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Where to Go Whale Watching in Perth

Where to Go Whale Watching in Perth

Whale watching tours stop by Rottnest, Hillarys, Fremantle, and Bremer Bay.

Western Australia is the ideal place to observe marine life in action, thanks to its pristine seas and stunning coastlines. Of the various activities available in the area, whale watching is hands down one of the most in-demand and rewarding. 

Moreover, if you’re in Perth, you should know that there are several whale watching tours here up for grabs, which are perfect for seeing blues and humpbacks up close. 

For the best experience, book a tour from August to December to witness these massive beauties migrate north to warmer waters. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some southern right whales with their babies, too!

Where do I go whale watching in Perth?

The best whale watching spots in Perth are located off the coasts of Hillarys and Rottnest. We recommend trying out both locations to raise your chances of seeing both blue and humpback whales. 

Whale watchers departing from the Hillarys harbor can have a chance of spotting humpback whales as they migrate back to Antarctica. Blue whales and southern right species are also often seen via this route.

Meanwhile, Rottnest is the ideal place for witnessing a large gathering of blue whales. The coast has the best access to the Perth Canyon Marine Park, where the swimming mammals feed on krill annually.

Where do I book whale watching tours in Perth?

Where do I book whale watching tours in Perth

Depending on the coast you end up on and your amount of free time this year, these three most popular whale-watching tours are your best bets to see the massive mammals in all their natural glory.

Whale Watching Tours in Perth

ToursRatesDurationStopsBest Months
Rottnest Fast Ferries$65 – $1752 hoursHillarysSeptember – November
Whale Watch Western Australia$88 – $3852 – 4 hoursHilarys, Fremantle, Bremer BaySeptember – December, January – April
Whale Watching Perth$65 – $1752 – 4 hoursHillarys, FremantleSeptember – November

Rottnest Fast Ferries

Stop/s: Hillarys

RatesAdult: $65
Concession: $55
Child (4 – 12 years old): $35
Infant (under 2 years old): $5
Family Pass: $175
Contact(08) 9246-1039
[email protected]
ScheduleMonths: September – November
Days: Days available depend on the number of bookings
Departure: 12:30 PM 

Utilizing a state-of-the-art, high-speed catamaran, Rottnest Fast Ferries lives up to its name, providing quick two-hour yet memorable whale-watching trips. It has spacious decks and panoramic windows, which are perfect for whale sightseeing.

The ferry departs from Hillarys, giving whale watchers more options on where to stay before the cruise. It also operates daily, allowing for more flexibility in booking tours. 

Apart from regular discount offers, Rottnest Fast Ferries makes their tours extra family and budget-friendly with their kids-travel-free promo. 

After the sightings, we also recommend taking your children to other notable family-friendly spots across the city.

Whale Watch Western Australia

Stop/s: Fremantle, Hillarys, Bremer Bay

RatesFremantle – Original Tour: $88
Fremantle – VIP Captains Lounge: $150
Hillarys: $88
Bremer Bay – Orca Experience: $385
Contact1300 388 893
[email protected]
ScheduleMonths: September – December, January – April
Days: Days available depend on the number of bookings
– Fremantle: 10:00 AM
– Hillarys: 12:00 PM
– Bremer Bay: 8:00 AM

Whale Watch Western Australia operates all year round to offer sightings of various whale species. Aside from the usual Hillarys departure, they also depart from Bremer Bay to help tourists catch a glimpse of the equally beautiful killer whales.

Lucky ones aboard their gorgeous MV Steep Point and Whale Watch 1 might even chance upon giant squids. 

Marine specialists are also on board to educate tourists while witnessing the whales in action. Hydrophones are also available, allowing sightseers to listen to the giant mammals communicate if the weather cooperates.

Whale Watching Perth

Whale Watching Perth

Stop/s: Hillarys, Fremantle

RatesAdult: $65
Concession: $55
Child (4 – 12 years old): $35
Infant (under 2 years old): $5
Family Pass: $175
Contact(08) 9246-1039
ScheduleMonths: September – November
– Fremantle: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
– Hillarys: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
– Fremantle: 9:30 AM
– Hillarys: 12:30 PM

Whale Watching Perth has a gorgeous, multi-decker ferry departing from the coasts of Fremantle and Hillarys. 

Booking the company’s two to four-hour trip usually starts in the colder months from September, aligning with whales frolicking with their calves off the sunset coast.

Whale watchers are treated with panoramic windows, PWD-friendly facilities, and snack bars during the slightly lengthier trip. 

They also have a marine scientist from the Aquarium of Western Australia on board to help tourists get the most out of the sightings.

What is the best month to go whale watching?

  • Late August to early November

The best months to see whales in Perth if your stop is in Hillarys are from late August to early November, as this is when the whales migrate. 

Rottnest is also a perfect stop during the said time of the year, particularly in the colder months from September to November. Apart from blue whales, you can also get the chance to see pygmy blues, humpbacks, and dwarf minkes mingling at the site.

Rottnest also has other vantage points for whale watching including West End and Cape Vlamingh.

Apart from whale watching in the cold months, visiting Perth during these times open up plenty of opportunities for entertaining activities such as ice skating and staycations.  

Once you alight from the ferries, make the most out of your wonderful trip by checking out the city’s other gorgeous beaches and nature parks. After all, Perth isn’t limited to its sightings of the gentle giants.

  • Between January and April

Another season for whale watching falls between January and April. Within these months, you can book tours departing from Bremer Bay to witness killer whales or orcas on their feeding ground. 

However, note that Bremer Bay is five hours away from Perth, so you might want to whale watch during this season when you’re closer to the area.

Where else is the best place to see whales in Australia?

  • Albany for humpback and southern right whales
  • Geographe Bay for pygmy blue whales
  • Queensland for dwarf minke whales and short-finned pilot whales

Aside from Perth, Australia is dotted with whale-watching spots. In Western Australia alone, you can witness humpback and southern right whales in Albany and pygmy blue whales in Geographe Bay.

Both locations are where the said whales swim during the migration season between the months of June and November.

Queensland is another location whale watchers should try, where there are sightings of the beautiful dwarf minke whales along the Great Barrier Reef and short-finned pilot whales in Whitsundays. 

How close to shore do the whales go?

Whales, during their migration across Australian waters, often stay within five kilometers of the shore. This behavior is due to the pod wanting to avoid the East Australian Current, or else they’ll be derailed from their path.

Also, there have been instances when whale watchers didn’t need binoculars to see whales in action at various vantage points across Perth and Western Australia. 

That’s thanks to the migrating pod numbering over 200 to several thousand, which makes them more noticeable.  

How close to shore do the whales go

Seeing the gentle giants do their stunning breaches with your own eyes is a momentous event. Be sure to include this activity when visiting Perth and Western Australia during the whale watching season to make the most of your stay in the region.

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