Whale Watching Across the Bight
15 Jun 2018
If you're going on a tour that relies on Mother Nature to dish up the starring attraction, you hope and pray she delivers. On our inaugural whale watching tour last year, boy did she deliver!
In August 2017, I hosted fourteen Phil Hoffmann Travel clients on our exclusive 5-day Whale Watching Across the Bight tour in conjunction with Teague Tours. Our driver and guide for the trip was the down-to-earth Jeff Teague - a warm and friendly giant of a man that couldn't be more passionate about his job and what he does.
While the express reason for the tour was to witness the majestic beauty of these giants of the sea, the trip offered so much more. Travelling in Jeff's spacious and custom-converted mini-bus, we made our way out of Adelaide for our first stop, a hearty lunch at Paulett's winery in the Clare Valley. On this occasion, the usually picturesque valley was cloaked in a heavy shroud of mist, but the meal did not disappoint. A day of travelling to get to Port Augusta, the sky cleared, and the sun even pushed through as we passed through Melrose and alongside South Australia's beautiful Flinders Ranges. We stretched our legs as we wandered around the Arid Botanic Gardens - a unique and lovely garden in Port Augusta's outskirts with the stunning ranges as a distant backdrop. After overnighting in Port Augusta, we called in at Wudinna and Ceduna on our way to our home for the next two nights, Coorabie – a delightful farm stay just a short drive from the picturesque Fowlers Bay.
Jeff has picked the best accommodation available in the area for this tour. The properties used in Port Augusta and Ceduna are high quality, modern and very comfortable. What the farm stay accommodation in Coorabie lacks in luxury and mod-cons, it more than makes up for in its uniqueness, location and the warmth and genuine hospitality of its owners, Poggy and Deb who went out of their way to look after us and make us feel at home. After a lovely night spent chatting around the campfire, it was all about the whales as we headed west to the Head of Bight cliffs.
Nothing could have prepared us for the sheer number of whales we would see from the cliffs nor the amount of activity from these beautiful creatures. For as far as the eye could see, there were whales and calves breaching, spy-hopping, tail slapping and spurting water from their blowhole. We stood mesmerised in wonder for hours. Barely able to imagine it could get any better, the following day we headed to Fowlers Bay where we boarded the Asherah, a boat charted by the most passionate whale enthusiasts you will ever meet – Rod and Simone Keogh. With a licence to approach the whales up to 150 metres, we watched in awe as many whales played near and around the boat. A highlight was the cheeky calf who came right near the boat for closer inspection, and the protective mother who came to usher her baby away. After an incredible morning of whale watching, Rod and Simone put on the most incredible lunch for us in their home on the shore, where you could continue to see the whales a short distance from the shoreline. After an awe-inspiring day we headed to Ceduna for the night before making our way to Port Lincoln the following morning for our flight home.
If you've always dreamt of seeing whales up close, and even discovering a little more of our incredibly diverse State, I highly recommend this tour. Like myself, all in attendance felt truly blessed to witness the grace and beauty of these spectacular creatures and have returned home with memories - and a million photos - to last a lifetime.
Phil Hoffmann Travel is running this tour again in August, the best time to go to ensure you see a whale. There are limited spots available. Don’t miss out – secure your place today!
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