Whale watching provides a fantastic opportunity to get close to some of the most majestic and graceful creatures of the open seas. We have compiled and listed some of the best destinations around the world where travellers will be able to observe these gentle giants of the ocean.
Australia is one of the best destinations for whale watching. The south east region of the country in particular is home to oceans teeming with several species of whales. Travellers can expect to see whales such as sperm whales, blue whales, south right whales, minke whales and bryde's whales in the area. Located not too far away, New Zealand and Timor-Leste are also excellent whale watching spots. Hector’s Dolphins are a species of dolphins that are endemic to New Zealand. Kaikoura – located on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island – is one of the most scenic places for marine wildlife experiences and is well worth a visit.
Several excellent whale watching opportunities are also available in USA. Several species of whales can be sighted in California - with September being the best time of the year for whale watching. Other popular whale watching destinations include Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Hawaii is immensely popular amongst tourists – Maui in particular.
Another fantastic whale watching destination in the North American continent is Canada. Grey Whales can be sighted at Vancouver Island throughout the year and Northern Right Whales are found in New Brunswick towards the end of the year. Newfoundland, the North West Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Quebec also offer plenty of whale watching opportunities.
A few destinations in South America include Brazil, Chile and the Osa Peninsula in Chile. Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Philippines are some of the best Asian destinations while Norway, Iceland, Spain and the UK are some of the best European destinations. Africa also offers a few spots to sight whales and dolphins, such as South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia.
Whale watching has become immensely popular amongst tourists over the years and scientists have voiced concerns about such activity affecting the behaviour of whales. Travellers should keep in mind that certain rules should be followed at all times. These include making minimum noise, approaching whales at minimum speed and not taking them by surprise, avoiding sudden turns and swimming with dolphins. Travellers are discouraged to opt for whale watcher operators that carry out such activities.