Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Head of the Bight Whale Watching Lookout

Home > Adelaide > Family | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | Lookouts | Views
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia. https://www.facebook.com/paula.mcmanus1
Published May 20th 2022
Amazing sight on the Bight
The Great Australian Bight Marine Park on the Nullarbor Plain is the largest whale nursery in Australia. It's a long drive from pretty much everywhere, but it's definitely worth it! You'll be amazed at the sight – whales with their babies - sometimes numbering in the dozens!

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


It would have to be one of the most isolated tourist attractions in the country, but the opportunity to see the whales, literally just metres from the lookout, is a trip that would be remembered forever.

The Bunda Cliffs on the Great Australian Bight are in themselves, truly spectacular. They form part of the longest stretch of cliffs in the world and are worth a visit on their own. But a visit between May and October each year will give you the added bonus of whale watching.

The Head of the Bight on the Nullarbor Plain coastline is one of the best places in the country to see the annual breeding migration of the Southern Right Whale. Each season it's estimated that up to 70 whales migrate to the Bight before leaving in spring with their calves. The whales come up from Antarctica, calve and educate their young before heading south again in the spring. Many whales have been recorded as returning to this area each year since 1991. Whale sightings are guaranteed between June and September. The whales generally remain within a 15km long section of the coast in front of the viewing platforms, so you definitely won't be disappointed. At the height of the season (June to August), there could be as many as 100 whales in the water. Take your camera, a warm jacket, a pair of binoculars and a picnic lunch and be prepared to spend hours watching these amazing animals.

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Bunda Cliffs at Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


Not sure what month to visit? Early in the season, most of the whales you'll see will be adults. By late August/early September, you'll see babies swimming alongside their mothers - this will be when there will be the most whales in the water. 70 or more is usually the estimate.

If you're lucky, you'll see a white calf. Only 2% of whales born at Head of Bight are white - they eventually turn grey instead of the usual black.

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
White whale calf, Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


At the Head of The Bight Interpretive Centre, there's heaps of parking for your car, caravan or motor home. You'll have access to toilets (wheelchair friendly) and an undercover picnic area while inside there's a cafe, things to buy including locally made arts and crafts as well as a huge quantity of information on whales and their annual migration. The entrance to the boardwalk and viewing platforms starts here.

The Head of the Bight viewing area is part of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. The park protects the endangered whales, Australian sea lions and many other species unique to the Bight. The Marine Park is internationally recognised as being significant to the Southern Right Whales, which are listed as Vulnerable due to being almost hunted to extinction. Since 1937 they have become a protected species by all countries with known breeding populations (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Uruguay).

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


The high cliff line provides fantastic views for land-based whale watchers. Boardwalks take Head of Bight visitors to two main viewing areas, one to the east and one to the west of the main pathway. The boardwalk ramps are sloped for wheelchair and pram access.

From the boardwalk you will not only see the whales as they move slowly through the water, you can hear them as well. Nothing prepared me for this - it was overwhelming to be able to hear them. It was most definitely a highlight for me!

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


Visitor entry fees (current at May 2022) is: $16 per adult, $14 for seniors, $7 for children 5-15, and $40 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children.

Opening times during whale season: 8am to 4:30pm
Off season: 8:30am to 4pm

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


Dogs and other pets are not permitted on the boardwalk or viewing areas, but they are ok to leave with your car or caravan in the main carpark.

To protect Southern Right Whale breeding activity all vessels (including drones) are prohibited from entering the Marine Mammal Protection Area at the head of the Bight between 1st May and 31st October. Check the map here.

The Head of Bight lookout is 1,060km from Adelaide and 1,649km from Perth. The nearest South Australian town of any size is Ceduna - 286km to the east. The nearest settlement is the Nullarbor Roadhouse, 25km to the west.

Head of the Bight is not a town, it is simply a location for whale watching and is incredibly isolated.

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)


The main entrance gate is not too far from the highway. The gate is locked outside of viewing times. For travellers who are fully self-sufficient, there is a free camping area outside of the gate. Note: there is no water, no toilets and no other facilities - it's purely a place to park overnight.

The closest place for a room, fuel or a meal is the Nullarbor Roadhouse. The Roadhouse has a few different accommodation options which include a caravan park with powered and unpowered sites, and they also have a variety of motel rooms.

Head of Bight Whale Watching Nullarbor
Head of Bight Whale Watching, Nullarbor (©paula mcmanus)

Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  49
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? The Head of the Bight on the Nullarbor Plain coastline is one of the best places in the country to see the annual breeding migration of the Southern Right Whale.
When: From May to October each year
Phone: (08) 8625 6201
Where: Head of the Bight, Nullarbor
Your Comment
I have done this and I highly recommend it. It is up there as one of the best natural places I have visited. Can't speak more highly of it. Whales what more can I say.
by shepr (score: 0|5) 32 days ago
Featured
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions