southern right whale at Victor Harbor

During winter Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales migrate from Antarctic waters to the warmer ocean around Australia to feed, mate and give birth. The Big Duck is a licensed whale watching vessel and it is a privilege to enter the Southern Right Whale breeding sanctuary of Encounter Bay and to view these majestic animals from the waterline.

The number of whales seen near Victor Harbor is highly variable year-to-year, and Southern Right Whales are much larger and less active (above the waterline) than Humpback Whales commonly seen on the East Coast of Australia. For this reason, whale sightings cannot be guaranteed on our tours and winter tours may take the route to see seals, sea lions and dolphins.

When whales are present, our tours head west towards Port Elliot, past swimming and surfing beaches where dolphins can often be seen playing. We stop near Pullen Island to look for New Zealand fur seals as they bask on the rocks. The tour then ventures through Horseshoe Bay towards Bashams Beach where the whales can be seen basking in the warm shallow water which provides the perfect conditions for giving birth to calves. This tour departs from and returns to the Granite Island causeway.

Our marine mammal permit allows us to Whale Watch up to 300m away from these amazing creatures.  We recommend bringing a camera with a zoom lens for best whale photos.


southern right whale at middleton

During the Whale Season, any tickets sold help support the South Australian Whale Centre

  • Adult $65
  • Child (2-15 years) $50
  • Family (2A+2Ch) $200
  • 90 minutes duration
  • Departs 2pm
  • Operates June - September, dependent on whales
  • When whales are not present this tour will run as a wildlife tour, spotting dolphins, seals, sea lions and birds
  • For more information on whale sightings see the
  • The Big Duck Boat Tour routes are dependent on weather conditions and locations of wildlife and are subject to change because of this.
Map of tOUR rOUTES

Map of tOUR rOUTES