It’s the last stop on an exhausting journey down the east coast of Australia -20,000 whales travelling the humpback highway to the summer feeding grounds under the Antarctica ice. Merimbula’s coastline is the last land they’ll see for thousands of kilometres during their epic migration. And that makes it easy for us landlubbers to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures from a beach car park, headland lookout, veranda or even your Getaway Merimbula lounge room.
Just a few minutes scanning the ocean and you’re bound to see the telltale white splash of a breaching whale.
Nobody really knows why whales leap out of the water, but in a typical breach, a humpback whale clears the water at an angle of about 30° then turns horizontal. Around 90% of the body clears the water before the whale turns to land on its back or side. "Belly flops" also occur but are less common. To achieve that sort of clearance, a humpback needs to leave the water at a speed of eight metres per second or 29 kilometres per hour. Quite a feat for a 40 ton animal!
To find the best spot for whale watching, download the popular Wild About Whales App for your iPhone or android smart phone. You can get the latest whale sightings, record your own sightings and help other whale watchers spot a whale via Twitter and Facebook.
Of course if you want the up close and personal experience of a lifetime, hop aboard a whale watching cruise in Merimbula. With the whales being so close to shore, it’s just a quick trip from the marina to all the action.