Why come to Broome to see Humpback Whales?

Why come to Broome to see Humpback Whales?
September 14, 2023 AOC
Spy Hopping, Whale Watching with Absolute Ocean Charters, Broome.

Pindan cliffs, pristine white beaches, stunning WA sunsets and sunshine year-round; there are many reasons why you should visit the town of Broome in Australia’s north west.

The annual migration of Humpback Whales to our waters is another major drawcard.

Every year, between the months of June and September, the waters around Broome play host to the largest Humpback Whale migration of anywhere in the world. It is estimated that today, around 35,000-40,000 Humpback Whales will make their annual migration from their cold water feeding grounds of Antarctica to our tropical Kimberley waters to breed and give birth.

Why the whales choose to come to the Kimberley?

The west coast Australian Humpback population choose to travel to our waters because our waters stay shallow for some 60km offshore. This means that they warm up nicely for the newborn calves and – very importantly – are a little too warm for the main predators of the Humpback Whales.
The Kimberley region is also very remote with a human population of just under 50,000 – there are nearly as many whales as there are people! For a coastal species like the Humpback, they can benefit from minimal human impacts during this important time of their lives.

How each whale season evolves in Broome?

Our whale season usually kicks-off with the arrival of lone males and females which are looking to mate this year. Early on, our cruises are typically made up of boisterous mating behaviour from the whales when they are at their most curious! It’s common for us to see heat runs, or hear the males singing through our underwater hydrophone, and have the whales approach our boat.
As the season runs on and pregnant females arrive to give birth, Broome’s waters become a Humpback Whale maternity ward. From August onwards we start to see the arrival of many newborn Humpback calves. Our safe waters provide the mothers with a haven to start teaching their calves essential life skills. We often see very young calves being active as they have to strengthen their muscles and improve their dive time for the journey south!

Have you planned your trip yet?

There are many places in Australia, and the world, where you can see Humpback Whales. But we believe that none quite compare to the waters off of the Kimberley. We are home to the largest Humpback population on the planet, we are in a place where they get to play with minimal human impacts, and we rarely encounter other boats on the water.

Plus we get to top every tour off with an epic WA sunset!

Our 2023 Humpback Whale season is nearing an end and we are sad to see these majestic giants leave. But we look forward to welcoming them, and you, back in 2024!

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