Tag Archives: Dolphins Tasmania

What is the best time of year to book a boat tour in Tasmania?

A Long-nosed Fur Seal at the colony on the Tasman Peninsula, southern Tasmania.

Don’t miss out on the magic: The best time of year to book a boat tour in Tasmania

Ahoy there! If you are looking to book a boat tour in Tasmania but can’t decide when to go, fear not! We’ve got you covered.

Firstly, let us just say that any time of year is special out on the water in Tasmania. Whether you’re cruising through calm seas on a sunny summer day or rugged up in a warm jacket watching the waves crash against the shore in the cooler months, there’s always something magical about being out on the open water.

But if you’re looking for some specific wildlife sightings or experiences, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Fur Seals

Seals can be guaranteed year round, so if you’re keen to see these cute critters lounging on the rocks or splashing around in the water, you’re in luck no matter when you book your tour.

If you’re after some particularly adorable seal action, November to December is breeding season, and pups are the most active from March to June. So if you want to catch some seal babies playing and learning to swim, those are the months to aim for.

A breaching Humpback Whale during its migration along the Tasmanian coast.

Humpback Whales

Humpback Whales migrate north from Antarctica to their warmer breeding grounds along the Tasmanian coast from May to July and south from September to December. Southern Right Whales can be sighted with a bit of luck between June and November. So if you’re keen to witness these majestic creatures breaching and tail slapping, plan your tour accordingly.

Killer Whales and other rare whale species like Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Sei Whales and Minke Whales can pop up throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for these elusive creatures. And if you’re lucky enough to spot them, make sure to snap some photos to show off to your jealous friends back home.

Bottlenose Dolphins putting on a show off the coast of the Tasman Peninsula.

Dolphins, sea birds & world class scenery

Let’s not forget about the dolphins and sea birds. Dolphins are always a thrill to watch as they play and swim alongside the boat, and Tasmania is home to a variety of sea bird species, like albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels. Keep your eyes on the skies and you might just spot one of these magnificent creatures soaring overhead.

But it’s not just about the wildlife – there’s some world-class scenery to explore as well. The caves and huge dolerite columns along the coast are truly awe-inspiring, and a boat tour is the perfect way to experience them up close.

A special appearance of a Royal Albatross, one of the largest birds in the world.

Book a boat tour in summer, autumn, winter or spring

So, to sum it up, there’s really no wrong time of year to book a boat tour in Tasmania. The southern coast is always stunning, the wildlife is plentiful and the natural features are awe-inspiring. Whether you’re visiting in summer, autumn, winter, or spring, you’re guaranteed a magical day out on the water.

But if you do have specific wildlife sightings or experiences in mind, be sure to plan your tour accordingly. Whether you’re after seal pups, migrating whales, or sea birds, there’s a time of year that’s just right for you.

So what are you waiting for? Book your boat tour today and experience the magic of Tasmania’s southern coast for yourself.

Special tip #1: If you prefer to leave your camera at home and enjoy the ride without worrying about taking photos yourself, you can purchase ocean wildlife imagery from our skipper on his photography website.

Special tip #2: The bright red sunsets in winter after our afternoon tours are incredible and make the perfect photo opportunities at the Pirates Bay jetty.

Christmas Awesomeness

The Ocean has come alive for Christmas

A whale, dolphins and seabirds feeding in the Tasman Sea, Tasman Peninsula.
A Humpback Whale lunge-feeding in amongst Dolphins and Seabirds.

Following a cold and stormy start of summer, the last two weeks of December have been amazing in terms of weather and wildlife activity. The Ocean has come alive! Big schools of fish have attracted predators, Dolphins, Seals and even Humpback Whales for a feast.

A Feeding Frenzy with Australian Fur Seals proposing and a whale rounding up bait fish.
A Feeding Frenzy with Australian Fur Seals porpoising and a Humpback Whale rounding up the bait fish.

It’s the very end of the Humpback Whale migration here in Tasmania. The Humpback Whales spend our winter months up north in warmer waters to breed and give birth. We usually get to see them swim past our coastline on their way south towards their main feeding grounds in Antarctic waters between the end of September and mid December. The incredible amount of food available over the last couple of weeks has been a well deserved treat for the whales that have already swam about 2500km.

Bottlenose Dolphin doing a backflip.
Happy Dolphins putting on a show for us after a good feed.

Some days have literally been Nat Geo style with hundreds of Bottlenose Dolphins putting on a show for us and lots of sea birds cashing in on some left overs. Check out this short video on Instagram filmed with our drone to see how the whales, dolphins and seals were working together to round up the fish.


Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Most Watersport and Ocean enthusiasts have followed the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It’s an annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, New South Wales on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km). It is considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world, due to the ferocious weather conditions that can occur on this route.

The crew of one of the Sydney to Hobart yachts sitting on the side of the boat, heading down towards Tasman Island.
The crew on ‘Celestial’ on their way down towards Tasman Island, which is the turning point to then head up into the Hobart port.

This year, the weather has been relatively calm for the yacht race, which allowed us to head out to sea and greet some of our friends who took part in the race on their way south towards Tasman Island, from where they would turn and head up into Hobart. Not only did we get to wave to our friends onboard the racing yacht, we were also greeted by some more inquisitive Humpback Whales. 🙂

A lucky snap of a Humpback Whale that popped up in-between our vessel and ‘Celestial’, one of the Sydney to Hobart racing yachts.

Albatrosses during our bird charter

Another annual event for us has been a bird charter that we provide for a private group at the end of the year. We’ve encountered lots of different species of seabirds, including these special Albatrosses.

A Wandering Albatross that we encountered on our bird charter.
A Wandering Albatross.

Wandering Albatrosses are the largest of the Albatrosses with the greatest wingspan of any living bird, measuring almost 3.5 meters. They spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed. Wandering Albatrosses can travel vast distances, with one banded bird recorded that travelled 6000 km in twelve days! Unfortunately, these amazing Ocean roaming birds are classed as endangered in Tasmania, which makes it even more special to see them on our bird charter!

A beautiful Campbell Albatross in flight.
The beautiful Campbell Albatross.

We’ve also encountered this beautiful Campbell Albatross. On first sight, they look very similar to the Black-browed Albatrosses, with the white head, the pretty black brow, a bright yellow beak and strong leading edge on the underwing. The main distinguishing feature is their honey coloured iris (instead of the dark brown iris of the Black-browed Albatross). They breed only on the sub-Antarctic Campbell Island which is part of New Zealand.

Welcome 2020!

With so much activity along our stretch of coastline recently, we can only hope that this will continue in the new year. It will be interesting to see how long the Humpback Whales will stay in the area for.

Snorkelling with seals in Tasmania
Snorkelling with the playful puppies of the Sea.

Late summer and autumn is also the best time of the year to snorkel with the Seals in Tasmania. After the females have given birth and the breeding season is over, the animals are more relaxed and therefore even more interested in playing with us. 🙂

If you love nature and wildlife, join us on one of our tours!