Tag Archives: Whales Tasmania

Traveler’s Choice Award: Celebrating 4 Consecutive Years of Excellence

We are thrilled to announce that Wild Ocean Tasmania has been honoured with the prestigious Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award for 2024. This marks the fourth consecutive year that we have received this esteemed recognition. We couldn’t be more grateful to our passengers whose glowing reviews have made this possible.

Operating in one of Australia’s marine hotspots, we are privileged to showcase some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery while promoting awareness of marine conservation. Each journey with us is not just a tour but a meaningful exploration of our planet’s fragile marine ecosystems.

We are driven by a deep commitment to nature and ocean conservation. Our mission goes beyond providing exceptional boat tours: Our vessel serves as a platform for marine research.

We extend our heartfelt Thank You!

Receiving the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award for the fourth year in a row is a testament to the dedication of our team and the support of our passengers. It motivates us to continue our efforts in promoting responsible tourism and environmental stewardship.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has joined us on this incredible journey and shared their experiences. Your feedback inspires us to strive for excellence every day.

Thank you for your continued support!

We will be back after our winter break

Every year in winter, we pull our RIB out of the water for routine maintenance work. Our business will be closed between July and mid September.

If you would like to book a tour with us for the coming season, please check our live booking system for available time slots from end of September 2024.

For those of you who are keen to see the Humpback Whales on their way down from their breeding grounds, October to November is the best time of year to see them along Tasmania’s coastline.

Whale Feeding Frenzy & Bioluminescent Sea Magic

And just like that, the first two months of the season have passed. We’ve had some incredible days filled with wildlife encounters, from whales to seals and sea birds along the rugged backdrop of the Tasman National Park. As one of our passengers says: ‘A little bit wild and a whole lot jaw-dropping’ (Narinda S. on Tripadvisor).

Whale mass feeding event on 4th October

Well over hundred Humpback Whales came together to feed within a 1km radius just out of Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula in October 2023.

Looking back at the last two months, two days really stood out. One was the mass feeding of well over hundred Humpback Whales not far off the coast of Eaglehawk Neck. The groups of whales were tight and they literally gorged themselves on krill that accumulated in the area. This was truely a once in a life-time experience for all passengers onboard.

We spoke to whale researcher Dr. Olaf Meynecke who is the Manager of the Whales and Climate Program about the mass feeding event:

“Mass feeding events of humpback whales have been reported from a number of places in recent years. Humpback whales in general either feed on fish or krill solitary or in small groups of a few individuals. Having hundreds of humpback whales feeding closely together is not only very unusual but also a sign of change. Very likely an adaptation to deal with food shortages in traditional feeding grounds and taking the opportunity to share high density of food with a larger group of whales.

We are yet to understand the reasons behind this change in feeding patterns but we already know that it will need to be included in future conservation efforts. The recent event in Tasmania is likely one of the largest feeding aggregations of humpback whales we have been able to witness.”

Bioluminescence or sea sparkle in Pirates Bay

Bioluminescent sea sparkle in Pirates Bay, captured by Dolly Sun and Chaboo Wang @followustotassie. Note the pink hue in the ocean behind the waves.

Bioluminescent sea sparkle is a captivating natural phenomenon found in the open ocean, where certain types of marine organisms produce light through a chemical reaction within their bodies. This phenomenon primarily involves tiny, single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates and other bioluminescent creatures like some jellyfish, plankton, and certain species of fish. At night, these dinoflagellates emit a mesmerising blue-green light when they are disturbed or agitated.

Dinoflagellate bloom or ‘red tide’ during the day on our boat tour.

‘How to find the sea sparkle’ you may ask?

During the day, you may spot an unusual pink hue in the ocean. That is a good indicator of certain species of algae accumulating in high concentrations in the water. These algal blooms can discolour the water, often giving it a reddish or brownish tint. The recent algae bloom in November was pretty major as you can see in these images.

Dinoflagellate algae accumulating in the caves along the Tasman National Park in November 2023.

Environmental impact

While some red tides are harmless, others can produce toxins harmful to marine life and humans. Certain species of algae involved in red tides can release toxins into the water, which can have detrimental effects on fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds. These toxins, when accumulated in shellfish, can cause illness or even death if consumed by humans.

Red tides can occur naturally due to various factors, including favourable environmental conditions such as warm water temperatures, sunlight, and nutrient-rich waters. However, human activities, such as nutrient pollution from agricultural runoff or other sources, can exacerbate and contribute to the frequency and intensity of these algal blooms.

Would you like to learn more about these natural phenomenons and see some Tasmanian marine life in their natural environment? Head over to our online booking platform and reserve your seat!

Kicking off the season with sunshine, whales & other wildlife

Smiley the Humpback Whale is back!

Welcoming a new season and old mates

As we step into another boating season, we’re thrilled to share the wonders of the Tasmanian waters with you. The sun is shining, and the ocean is teeming with life once again. This weekend, we operated the first tours of the season and had some amazing wildlife encounters already.

The Return of a Friend

For those who’ve followed our maritime adventures, you’ll recall the captivating tale of ‘Smiley’ the Humpback Whale. We first encountered ‘Smiley’ in 2021. This extraordinary whale, named for the distinctive smiley face mark on its fluke, stayed with us for an impressive 87 days, from April 5th to July 1st.

Having data of whales that stay a significant amount of time in the waters off the east coast of Tasmania can be valuable for scientists and ultimately for the preservation of this special place.

‘Smiley’ seems to share our enthusiasm for this beautiful region. In 2022, we’ve been graced by ‘Smiley’s’ presence once more. On May 29th, and again on June 4th, we had the privilege of spotting this inquisitive and fluke-happy whale on our cruises.

This year, ‘Smiley’ popped up on our first tour of the season on Friday, together with a friend, and again on both of our Saturday trips. It’ll be interesting to see how long ‘Smiley’ decides to stay in the area this year.

Coastal waters teeming with wildlife

Common Dolphins playing alongside migrating Humpback Whales.

In addition to our heartwarming encounters with ‘Smiley’ and the other Humpback Whales, we were privileged to witness the joyful company of around 100 Common Dolphins, gracefully playing in the waters alongside their whale companions. It was awesome to see how they interacted. The dolphins seemed as excited as we were to welcome back the majestic Humpback Whales.

The skies above were graced by soaring albatrosses and terns feeding on fish. And, of course, our beloved resident seals added their charming presence to complete the scene.

Nature’s grand performance is in full swing, and we can’t wait to share these moments with you on our boat tours.

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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.

Rare Blue Whale – How is the size of this majestic creature!

A Blue Whale with the iconic Candlestick at Cape Hauy in the background.

A huge Blue Whale cruised south along this coastline yesterday

We often have the opportunity to see incredible marine wildlife in the coastal waters of Tasmania. However, one recent sighting stands out among the rest – a rare Blue Whale!

Now, if you’re not up on your marine biology, Blue Whales are seriously massive. David Attenborough would be talking about how they can grow up to 100 feet in length and weigh as much as 200(!) tons. Yes, you read that right: Two. Hundred. Tons.

I’ll never forget listening to him talk about the Blue Whale’s anatomy in one of his documentaries:

“The heart of the blue whale is the size of a small car, and its tongue alone can weigh as much as an elephant.”

It’s hard to wrap your head around just how massive these animals are. Their blows can reach a height of 9 to 12 meters.

We captured a nice blow yesterday in the image below. The island in the background is the Hippolyte Rock which is 65 meters tall.

The tall blow of a Blue Whale as it swims along the Tasman Peninsula coastline with the Hippolyte Rock in the background.

Where can Blue Whales be found around Australia?

Blue Whales can be found in all of the world’s oceans, but in Australia, they tend to hang out in the deep waters off the southern and western coasts, especially during the summer months. Blue Whales are known to feed on krill in the Southern Ocean, and this food source can sometimes bring them closer to shore.

Did you know that Blue Whales are an endangered species? They face a number of threats, including accidental entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes, noise pollution, overfishing and climate change, which is altering ocean temperatures and currents. This can affect the distribution and abundance of the krill that Blue Whales depend on for food.

Blue Whales have a tiny dorsal fin compared to their huge body.

Blue Whale Research

There is ongoing research about Blue Whales, for example in the waters south of Victoria. This area is known to be an important feeding ground for Blue Whales during the summer months, and researchers are working to better understand the movements and behaviours of these animals in this region.

One ongoing study is being conducted by the Blue Whale Study, a research organization based in Victoria. The study uses a combination of visual surveys, acoustic monitoring, and satellite tagging to track the movements of Blue Whales in the area and gather data on their feeding habits and population size. This research is important for improving our understanding of these animals and informing conservation efforts to protect them.

A Blue Whale heading towards the coast at O’Hara Bluff near Eaglehawk Neck.

Seeing a Blue Whale in the wild is seriously a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we feel very lucky that we had several opportunities over the last few years to share something so special with our guests.

If you are interested in reading more about previous Blue Whale sightings in this area, check out our other blog posts:

Amazing Weekend Surprise – A Blue Whale!

Blue Whales feeding next to our boat

We hope that our guests appreciate the beauty and importance of the marine environment, and that we can all work together to protect it for future generations.

If you would like to join one of our tours, check our live booking system for available time slots.

We look forward to having you onboard!

Orca attacks a baby Dolphin off Eaglehawk Neck

This Orca charges towards our boat as the Dolphin calf tries to get away from its predator.

Witnessing Killer Whales predate on a Bottlenose Dolphin calf

The passengers of two of our Scenic Tours had a once in a lifetime experience on Saturday when we witnessed a pod of Orcas hunt and kill a Bottlenose Dolphin calf. We’ve been collaborating with researchers from Killer Whales Australia since we started our boat tour business in 2014 and we have been waiting to capture a moment like this for years! It’s like watching a wildlife documentary unfold right in front of your eyes!

Orca herds the baby dolphin & pushes it out to sea

An Orca popped up beside our vessel, getting ready for the attack on the Dolphin calf.

It all started with a big splash that our skipper spotted on the first tour on Saturday morning. We’re in the middle of the Humpback Whale migration and everyone on board was keen to find some active whales. As we headed in the direction where the splash was spotted, we came across a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. Usually, Bottlenose Dolphins are extremely playful creatures and tend to charge towards our boat to play in the wake. This time, they behaved differently. The Dolphins seemed to have split into several smaller groups heading in different directions. It was obvious that something was going on and within seconds we spotted the large black dorsal fin of an Orca.

This photo shows the Orca rounding up the tiny baby Dolphin (to the left of its dorsal fin).

We are still waiting for the researchers from Killer Whales Australia to confirm this, but it was likely a female Orca who separated a Dolphin calf from the pod, herded it and made it swim further out to sea. We watched the brutal attacks from the Orca, charging at the helpless little Dolphin calf, pushing it and grabbing it by its pectoral flipper.

The baby Dolphin tried hard to get away from its predator, even swam towards our boat several times to seek cover. It appeared that the Orca just wanted to let the dolphin calf wear itself out.

Orca charging at the Dolphin calf upside down.
The Killer Whales grabs the baby Dolphin by its pectoral flipper as it tries to escape.

Will we find the Killer Whales again on our 2nd trip?

It was hard to leave the scene, but we had already extended our trip by 50 minutes and we had the next group of people waiting at the pier, eager to get out on the water as well. So we headed back to the pier to swap groups. Everyone knew it was a very slim chance to find the Orcas again as about an hour would have passed by the time we got back out to the area where we expected the Orcas to be. We called some recreational fishermen on the way out, but no-one had seen the Killer Whales. As we approached the area where we would expect the Orcas, we slowed down to scan the surroundings and there was certainly a lot of luck involved when the huge dorsal fin of a male Orca appeared.

Two Killer Whales side by side.

Not long after, we saw the baby Dolphin floating on the surface. One of the Orcas grabbed it again and it was super sad to watch the little dolphin die. At the same time it was a very humbling experience for everyone on board to be there at the right time when those incredible apex predators made a successful kill. The Orcas then popped up again with open flesh in their mouths which proves that the dolphin was killed to feed on and not just for play. This is valuable data for the researchers. Over the last few years we have been supporting a PHD candidate who is looking into the diet of Killer Whales in South East Australian waters. You can check out this blog post to find out more about the research that has been done off the Tasman Peninsula.

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! 🙂

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 madeleine.brasier@utas.edu.au 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!

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6fWbrahrFv/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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!