Australasia’s Wildlife Hotspots Include:

  • Darwin, North Australia –  Known for it’s true Australia outback experience, Darwin is also home to Flatback (November-January) and Green Turtles (April-October), Australian Humpback and Indo Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, and Dugongs (June-August), all in easy viewing range across the northern coast of Australia.
  • Brisbane and Sydney, East Australia – These coasts are also home to Dugongs, Port Jackson and Grey Nurse Sharks (June-August) Australian Snubfin Dolphins, and Leatherback Turtles all with natural habitats dotted up and down Australia’s warm waters.
  • Adelaide, South Australia – Here you’ll spot Southern Right Whales who have travelled from Antarctica for feeding to the warm waters on the coast of South Australia during winter to breed.
  • New research finds the hotspots and habitats for migrating marine animals across Australasia
  • Follow the path of some of the world’s most fascinating marine animals on their migration or use the tool to visit their key nesting and feeding locations
  • Read about the animals included and learn about the ways to discover these animals in a sustainable way 

A new study from tailor-made travel specialist, Hayes & Jarvis, highlights the Australasian hotspots for seeing marine wildlife, from green turtles and thresher sharks, to blue whales and bottlenose dolphins – including where they make their habitats and where they travel during nesting and feeding seasons.

It’s been estimated that there are 8.7 million species on Earth – and potentially two million are in the sea. So if you’re looking to spot unusual and interesting animals, why not turn your attention to the ocean?

Explore the study for yourself here. I think it will inspire you to read the study and it is great fun.

Where to Spot Marine Wildlife in Australia

Sperm Whale
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Sperm Whale

Australia is a big country – so even during an extended holiday you might not find time to visit all the main marine wildlife habitats. If you’re wild about whales or set on seeing sharks, make sure you head to:

  • Darwin – Darwin is one of the best launching points for a marine expedition, with turtles, dolphins, and dugongs all in easy viewing range across the northern coast of Australia – especially in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • Brisbane – For those travelling along the east coast, Brisbane is a fantastic place to see dugongs, spotted wobbegong sharks and southern right whales, with natural habitats dotted up and down Australia’s warm eastern waters.
  • Adelaide – Whales are often drawn to the waters closer to Antarctica for feeding, and move to warmer waters near the southern Australian coast during the winter to breed – making Adelaide a good central spot to see the different population groups.
Whale Shark
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Whale Shark

  • Melbourne – Melbourne shares access to the whale habitats of the southern Australian coast with Adelaide, but while Adelaide and Canberra have a shorter trip to see them, Melbourne also offers sights of the distinctively coloured Port Jackson sharks in the Bass Strait where they go to feed in the summer.

The Other Wildlife in the Sea

Australia is one of the best places to see humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, but there are so many more animals to see around the wider Australasia sub-region – including:

Spinner Dolphins
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Spinner Dolphins

  • Spinner Dolphins – Spinner dolphins are among the more acrobatic breeds of dolphin, leaping and spinning high into the air, giving them their name. There are over 30 species of dolphins in the world, some of which reside in Australian waters. They primarily gather on the west coast, in Northern Territory waters, or along the east coast between Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Grey Nurse Sharks – Also known as sand tiger sharks or spotted ragged-tooth sharks, grey nurse sharks eat large marine animals like squid, rays, and even smaller sharks.
Dugong
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Dugong

  • Dugongs – Dugongs are best seen in Australia, as the country is host to some of their primary habitats, with approximately 10,000 living in Shark Bay alone. They’re similar to manatees but with dolphin-like tails, and gather in Moreton Bay and Shark Bay in the summer to feed. They can live for longer than 70 years!
  • Southern Right Whales – A baleen whale, the southern right can be recognised by patches of hard white flesh on its head, a long mouth, which begins above the eye, and no dorsal fin. While they travel to Antarctica in the summer, in the winter they venture north to southern and southeast Australia.
Hawksbill Turtle
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Hawksbill Turtle

  • Hawksbill Turtles – Commonly found nesting on the Arnavon Islands in the South Pacific or feeding in the Great Barrier Reef, the hawksbill’s shell is the design on which the “tortoiseshell” pattern is based. Within the last couple of years they have also been found to be the only known reptile to be biofluorescent – to glow and reflect different colours.

“At Hayes & Jarvis we understand that one of the main reasons Briton’s travel to Australia is to see some of the incredible marine life that inhabits its local waters. Whilst many travellers recognise the varied species of animals that can be found in Australia, many are unaware of where and when they need to travel in order to see them.

 

“We’re proud to launch this interactive tool that highlights the main migration routes of Australia’s marine wildlife to help holidaymakers experience these incredible animals in their natural habitat. The interactive tool also includes various tips to provide users with additional knowledge on how to respect the habitats of sea animals to help promote the importance of responsible tourism.”
Helen Adamson, Hayes & Jarvis Brand & Commercial Director

For more information on where to find your next maritime adventure, have a look at the full guide on the Hayes & Jarvis website here

About Hayes & Jarvis

Hayes & Jarvis is one of the UK’s longest established tailor made long haul specialists, offering bespoke, experience-led journeys worldwide for more than 65 years.

The Hayes & Jarvis team members are travellers at their core, dedicated to inspiring customers to see more of the world and helping them to take the journeys on their wish-lists. Hayes & Jarvis specialises in tailor making bespoke, multi-centre trips encompassing over 65 destinations around the world. Whether it’s cultural tours of discovery, wildlife encounters or castaway island-hopping holidays, Hayes & Jarvis’ Destination Specialists transform ideas into unforgettable holiday experiences.

Hayes & Jarvis is part of Travelopia, the world’s largest collection of specialist travel brands officially formed in 2016 and is fully ABTA, IATA and ATOL bonded.