What a great get away!

  10. liveblissful says:

    Wow looks like you had a lovely day, your kids very excited to see the whale. I didn’t realise there was whale watching at Byron. The last two times I was there it was raining. At least I have a reason to go back now!

    • Ally says:

      Oh you have to come to Byron for whale watching! Watching from the shoreline is great, but you can also go out on a boat or kayak. It is such a beautiful part of the world. The lighthouse walk is very enjoyable. Then, Manna Haven for lunch, haha!

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