Australian Fur Seals
Duration: 4 hours - Phillip Island ($125 per person)
Type: Groups, Shared.
Departs: Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays
Interests: Birds, Marine Mammals.
The pristine waters off Phillip Island play host to the majestic whales during their annual migration along this regions coastline every winter from June to August. Circumnavigating Phillip Island, visitors will see the spectacular coastal formations including Pyramid Rock and the rugged cliffs of Cape Woolamai. Thousands of Australian Fur Seals at Seal Rocks and regular sightings of seabirds and Dolphins delight guests, during the search for the enchanting Humpback Whale, with Orcas and Southern Right Whales also opportunistic sightings.
The Winter Whale Cruise starts at Cowes jetty where guests are welcomed aboard the comfortable 20m catamaran 'Kasey Lee' by the friendly captain and crew. The cruise commences along the north coast of Phillip Island, with the captain providing commentary on several points of interest including indigenous history, the lonely grave at Grossard Point and the picturesque church on Trennavin Hill.
After 30 minutes, guests will enjoy beautiful panaromas of the Summerlands Peninsula, home to at least 30,000 breeding pairs of Little Penguins. The famous landmark of The Nobbies will come into view, which is a key breeding rookery for Crested Terns and Silver Gulls. Just as the cruise leaves the bay and heads into Bass Strait to Seal Rocks, guests will be able to view a large cave on Round Island, only visible from the sea.
Upon arrival at Seal Rocks guests will marvel at the thousands of Australian Fur Seals that call these islands home, with their playfulness, diving skills, and antics fascinating to observe. The cruise will continue its route along the south coast of Phillip Island in search of the Humpback Whales, Southern Right Whales and Orcas. Guests will receive whale spotting tips from the crew to assist in searching for whale blows across the spectacular ocean scenery.
Guests should be on the look out for the spectacular Shy Albatross with a 2.5m wingspan, Short-tailed Shearwater and Little Penguin. Common Dolphins are often curious about the boat and commonly wave-ride the wake of the boat, showcasing their impressive acrobatic skills alongside the boat.
When the whales are spotted, get ready to be in awe of their majestic size as they surface and take a breath of air. Every whale encounter is different; some might be elusive while others approach the boat providing a fantastic view of their features including the large pectoral fins and the huge flukes. Depending on the whale behaviour, the boat might cruise alongside them as they travel slowly. Guests will learn about their biology, social behaviour, communication and migration patterns as the captain and crew share their knowledge and passion about these animals.
At around 12:30pm enjoy lunch on board consisting of hot soup and sandwiches as you cruise along the cliffs and caves of Cape Woolamai, a nature park on the eastern most point. Wedge-tailed and White-bellied Sea Eagles are frequently sighted here, soaring above the cliffs over the turquoise blue water. The cruise concludes by passing the quaint port of San Remo and under the Phillip Island bridge before disembarking at Cowes jetty.