Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's That Time Of The Year

When the winds begin to blow and the rains arrive in Southern Australia, the locals know it is time to breakout the binos and head for the coast.  Every year between late May and October hundreds of Southern Right Whales approach the southern coast to give birth, mate and socialize.  One of the best places to view the whales is from the the Great Australian Bight.
The Bight is a an open bay located off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of Australia.  It consists of a coast line that is characterized by sheer cliffs that drop up to 60 meters to the ocean.  The height of the rock platforms make it an ideal location for whale watching.  However, the best vantage point to watch whales is probably at the Head Of the Bight, which is located 78 kilometers west of Yalata a 20 kilometers east of the Nullarbor Roadhouse (over 800 km from Adelaide).  

The Head of the Bight is accessible by a sealed road.  The facilities include a a visitor center with useful information about whales, restrooms, a water tank, and a covered picnic area.  However, the highlight of the center is the meandering boardwalk that allows visitors to come within meters of the water.  From the viewing platforms you can see the giants of the sea slapping their tails, breaching, blowing and rolling belly up--and you can even hear them breathing.
Last year we were fortunate enough to visit the Head of the Bight when we drove to Adelaide from to Perth.  You can read about our visit to the center here and/or our drive more than halfway across the country here.

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