Whale watching season gears up in Byron Bay
AFTER a weekend of wild stormy weather early in June, Whale Watching Byron Bay was preparing for the start of the season.
Daily whale-watching tours are planned until November.
Company owner/operator Rob Dalton has been running whale-watch tours for 14 years.
"Byron Bay's the best place to see whales, being the most easterly point of Australia," he said.
"We're scheduled to start this weekend (June 11-12). We're waiting to see what the seas do from the big storm.
"We try to start the second weekend in June.
"It's growing each year. Last year there were 23,000 to 24,000 whales and they reckon they're increasing 10 to 15 per cent each year."
Rob said the tours weren't suitable for children under five years of age.
"We use smaller boats and we go straight off the beach," he said.
"We quite often take people in the 60 to 70-year age group.
"You need to be reasonably fit."
Passengers should allow two hours "on the water" and another hour for preparation and a briefing.
Rob said his dive boat crew had already seen whales this season.
He's spotted white whale Migaloo four times over the years, an experience he says is "very special" and probably a record.
Whale-watching guides give passengers interesting facts about the migrating whales as well as Cape Byron Marine Park's many other sea creatures including dolphins, sea turtles and many different species of sea bird.
Each of Whale Watching Byron Bay's vessels is equipped with a hydrophone so you can listen to the humpback whales' amazing whale song.
Cape Byron State Conservation Area is a known whale-sighting spot, especially the Captain Cook Lookout, the Lighthouse and the surrounding cliffs.
In Ballina, head to the Lighthouse Hill car park, the viewing platforms at Angel's Beach and Flat Rock and Skenners Head for whale sightings.
The headland at Boulder's Beach or Rocky Point and the Pat Morton Lookout in Lennox Head, with its views stretching up to Seven Mile Beach, also offer prime vantage points.