Southern Right Whale with calf



Nature and Culture
Southern Right Whales
 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Whales & Wildcaves

Each year from May through to October, Southern Right Whales, the rarest and possibly most boisterous whale in the world, congregate at their major Australian breeding ground. We see them in a spectacular bay at the Head of the Great Australian Bight adjacent to Aboriginal Land, part of the vast Nullarbor landscape. Here they court, mate and give birth to their young in shallow waters close to the shore. Up to 60 whales congregate at this location every year and are readily observed on a daily basis from as close as 20 metres. The astonishing difference between whale watching here or anywhere else in the world, is that the Bunda Cliffs provide an unsurpassed view as you sit on the edge in perfect safety, with whales playing just metres away.

Beneath this landscapes surface lies the Nullarbor underworld. Rainwater percolating through the Nullarbor limestone has formed a labyrinth of caves and waterways beneath the sands and thin soils of the surface. Aboriginals knew the caves well and entered a number where they camped, quarried flint and created images on the walls.

The Nullarbor also hosts the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat as well as vast, wheeling flocks of parrots and all manner of elusive bush birds which attract avid bird watchers from around the world.

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Day 1
Whale Watching

Fly from Adelaide to Ceduna before travelling to the Bunda Cliffs with views of a remarkable natural spectacle which until recently had not been seen for nearly a century - dozens of southern right whales [Eubalaena australis] cavorting in the clear waters below. The southern right whales - fifty tonne giants that may reach a length of eighteen metres - are returning to their traditional calving places around the bays and inlets of southern Australia after being hunted to near extinction in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here we'll spend hours watching, photographing and learning about the Southern Right Whale. Why they return every year to the Head of the Bight, how to identify them, how to understand what they are doing and why. Being within 20-50 metres of the whales enables excellent photography with even the simplest camera and provides a totally non-invasive whale watching experience.

As the sun dips below the horizon, we'll enjoy a typical Australian banquet - cooked over an open fire in a camp oven. After dinner we'll leave the cliffline to look for some of Australia's nocturnal wildlife before heading to our accommodation for the evening, the Nullarbor Motel.

Day 2
Cave Exploration and Whale Watching

Today we explore the hidden underside of the Nullarbor Plains. Deep in the great caves, we observe the use humans have made of them. Aboriginals used the caves to mine flint as it made the best tools and also for ritual purposes which are still evident. We are shown how stone tools were made and learn to recognise a rock fragment that has been worked by hand. We visit Abrakurrie Cave which is the largest single chamber in the southern hemisphere and Weebubbie Cave with water of unparalleled clarity. It is here we inflate our raft and glide over the subterranean phenomenon - deep within this spectacular cave. From here we return to the Bunda Cliffs to resume whale watching. By mid afternoon we leave the great gentle giants to begin our return journey. We stop at the Yalata Aboriginal community to view and possibly purchase art work passing through Fowlers Bay with its ever changing white sandhills, rustic jetty and historic buildings before meeting our return flight to Adelaide at Ceduna.

To enquire about this experience or have it included in a tailor made itinerary - Just ask!



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Duration
1 Night / 2 Days

Departs
Thursdays from Adelaide Airport (Please Note: airline schedules are subject to change without notice).

Concludes
Adelaide Airport

Cost
Price on Application

Price valid until March 31st, 2006

Passengers
Min 2

Includes
All meals, morning and afternoon tea, all touring.

Cost Excludes
Airfare to/from Ceduna

Seasonality
June to September

Accommodation
The Nullarbor Hotel Motel (2 star) offers:
26 airconditioned rooms that include:
Private shower
Toilet
Hot & cold water
Room heating
Tea & coffee facilities
TV/in-house videos
Fridge
Phone
The Hotel Motel has a restaurant and dining room.



 
 

Diverse Travel Australia

Email info@diversetravel.com.au
In the USA email anzlindsey@earthlink.net

Adelaide University Research Park
35-37 Stirling Street Thebarton South Australia 5031
Telephone 61 8 8234 8324