Naturaliste Charters has been offering spectacular eco-adventures off the spectacular southwest Western Australian coastline for over 20 years, including the world-famous Bremer Canyon and Margaret River regions.
Paul and Alison Cross purchased the business in 2009, with the aim to enrich people’s lives through provision of an ecotourism experience defined by the highest standards of safety, customer service, environmental sustainability and connection between guests and the extraordinary marine biodiversity of the region.
The local family-owned business is recognised as a leader in the responsible travel sector, actively engaged with scientific projects with on-board research personnel, development of educational resources, continuous improvement of environmental programs, water quality surveys, acoustic monitoring, support of community groups and suppliers, local employment programs and innovative educational programs for guests venturing out to see some of the ocean’s rarest and spectacular creatures.
Passionate about their home, Paul and Alison are proud to showcase this remarkable location to visitors from around the globe and their role in blending conservation in tourism in this highly significant region where they are raising their three children.
Bremer Bay is located on the south coast of Western Australia, between Albany and Esperence. This idyllic coastal town houses a small population surrounded by scenic sweeping bays, rugged cliffs and sparkling turquoise waters. But in recent times, it has risen in prominence as the gateway to one of the ocean’s great wonders; the Bremer Canyon.
Located 60 kilometres offshore, this submarine canyon located at the edge of the Australian continental shelf supports one of the most astonishing aggregations of marine life anywhere on the planet. As cold water from extreme depths moves towards the base of the canyon, it brings nutrients used by phytoplankton and microscopic plants that provide a rich source of food for larger marine species.
From January to April, the region provides the amazing opportunity to reliably encounter Killer Whales (Orca), the ocean’s undisputed apex predator and the largest toothed predator to have ever lived, the Sperm Whale. Other species that are also drawn to the area include Long-finned Pilot Whales, rare Beaked Whales and the largest animal to ever have lived, the Blue Whale. There are also abundant opportunities to see large pods of Bottlenose, Striped, and Common Dolphins, and encounter shark species that include Great Whites, Whaler Sharks, and the beautiful Oceanic Blue, a species never seen from shore.
It’s also a pelagic birdwatchers dream, with an astonishing array of seabirds including albatross, shearwater and petrel species, often feeding on scraps of giant squid floating on the surface.
Just three hours’ drive south of Perth, the Margaret River Region is in the southwest corner of Western Australia, bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean, the south by the Southern Ocean and north by Geographe Bay.
The region stretching from town of Busselton on the shores of Geographe Bay down to Augusta, the most south-westerly point in Australia, is renowned for its stunning cliffs, pristine beaches, extensive cave networks, biodiverse forests and dramatic headlands.
The picturesque seaside town of Augusta is one of the best locations in Australia to view Humpback Whales as they make their migration north through the Ngari Capes Marine Park. Each year from late May, male Humpback Whales compete for the attention of females through various behaviours including breaching and tail slaps. This area is also a critical calving area for the endangered Southern Right Whale from July onwards, with the species resting before their migration to the feeding grounds in Antarctica in the Spring.
Further north, Dunsborough is one of the state’s favourite holiday destinations, due to the tranquil waters and amazingly white sands. These waters provide a perfect backdrop to observe Humpback Whales and Blue Whales, as they escort calves born in Australia’s north-west back to Antarctica. It is common for these majestic creatures to travel close to shore, as they nurse and rest with their calves in the protected bay.
Meet our guides
Meet our guides
Paul CrossPaul has loved everything nature related since as young as he can remember. Growing up near the Collie River and the Australind Estuary he was always fascinated with all forms of wildlife it didn’t matter if it lived in the bush or the sea, he loved all forms of wildlife and was forever disappearing to go and find it. Prior to purchasing the business in 2009 Paul travelled to over 50 different countries and he still finds WA the most beautiful, pristine and untouched land that he has seen. Settling down in Dunsborough with his family he has found himself very passionate about the area he lives in, Paul has taken part in numerous beach clean ups, tree planting activities, Whale counts and has also helped with Whale entanglements. Paul enjoys teaching his family about the environment and wants to ensure that his children grow to love and enjoy nature just like himself. Paul is passionate about ensuring that everyone who joins Naturaliste Charters for a tour leaves the vessel immersed with new knowledge and a new love for the environment.
Our experiences guides tell it like it is