The best times of the year for whale watching, dugongs & manta rays

Morris EscapesTeam 3·1 Jun, 2024

Want to whale watch this year? Don’t forget the dugongs and the manta rays! There’s no better place to catch these creatures of the deep than smack bang in the middle of all the action. Here’s when to be on the lookout when staying at Orpheus Island Lodge.

Whale breaching off the coast

Whale tales

Is there anything quite like the thrill of spotting a whale spout in the distance or seeing a breach right before your eyes? The answer is no. Humpback whales hang out near Orpheus Island during their winter months as they migrate north from Antarctica seeking warmer waters from June through to September.

Don’t miss the dugongs

Year round, dugongs like to hang out in the shallow seagrass around Hinchinbrook Island. Hop on a bespoke charter out to the island and keep your eyes peeled for these beasts. They can weigh in at 400 kilos and be as long as three metres but it’s still a rare, special moment when you see one in the wild.

Humpback whales hanging out during their winter months

Ray time

Mantas are the largest rays in the world and you’ll find them off Orpheus Island Lodge from May through to August. They are around year-round, but this is when there’ll be larger numbers out and about. Unlike their cousins the sting ray, manta rays have no barb, so you can swim or snorkel with ease, though it’s important to still respect the personal boundaries of these undersea beauties.

Swim with sea turtles

Snorkelling alongside a sea turtle is a rite of passage, or it should be. You’ll find them year-round off Orpheus Island, but it’s later in the year, from November through to January, when the female turtles come out of the water to lay their eggs on sandy shores.

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