When we think of Australia, there are many animals that come to mind, as this huge continent has its own unique species that cannot be found anywhere else. When you look at the diverse marine life that is home in the coastal waters off Australia, you would be surprised at how many species are to be found around Australia.
- Whales – The east and west coast of Australia see Humpback Whales cruising to and from their feeding grounds in Antartica and whale watching in Sydney is probably your best bet if you want a thrilling close-up encounter with these majestic creatures. It is always best to book a whale watching berth in advance, as the operators are very busy with locals and tourists alike, all looking to experience the Humpbacks as they perform surface actions. Aside from Humpbacks, you can see Southern Right Whales that like to come in quite close to shore and a little Google research will help you find the best whale watching location.
- Dolphins – Bottle-Nose Dolphins frequent the waters off Port Stevens and they are around for most of the year. They typically make an appearance when the whale watching boats leave harbour and they like to play, which is entertaining to watch.
- Whale Sharks – Exmouth is the place to go between the months of March and September if you want a close-up swim alongside a Whale Shark, and while its sheer size can be intimidating, the Whale Shark is timid and gentle, feeding on tiny krill. The Ningaloo Reef is the real hotspot and there are online tour operators who know the best dive spots of you want to get close to a Whale Shark.
- Manta Rays – These graceful creatures like to hang around reefs, looking for prey opportunities and the Great Barrier Reef is where they tend to congregate. Cairns is a good base if you want to explore the Great Barrier Reef, and they even have special cages for the brave who wish to get in the water with a Great White Shark.
- Turtles – Heron Island is where sea turtles lay their eggs in November and December, and if you are around in April or May, you can watch the newly-hatched turtles make their critical run to the ocean.
Wherever you are in Australia, you are never that far from a marine paradise and anyone who is interested in marine life, will love their time exploring the waters around Australia.