When I was asked by Kidzabuzz to go whale watching I assumed we would have to head into WA’s South West, I was so surprised to learn that Rottnest Fast Ferries do whale watching tours from Hillary’s Boat Harbour. I had never seen whales before so I was just, if not more excited than the kids for this Perth family tour adventure.
Rottnest Fast Ferries
We arrived early at Hillary’s Boat Harbour and the kids were excited to see all the boats, trying to guess which one we would get on. When we turned the corner they couldn’t believe the size of the Rottnest Fast Ferries we were soon boarding. As we were early we were able to watch the boat bound for Rottnest Island leave and this only amped up their excitement.
We boarded the Ferry at 10am (for a 10:30am departure) and the team were great in getting everyone on quickly and explaining where we could sit. We chose to sit on the bottom deck as it allowed the kids easy access to the outside section at the back of the boat.
Learning about Whales
Rottnest Fast Ferries use the team at AQWA to assist as tour guides during the whale watching season. Our guide for the day was Andrea, she was amazing and her passion for these gentle giants really shone through. As we took our seats Andrea came around to the groups to introduce herself and explain this great Perth family tour, providing information about the Humpback whale. She carried with her two toy humpback whales which she handed to the boys as she explained why the whales migrate from North West Australia to Antarctica – I have to be honest here as I had no idea why we see whales this time of year or where they were going, so just like my 5 year old I had so many questions and Andrea was happy to spend time with everyone.
We left promptly at 10:30am and were told it would be a fast 25 minute trip to the area where we would then slow down and start looking for whales. The weather went a little crazy at this stage and the water was extremely choppy, so my 1 year old clung to me like a koala, our 3 year old held his Dads hand, our 5 year old however was full of giggles and thought it was the best ride ever, I did not.
We arrived at an area where whales were spotted earlier that morning and within 5 minutes, 300m from the boat some whales were seen coming up but quickly heading back down under. This is the part where Andrea’s passion for whales really showed and she explained how the humpback whales will come up for air and then head back underwater for around 10-15 minutes before returning. We continued to look around and a few more whales were spotted about 100m from the boat, this time they stayed up for around 2-3 minutes, long enough for everyone to be able to see, take photos and be amazed at how close we could get to these giant creatures.
Our best moment on our Perth family tour was when a curious whale (Andrea’s description) decided it wanted to take a closer look at our boat and came within about 30m, we were lucky enough to see it spray some water and show its tail, it remained close to us for around 3 minutes before heading back under water.
We spent about 1 hour 15 minutes in the whale watching zone and during that time had the opportunity to see about 5 or 6 whales close up and a few more further away from the boat. After this time it was another 25 minute fast trip back to Hillarys, luckily by this stage the weather had calmed down so it was an enjoyable trip back.
An Unforgettable Perth Family Tour
This was one experience that our family will not forget and I think it’s an adventure that people of all ages would appreciate, especially those looking for a great Perth family tour. Thankyou to Rottnest Fast Ferries for having us and a special thank you to Andrea for being such an amazing tour guide.
Rottnest Fast Ferries run whale watching tours from the end of August until mid-November excluding Tuesday and Thursday and everyday during school holidays. For more information on this incredible Perth family tour and other Rottnest tours, please visit their website at www.rottnestfastferries.com.au .
You will find fantastic discounts for Rottnest Fast Ferries and other great Perth family tour in the ‘Get Aways’ section of KidzaBuzz. Also look out for discounts on Whale Watching tours in our 10th edition which will be released in January 2017.