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The Migration

Approximately 22,000 of the world’s humpback whale population pass the Kalbarri coast line around June through to November on their migration every year. The humpback whale undertakes a northern migration from May to August, traveling from its feeding grounds in Antarctica to the warmer tropical waters of the Pacific.

They then make the return journey south from August to November. This is the longest documented migration of any mammal on earth and the reason for the journey is to breed. Despite its enormous size at birth, a newborn whale (calf) is born without a protective blubber layer so if it were born in the near-freezing temperatures of the Antarctic waters, its chances of survival would be slim. So the whales head north to the warmer climate to give birth to their young.

Interesting Humpback facts


Length: Adults – 14m to 18m


Calves – 4m to 5m at birth


Weight: Adults – up to 50 tonnes


Calves – 2 tonnes at birth


Cruising speed: 7km/hr


Protected since 1965


Individual humpbacks can be identified by markings under their tail and flippers


The spread of its jaw is over 4 metres


Sings the longest, most complex songs in the animal kingdom


Humpbacks have the most diverse feeding techniques of all Baleen Whales - they scream when hunting fish to scare and confuse them


You can distinguish the humpback whale from other whale species by its small dorsal fin that you see sticking out of the water when the whale arches its back to dive and this is how the humpback got its name

The humpback whale is a favourite with whale watchers in Kalbarri due to its spectacular display of acrobatic tricks. It is not uncommon to see a breach, where the whale leaps right out of the water, rolls in the air with its huge fins outstretched like wings and then crashes back into the water.

Other Whales that are seen off the Kalbarri coast, although not in great numbers are, Southern Right Whales, Bryde's Whales & False Killer Whales. The Kalbarri cliffs are ideal for Whale & Dolphin spotting, giving you an exceptional height advantage.

The best seat in the house has to be on 'Reefwalker' a locally owned, 50ft charter vessel that will take you to the action. Witness the magic first hand, up close and personal with skipper Ayden, who is Kalbarri born and bred. To book your tour click HERE