When is the best time to go whale watching in Auckland?

Here’s the answer to one of the most commonly asked questions!

The answer is...any time of year – it’s true! When you think of whale watching, it wouldn’t be unheard of if you presumed it to be a seasonal activity.

This is definitely the case in some areas of the world which is due to the whales in that area being seasonal migrants. This means that they are only present in the area at certain times of the year. An example is the humpback whale who, as a species, travel from the polar seas (Arctic and Antarctic) at the start of winter towards the equator where the water is warmer, to give birth and reproduce. They then travel back to the cooler seas as winter comes to an end, which is where they go to feed. It is during these migratory periods that these whales can be seen close to the coastlines in certain areas of the world.

However, here in Auckland, there is a species of nationally endangered whale, the Bryde’s whale, that does not undergo these long-distance migrations. In fact, they are called a ‘resident’ population as they are seen in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park year-round. This makes Auckland one of the very few places in the world where you can see a baleen species of whale year-round and so easily! Although endangered, the Bryde’s whales are commonly seen in the Hauraki Gulf, a a small area of New Zealand on the North Island.

Other whale species can also be seen in the area from time to time, including sei whales and pygmy blue whales. During the migration seasons, there’s also the additional chance to see other migratory species of whales, including the humpback whales and southern right whales.

Of course, there is also the bonus of a resident species of dolphin in the Hauraki Gulf, too – the common dolphin!

To find out more, head to www.whalewatchingauckland.com

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