All posts by Susie

Winner of the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award

We won the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award again!

Who would have thought that our tiny business would win the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award two years in a row?! Apparently we’re in the top 10% of attractions world wide!

We’re sending a BIG thank you to all those lovely people who have joined our tours and chose to support a small business over major tour operators.

What a great surprise at the end of our 21/22 season!

Words from Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor

Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award winners. The Traveler’s Choice Awards recognise the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests. Ranking among the Traveler’s Choice winners is always tough – but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Wether it’s using new technology, implementing safety ,measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.

Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor

And that’s a wrap

We’ll be operating our last trip on Tuesday, the 5th July, before we close our business over winter to have a little break ourselves and to do some routine maintenance work on our vessel.

Thanks again to everyone who joined our tours. It’s been another fantastic season and we can’t wait to start the new season at the end of September. This coincides with the Humpback Whale migration south. As a reminder: the best time to see Humpback Whales in Tasmania is between end of September and end of November.

Our online booking system will be up to date with available sessions for the new season. You can also reach us via our contact form, if you have any questions prior to booking a tour with us.

Happy days!

Whale re-sights prove to be valuable data for research projects

‘Smiley’ the Humpback Whale is easily identified by a marking on its right fluke that looks like a smiley face. 🙂

‘Smiley’ the Humpback Whale is back

Remember ‘Smiley’ the Humpback Whale? This whale was first logged on the 5th April last year and became a good friend to us. Smiley decided to stay in the area for 87 days last year, with the last sighting recorded on 1st July. This whale is also quite inquisitive and flukes a lot, which makes the tracking relatively easy.

We sighted ‘Smiley’ again last Sunday, the 29th May, on our afternoon cruise and a second time on Saturday, the 4th June. It’ll be interesting to see if ‘Smiley’ decides to stay in this area again for a longer period of time. We’re only in our second year of the Tasmanian Fluke Project and it already offers invaluable data to demonstrate the importance of Tasmania to the East Australian Humpback Whales.

A Humpback Whale’s tail before a deep dive.

Feeding Humpback Whales

The Humpback Whale migration North is in full swing and we’re seeing whales on most of our trips. Nothing in nature is ever guaranteed, but now is a good time to get out on a boat tour and chance it. It is estimated that less than 1% of people living on planet Earth will see a whale in their lifetime. Therefore, any time you see a whale, even one whale, you are truly privileged.

This weekend our passengers got treated to an even rarer occurrence. Not many people would ever get to watch Humpback Whales feed, as their main feeding grounds are located in the cold waters of Antarctica. However, feeding behaviour can sometimes be seen in the Tasman Sea as well. In fact, during their southern migration in 2020, supergroups of Humpback Whales have been observed feeding all along the south east coast of Australia. It’s impressive watching these animals open up their big mouths to scoop up their prey.

A Humpback Whale lunge feeding off the coast of the Tasman Peninsula near Eaglehawk Neck.

Different feeding behaviours can be observed:

Lunge feeding

Lunge feeding is a behaviour during which a whale consumes a large quantity of prey and water after a high-speed horizontal or vertical propulsion, followed then by the removal of water through closed-mouth filtration.

Echelon feeding

Echelon feeding involves two or more cetaceans swimming in a “V” formation. One whale is typically in front and another is off to the side and slightly behind the first. This method may help funnel missed prey into the whale following behind.

Bubble-net feeding

Bubble-net feeding is a method where the whales release nets or curtains of bubbles from their blowholes around a school of fish or krill in an attempt to move their prey into a smaller area. When the bubble net is finished, encircling the prey, the whales swim up through the circle of bubbles with their mouths open and swallow the prey.

Flick feeding

Flick feeding is a method where a whale sits near the surface and slaps its tail on the surface of the water. This behavior likely concentrates krill and other small prey in front of the whale. The whale then swims quickly through the area capturing the concentrated prey.

A Humpback Whale bubble-net feeding off the Tasman Peninsula near Eaglehawk Neck.

We’re expecting to see Humpback Whales regularly on our trips until we finish up for the season in early July. You can check our availability here.

Orca re-sights end of May

A male Orca at sunset in Pirates Bay, Eaglehawk Neck.

Not only Humpback Whales look for food along the coast oil the Tasman Peninsula. Only a couple of weeks ago, we were lucky to track a pod of Killer Whales. The whales looked very familiar and Dave Donnelly who manages the ID catalogue of the East Australian Killer Whales confirmed that three of the four animals have been positively identified as EA_0060, EA_0062 and ‘Bent Tip’. The female appeared to be hunting tuna and she shared her prey with the male.

A female Orca off Eaglehawk Neck in the Tasman Sea.

Killer Whales can be identified by their dorsal fins (distinctive shape, nicks and scratches), their saddle patch (the area just behind the dorsal fin) and their eye patch. If you’d like to learn how to identify individual Killer whales, you can find out more about the different identification methods in our blog post, where we talk about tracking Orcas for research purposes.

Tasmanian Whale Season started early this year!

Whale season already in full swing

A Humpback whale slapping its tail at the start of the Tasmanian whale migration season mid September.

Our first tour for the 2021/22 season was scheduled for the 18th September, as this is usually the time when the first whales are slowly starting to arrive in Tassie waters. This year however, they seemed to be on the move much earlier. We received reports of Whale sightings all through September and people were keen to get out and go on a search. Of course we couldn’t say no and we were able to put our vessel back in the water earlier than planned.

We are already seeing Humpback Whales on most of our trips. It looks very promising that this year is going to be another epic season, similar to last year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the whales choose to gather again in high numbers to feed along the coastline of the Tasman Peninsula, like they did in October and November 2020.

First flukes for the Tasmanian Fluke Project

This is one of the first Whale flukes we uploaded to the ‘Happywhale’ database this season to track the Whales movements.

A fair few of the first Humpback Whales we’ve sighted have been quite active and showed their beautiful flukes. The flukes are like our fingerprints individual to every Humpback Whale. We take photos of the Whales flukes and together with Dr. Maddie Brasier from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) we upload them to an online database called ‘Happywhale’. The online program helps us log the sightings and track the whales movements. Since we put our boat back in the water last week, we’ve already re-sighted one of the Whales that we saw in November 2020. Hopefully there are many more re-sights (or matches as we call them) to come!

You can read more about the Tasmanian Fluke Project on this blog post. We’d love as many people as possible to become involved as citizen scientists. 🙂

To check where, when and how many Humpback Whales have been logged in Tasmania since we started the project, click on this link and type in ‘Tasmania’ in the search bar. Keep in mind that not all whales fluke or we may not get a sharp photo of the tail, so the number of whales sighted in total is much higher than the number of whales logged.

Fantastic sighting of rare Whale species last week

Bushy blow of a Sei Whale
This photo shows the bushy blow of the Sei Whales and its long body.

Beside the Humpback Whales, two rare Whale Species to Tasmanian coastal waters have been reported this week as well by local Tim Cunningham. Early one morning, he spotted a large group of 10-15 Sei Whales and some Minke Whales towards lunch time. The Sei Whale is the third largest rorqual after the Blue and the Fin Whale. So the sheer size of the animal is very impressive. The Sei Whale is also one of the fastest Whales, reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

What a special encounter! The last time we saw Sei Whales here on this coastline was in 2018!

We hope you enjoyed reading about our research projects and the amazing animals we’re privileged to encounter here on the Southeast coast of Tasmania. If you would like to join us, head over to our booking system and reserve your seats online. Tours depart daily at 9am and 2.30pm, depending on the weather conditions.

We look forward to sharing it with you! 🙂

Wild Ocean Tasmania recognised to be in the Top 10% of Attractions Worldwide!

We’re so humbled to have won the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award 2021!

2021 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award

It has been a challenging year (not only) for our tiny business with so much uncertainty. Tasmania had its borders shut to most of the world for 17 months now. Currently, Tasmania is also refusing entry to Australians travelling from New South Wales, ACT, areas of the Northern Territory and Victoria. Like most businesses in the tourism sector, we have been dealing with lots of cancellations, refunds, re-bookings and more rounds of cancellations.

But our persistence has paid off and we are super humbled to have been rewarded with the Tripadvisor 2021 Travellers Choice Award. We realise it is only because of all you lovely people who have booked a tour with us and helped us stay afloat! (No pun intended)

2021 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice award

Together we have made a difference

Not only is this a big achievement for us, but also a great win for our wildlife. You have helped us again to pull off some more marine and wildlife conservation projects this season, like the Tasmanian Whale Fluke Project, the collection of whale faeces for researchers from IMAS and UTAS, Orca research in collaboration with Killer Whales Australia and of course our wildlife orphanage.

The seals are just as excited as we are 🙂

Heading into the new season like…

We are now getting ready to start our new season, with the first tours scheduled for the 18th September. Here is hope that Australia is going to get on top of the latest COVID outbreaks. A strong reminder how lucky we’ve been here in Tasmania. So don’t take it for granted, get out and enjoy our wild places!

If you are one of the lucky ones who have received a Tasmanian travel voucher, you can use your voucher for both our tours and claim $100 off the total cost! 🙂

We look forward to having you onboard!

Exciting findings during our Winter Whale Season Research

Data base matches & ‘resident’ Humpback Whales

Winter whale research in Tasmania

Last spring and early summer, we were lucky to see a huge number of Humpback Whales passing through Tassie waters as they headed south to Antarctica. It has been the best season for us by far! During this time, we were really successful in collecting identification images of Humpback Whale flukes (the underside of the tail that is unique to each whale) as part of the Tasmanian Fluke Project, wich we set up in collaboration with Dr. Maddie Brasier from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

Since Easter we have been looking out for Humpback Whales once again, excited to see if we could re-sight any of these whales (or new ones) as they migrate north for winter. Dr. Maddie Brasier has put together a few interesting findings that we’ve made during this years winter whale season:

3-month-long resident Humpback Whale

This is ‘Smiley’, our ‘resident’ Humpback Whale that has now spent 3 months here on our coastline between April and July.

A sub-adult Humpback Whale was spotted off the Tasmanian Peninsula regularly – by ourselves and other boat operators – between the 5th of April and 1st July. This is super exciting for us, as it’s been over 87 days of re-sights and it shows that the east coast of Tasmania is an area of significance for Humpback Whales. We nick-named this whale ‘Smiley’ because of a smiley face mark on its fluke. Smiley was spotted feeding on krill and bait fish throughout this time and can be found on the ‘Happywhale’ database under the whale ID number HW-MN1110190.

How the coloration of the flukes can change

This is ‘Speckles’, easily identified by its target-like marking on the upper left fluke.

We re-sighted a whale that we observed off Tasmania last November and noticed distinct changes in the colouration on its fluke. The spots on its flukes darkened from grey to black. This can happen as the whale matures. We were still able to match the whale, due to the shape of the trailing edge of the fluke and a distinctive target-like mark on its left hand side. You can see this, if you zoom in on the photo above.

We nick-named this whale ‘Speckles’. On several occasions, Speckles was observed feeding together with other whales including Smiley. Speckles can be found on the ‘Happywhale’ database under the whale ID number HW-MN1110103.

The importance of collaboration between citizen scientists and marine researchers

Some of the Humpback Whales have come together to put on an amazing display in the pink evening light.

Whilst we have been uploading our fluke images to Happywhale, other organisations have been doing it too. The Pacific Whale Foundation for example have been collecting fluke images from the Hervey Bay region in Queensland since the 1980s. We have had several updates to tell us that their images have matched with our Tassie whales including: 

A whale with the ID number HW-MN1110017 who was first sighted off New South Wales in 1994 then in Tasmania in 2020.

HW-MN1100317  first sighted off Queensland in 1986, then in New South Wales in 2007, in Queensland in 2009 and then in Tasmania in 2018.

HW-MN1110005 first sighted off Queensland in 1990 and re-sighted in 1991, 1993 and 1997. It has also been sighted off New South Wales in 2004 and 2007. It was first sighted off Tasmania in 2018.

HW-MN1110161 first sighted off Queensland in 1988, then in New South Wales in 1997 and 2007 and in Tasmania in 2007 by the Marine Conservation Program.

These updates are great to make you feel part of the journey of these whales. It’s amazing to think that some of these individuals have been swimming past our shores twice a year for over 30 years!

Thanks to our contributors!

Whale-watching during the winter months in Tasmania

This winter, we have collected fluke images for twelve “new” whales. We’d like to thank Lily Barnett, Els Wakefield, Angela Siejka and Tim Cunningham for their contribution of whale fluke photos to our project. This highlights how important ‘citizen science’ can be to support modern marine research!

If you have any fluke images you would like to contribute, please email them to Dr. Maddie Brasier at Alternatively, you can create an account at and upload them yourself. They will then be forwarded to Maddie for matching. 

And if you are interested in further reading about our Tasmanian Fluke Project or the scientific paper we got to contribute to this year about the formation of super-groups of Humpback Whales and bubble-net feeding on our coast, you can click on the links provided.

We are running our tours until the 15th July. Then, we will have a short winter break until mid September. Our new season starts on the 18th September and our online booking system shows the live availability. If you are planning to visit Tasmania, we would love to take you on our 2+hour Scenic Tour or join us on our Half-Day Seal & Ocean Expedition and jump in the water to snorkel with the seals! We look forward to sharing it with you! 🙂

Super-Groups of Humpback Whales & Bubble-net Feeding

New paper published about the formation of ‘super-groups’ of Humpback Whales and bubble-net feeding in East Australian waters

Large groups of Humpback Whales came together to feed along the south-east coast of Australia, including here in Tasmania.

The last Humpback Whale migration south, between September and November 2020, has really been something special. Not only in Tasmania, but all along the south-east coast of Australia.

We’re excited that we had the opportunity to contribute photographic evidence of the formation of ‘super-groups’ of Humpback Whales as well as ‘bubble-net feeding’ behaviour to a scientific paper that got published two days ago. The paper by Vanessa Pirotta, Kylie Owen, David Donnelly, Madeleine J. Brasier, Robert Harcourt is titled: First evidence of bubble-net feeding and the formation of ‘super-groups’ by the east Australian population of Humpback Whales during their southward migration. If you are interested, you can access the full paper here. It’s definitely worth a read! 🙂

Super-groups of Humpback Whales feeding in Tasmanian waters.
Humpback Whales feeding in close proximity of each other.

First recorded evidence of bubble-net feeding by Humpback Whales off Tasmania and East Australia

Dr. Maddie Brasier, who is one of the co-authors of the paper and also our ‘in-house’ marine biologist has put together why this publication is another important step towards ensuring the conservation of Humpback Whales in Tasmanian and east Australian waters, so read on:

Pirotta’s paper includes three accounts of bubble-net feeding within Tasmanian waters, all three of which were recorded by Wild Ocean Tasmania. 

What is bubble-net feeding?

Bubble-net feeding is when Humpback Whales expel air underwater to create a ring of bubbles around their prey. They then lunge towards the surface inside that ring of bubbles, engulfing a massive mouthful of food. Bubble-net-feeding can be performed by single individuals or multiple animals lunging into the same bubble-net. All observations of bubble-net feeding by Wild Ocean Tasmania in the 2020 summer season involved single individuals. 

To create the bubble-nets, Humpback Whales turn tightly whilst expelling air. Humpbacks can do this, because their huge flippers are edged with tubercules. These fist-sized bumps contain one hair follicle that is connected to a series of sensitive nerves. The tubercules increase lift and decrease drag as they swim through the water. These physical features make them incredibly hydrodynamic and more agile than other whale species. 

Prior to the observations recorded in Pirotta et al. bubble-net feeding in the Southern Hemisphere had only been formally documented in Antarctica. These new observations are really exciting, and we feel incredibly lucky to have documented these events in Tasmanian waters. 

A single Humpback Whale bubble-net feeding in Tasmania – Screenshot of drone footage

Why are these observations important?

It was believed that Humpback Whales followed the “feast and famine” rule whilst migrating, feeding only in their polar feeding grounds, then fasting on migration and in their sub-tropical calving grounds. We now know this is not the case, with many records and sightings of Humpback Whales feeding during their migration in previous years, including many Wild Ocean Tasmania sightings here in Tasmanian waters.

Feeding during migration, also referred to as supplementary feeding, suggests that there is a need for Humpback Whales to supplement their energy supply outside of their summer feeding in Antarctica. Supplementary feeding may become increasingly important as our Oceans change. Flexibility in feeding practices is important for a species’ ability to adapt to changing Ocean conditions such as increased temperatures and nutrient availability. As temperature and nutrients influence the Ocean productivity, this can ultimately affect the distribution and abundance of prey species for larger marine species like Humpback Whales.

It is also possible that specialised behaviours such as bubble-net feeding may be increasingly observed as the East Australian Humpback Whale population continues to recover from industrial whaling. Such behaviours may have been present prior to over-exploitation, but are only now reappearing and being observed.

Several Humpback Whales feeding together

What does this mean for Tasmanian waters?

At present we do not fully understand the importance of Tasmania as a feeding ground to Humpback Whales and other cetacean species. However, by investigating how environmental variation and population dynamics can influence the feeding of Humpback Whales in Tasmanian waters, it will help us predict how future Ocean change may influence whale populations. This could also provide evidence for more effective management to reduce threats to Whales during known feeding periods. 

The observations in Pirotta et al. were primarily from citizen scientists and highlight the importance of observing and recording our wildlife. In Tasmania you can contribute your whale sightings to the Tasmania Fluke Project (email your photos to or to Wild Ocean Tasmania), or report your sighting to the DPIPWE Marine Conservation Programme. So get out there and tell us what you see!

Wildlife gifts for Easter

Another proof of the significance of this area for marine wildlife

A female Orca, known to the Eastern Australian Killer Whale Database, with her tiny calf.

We’ve had an amazing diversity of wildlife on our recent tours during the Easter holidays, which demonstrates again that the Ocean surrounding the Tasman Peninsula is an area of significance for a variety of marine life. Keep scrolling to read about our special encounters with Orcas, Humpback Whales, a Southern Elephant Seal and a Sunfish.

The youngest Orca ever sighted in Tasmanian waters

On April 1st, we had the privilege to spend some time with two female Killer Whales one of which had a tiny calf by her side. The mother is known to the Eastern Australian Killer Whale Database as ‘EA_0004’ or ‘Square notch 1’ due to the square notch in the back of her dorsal fin (see photo above). We had the feeling that her baby was very young, as it still had a yellow staining and visible fetal folds from being curled up in its mothers womb.

On this photo the yellow staining and the fetal folds of the young Orca calf are visible.

After checking our ID photos, David Donnelly from Killer Whales Australia confirmed that the little calf was only days old when we sighted the pod. This is really exciting, because it means that it was born in Tasmanian waters. It is the first recorded sighting of such a small calf here on this coastline and therefore very important information for the researchers.

These are the two female Orcas with the tiny calf surfacing.

The other female of the pod is also known to Killer Whales Australia, but it hasn’t had a name and number allocated yet. The researchers of Killer Whales Australia use scientific methods for the identification process of the Orcas. The process starts with assigning images to an individual animal. Photos of both sides (if available) of the dorsal fins, eye patches and saddle marks will then be analysed. Lastly, at least two additional independent observers have to agree on the individual animal, so it can be given a unique identification number and be added to the catalogue. We expect that this female is going to get an ID number allocated this year. 🙂

Early Humpback Whales

Our first Humpback Whale of the northern migration.

Usually we start to see the first Humpback Whales swim past the coastline of the Tasman Peninsula on their northern migration in early May. It was a big surprise to see the first Humpback Whale a few days ago in early April.

This individual was showing its tail a lot, so we got to capture the first fluke shots for the Tasmanian Fluke Project, a project we set up in collaboration with marine biologist Dr. Maddie Brasier in 2020 to record and identify Humpback Whales in Tasmanian waters. We identified 129 new flukes in our first year which greatly exceeded our expectations.

The first ID photo of a Humpback Whale’s fluke for our Tasmanian Fluke Project.

We’ve sighted this individual whale two days in a row and while I am typing this I heard about another Humpback that was sighted this morning at Cape Hauy.

Another Sunfish

After we spotted the blow of the Humpback Whale in the distance, we stopped the boat to get another visual. It was coincidence that we stopped right next to a sunfish that slowly swam up to the surface. We’ve had a lot of sunfish sightings this season. Check out this video of a Bumphead Sunfish that we posted to our Instagram page not long ago.

Most of our passengers have never seen a sunfish before and this one was quite an inquisitive one, so we hung with its for a little while until it decided to move on. BTW have you ever seen photos of a baby sunfish? If you haven’t, I highly recommend checking out this article of showing photos of arguably one of the cutest baby animals on Earth.

A Southern Elefant Seal

Another big surprise for us was seeing a Southern Elephant Seal amongst the pups at the seal colony. A creature with two big eyes stared at us from in amongst the kelp. It looked a bit like E T at first and very different to the Fur Seals. As it lifted its body up a bit, it was clear that it was an Elephant Seal.

Is this E T or an Elephant Seal? 🙂

Southern Elephant Seals once bred on King Island in Tasmania, but were sadly wiped out by the sealing industry. According to DPIPWE, each year in Tasmania an average of eight Elephant Seals are reported. The age of the animals visiting Tasmania’s shores varies from yearling animals (one year old) to animals of 16 or more years off age. The closest breeding area of Elephant Seals is Macquarie Island (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica and politically a part of Tasmania).

A Southern Elephant Seal on the Tasman Peninsula near cape Pillar.

Fun fact: Southern Elephant Seals are the deepest diving seal in the world. Females have been recorded diving as deep as 1600m with dive durations of up to two hours (information gathered from the DPIPWE website).

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. If you’d like to join one of our tours and support us with our marine research projects, you can book your trip here or contact us anytime for more information about the different tour options.

Tasmanian Whale Fluke Project

A peduncle throw of a Humpback Whale
This behaviour is known as a ‘peduncle throw’. The peduncle of a whale is the muscular area where the tail fluke connects to the body. The whale powerfully throws its tail sideways, slamming the water with a big splash.

Each year we cannot wait for the moment when our East Australian Humpback Whales swim past the Tasmanian coast as they migrate between their sub-tropical breeding grounds and their Antarctic feeding grounds. Relatively little research has been done outside of these breeding and feeding areas, that’s why we joined forces with our marine biologist friend Dr Mads (Maddie Brasier, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies UTAS) and we started the Tasmania Fluke Project.

This project is all about investigating the importance of Tasmania to the East Australian Humpback Whales by collecting ‘fluke’ images. The fluke is the underside of the whale’s tail that is raised above the water as the whale dives, tail slaps or throws the peduncle. Each fluke is unique in its markings, scars, and trailing edge which means they can be used to identify individual whales, a bit like our fingerprints.

A tail-slapping Humpback Whale in Tasmanian waters
A whale’s fluke is unique to each individual, just like our fingerprints. Taking photos of the flukes helps us identify the whales and monitor their movements.

Fluke identification is a non-invasive scientific method that has been the basis of whale research since the 1970s. By matching our Tasmanian flukes, we can start to understand how long individual whales are spending in Tasmanian waters and if individual whales are returning to Tasmania each year. We are also comparing them to an international dataset at which can help us understand transit times and migration routes as they travel between the poles and the sub tropics.

It has been amazing to see an incredible number of Humpback Whales off the Tasmanian coastline this year. We’ve been seeing whales on every trip for nearly two months now. But it has not been this way for some time. Just 60 years ago the Humpback Whale population was reduced to less than 1000 individuals! However, since the ban on commercial whaling, Humpback Whale numbers have been increasing and could be approaching >40,000 Whales in the next few years (Noad et al. 2019).

A Humpback Whale slapping its tail in front of Tasman Island
A Humpback Whale slapping its tail with Cape Pillar and Tasman Island in the background.

Despite this increase, Whales and other marine life are still threatened by human activities and our impact on the ocean, including entanglement in fishing gear and marine debris, boat collisions / vessel strikes, plastic ingestion, chemical pollution and climate induced ecosystem change.

We hope that the Tasmania Fluke Project can help raise awareness about the importance of Tasmania to the east Australian Humpback Whale population as a migratory stopover.

You can help by sending any fluke images you would like to contribute to Dr Mads ( or @madsbrasier on Instagram), by reporting any sightings of entangled Whales to the Tasmanian Whale hotline (0427 942 537) and of course by actively supporting Ocean conservation.

The logo of the Tasmania Fluke Project

Here are some of the easiest ways to help the Whales and our Oceans: 

  1. Support responsible whale watching companies 
  2. Abide by national whale watching guidelines when you are on the water
  3. Eat less seafood and only eat seafood from sustainable sources (check out the sustainable seafood guide
  4. Reduce your plastic use and keep the Seas clean by disposing of rubbish responsibly
  5. Help clean up our beaches and waterways
A powerful peduncle throw performed by a Humpback Whale on tour with Wild Ocean Tasmania
Another powerful peduncle throw, performed by one of the Humpback Whales we spotted on our tour.

Hope you have been enjoying the Whales this season, if you haven’t seen them yet, make sure you get out there (you can book your tickets here).

If you’d like to stay up to date with the sightings that we’ve had and the fluke images that have been captured along the Tasmanian East coast, check out our project page on ‘Happywhale’ at

$20 Vouchers / $50 Tours

Make yourself at home vouchers

Whale watching at home in Tasmania.
Whale watching at home in Tasmania.

We are offering a $20 voucher for our tours from now until the 30th November 2020 to support the Tasmanian Make yourself at home! campaign.

We have World class scenery and an amazing variety of wildlife right in front of our door step. There really is no reason to travel to distant places.

Update: This offer is valid until the 31st October 2020, so get in quick! 🙂

A chance to see rare wildlife species

Between the months of September and December is the most productive time of the year for the Ocean here in Tasmania. In the winter time, storms break Ocean surface tension through wind and waves. This allows cold nutrient rich water from the Oceans depth to mix with the light rich surface water, creating the basis for the largest plant explosion on the planet. This in turn supports immense numbers of birds, fish, mammals and invertebrates.

The abundance of food also attracts rarer animal species to come closer to our coastline. In the last couple of years for example, we got to see Sei Whales, Dusky Dolphins, Killer Whales, Leopard Seals, a New Zealand Fjordland Penguin and a Southern Royal Albatross to name a few. It’s also a great time to chance seeing some Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales as they migrate past our coastline. It’s certainly the time of year we look forward to the most and we can’t wait to share a special day on the water with you!

How to redeem the voucher:

To redeem the $20 voucher, simply enter the promo code MAKEYOURSELFATHOME when you book your tour on our online booking system or mention the promo code to us when you call or email us to make your booking.

If you are one of the lucky ones who scored a voucher from the Tasmanian government, you will be able to use this voucher plus our $20 voucher and only spend $50 for our 2+ hour Scenic Tour or $160 for our 3-4 hour Seal & Ocean Expedition.

We look forward to having you onboard!

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Shy Albatross endangered

Tasmania’s Shy Albatross is now classed as endangered

Shy Albatross approaching
Shy Albatross flying approaching us..

The Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) only breeds on three small islands which are just here off Tasmania: Albatross Island in the Northwest and Pedra Branca and Mewstone in the South of the state. These Ocean Wanderers with a wing span of up to 2.6 meters can fly from Tasmania around the globe and back in 7 to 8 weeks.

Sadly, fewer Shy Albatross offspring are returning to breed every year. From 2005 to 2014 the breeding population on Albatross Island decreased by an average of 2.2% annually (Alderman 2015). According to BirdLife International,  the population on Albatross Island is predicted to decline by 33% over the next 60 years or 45% by 2100.

The three biggest threats for all Albatross species are:

  • Marine Pollution
  • Fisheries
  • Climate Change

An acknowledgement that threats continue

Shy Albatross swallowing a fish.
Shy Albatross swallowing a fish.

At the start of the 20th century, populations were decimated by the harvesting of their feathers, which were used to plump up mattresses. It was only when numbers got so low that trade was no longer viable that the population began to recover. Fast forward to today, climate change increased the rainfall on Albatross Island as well as air temperatures during the chick rearing period which has lowered the breeding success and violent waves are a hazard for the exposed Pedra Branca colony. Hungry birds ingest plastics and other debris that float in the Ocean and – too often – they end up as incidental by catch by longline fisheries.

This month, the Shy Albatross has been upgraded on the Federal Government’s threatened species list from vulnerable to endangered with only about 15,000 pairs left in the World.

An endangered Shy Albatross sitting on the water.
The Shy Albatross is now classed as endangered.

An amazing job has been done by biologists to try and help the species by installing artificial nests on Albatross Island. Studies have shown that birds with high quality nests have greater chance of hatching an egg and producing a chick than poor quality ones. Not all birds can find and keep sufficient nesting material to make a high-quality nest.

But it’s not only up to the scientists. We can all do our bit to help our Tasmanian Shy Albatross and other marine life:

  • Reduce your waste and dispose of it thoughtfully
  • Pick up rubbish at the beach and along waterways
  • Organise a beach clean up
  • Choose plant-based food – You’ll be surprised how good beer-battered tofu with nori tastes!
  • Or if you can’t live without eating fish, do your research when buying fish and other seafood and only chose products from businesses with sustainable fishing practices

If you would like to see the beautiful Shy Albatross and other sea birds along our coastline, contact us for the next tour departure times! Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we have paused our online booking system and are now running tours on request. We look forward to having you on board!