Esperance Whales and Dolphins Information

Posted by ANDREW HALTER on

The New Zealand Fur Seal, Australian Sea Lion and Dolphins are regular features of Esperance. The Southern Right whales in their periodical times of migration.

Esperance history regarding the harvesting of whales and seals is prominently attributed to the pirate  - John Anderson, also known by the name of Black Jack , Who hunted and processed both species for the lucrative fur and oil, his gang was based on Middle Island.

The southern right whale's name originated as they were considered the ‘right’ whale to catch:  Slow-swimming, floated when dead, and provided large quantities of oil for uses in illumination and lubrication.

 Since the protection of the whale's, numbers have slowly increased by 7% per year, so the odds continue to increase for land-based sightings during the southern coastal migratory breeding cycle.  In fact, the Southern right whale original history of hunting was from land-base.

The whale watching season starts are June through to October , as the whale migrate to warmer waters , its been noted by Observers that the Southern Right Whale has started to use Esperance Protected bays to calve .


Thomas River is a common place to view the whales during migration, but closer to town such as West Beach,  Castletown Quays and Observatory they can be seen too.

There is a local  facebook page  that locals post to share of current sightings.


Whales over Thomas River - Cape Arid National Park

 Aerial Photo courtesy  of Cindee Lee Warner-Hage - during a flight with local tourist charter plane.

On the warm days in summer the Dolphins  Pods become very active and can be  watched as they surf through the waves at the local beaches - such as West Beach.

Most other beaches these guys can be seen from as well  - from Fanny Cove west of Esperance to Poison Creek in Cape Arid National Park east of Esperance. 


dolphins at west beach along twilight beach road.


Another local spot to see the dolphins is of course from Dolphin Cove which is next to Twilight Cove as image below

Dolphin Cove Beach




A more regular visitor to the towns jetties and breakwater is Sammy the Seal and his offsiders  - they  show a keen interest when fishing from the jetty and the breakwaters and will hang around to see if to be gifted with a catch of fish. Please be aware Seals have been known to Bite if provoked or if you come too close to their comfort zones. 


Sammy the Seal at the tanker Jetty along the foreshore prior to the redevelopment and the jetty closed


A fly over by local charter plane is a fantastic way to see the whales and other aquatic sealife  - we take bookings for a local operator here

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