Awake to whales at the Cape of Bight

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By Car Brand Experts


One of the most stunning land-based whale-watching adventures in Australia must be at the Cape of the Grand Australian Bight (Cape of Bight). Embarking on this remarkable trip to the Nullarbor Plain and the border of the land is a must-do experience for a good cause.

The voyage

Despite Nullarbor meaning ‘no trees’, you’d be amazed by the abundant vegetation visible, with trees and shrubs adorning the scenery for a significant portion of the journey. 

Ceduna stands as the final significant settlement on the Eyre Highway before proceeding westward, yet you can still avail fuel and sustenance at Penong before reaching the Cape of Bight.

While journeying across the Nullarbor, ensure to pause for that essential photograph at the sign heralding the commencement of the Nullarbor Plain. There exist several other halting spots on the way, featuring multiple vantage points overlooking the magnificent Bunda Cliffs, some of which tower up to 120 meters high.

Cape of Bight
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© Glenys Gelzinis

Cape of Bight Visitor Center

The diverging path to the Cape of Bight Visitors Centre is conspicuous, and there is ample space for both vehicles and caravans to park. If you have a canine companion with you, they are welcome, albeit they must remain inside your vehicle.

The admission fee, which you will need to procure within the center, grants you entry to the visitor center and whale viewing platforms where, throughout the season (May to October), you can witness the majestic beings along the shoreline beneath the Bunda Cliffs. Inside the visitor center, avail yourself of some refreshments, beverages, and keepsakes, and delve deeper into the region and the varieties of whales frequenting each year.


Cape of Bight
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© Glenys Gelzinis

Whales and cliffs

The limestone Bunda Cliffs are awe-inspiring. Their sheer magnitude makes you feel diminutive; there’s a genuine end-of-the-world vibe at Cape of Bight. Stroll to the viewing platforms to stand near the precipice as much as you desire, absorbing an astounding aerial vista of the whales.  

Typically, the whales start arriving from May onward each year for birthing and nurturing their offspring. At the peak of the season in June and July, you may spot up to 80 whales off this coastal stretch! When we visited on a day in August, we saw about 24 whales, including a pristine white calf. 

The whales often linger near the sheltered expanse of the cliffs with their calves at Cape of Bight, providing a close-up view of their captivating behaviors and hearing their exhalations as they glide by. 

Amusing fact: Scientists utilizing images of the whale’s distinct markings have managed to distinguish individual whales, discovering that many of them frequent this site annually.

Cape of Bight
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© Glenys Gelzinis

Where to bivouac at Cape of Bight

If you possess complete self-sufficiency and desire off-grid camping, numerous complimentary campsites are available on the Bunda Cliffs. Alternatively, there is a camping area outside the entrance gates to the Cape of Bight Visitor Center.

For a touch of added convenience, the Nullarbor Roadhouse is located 25 kilometers to the west, offering powered and unpowered sites starting from $25 per night. Here, you’ll find restroom facilities, a store, a diner, a pub, and fuel.

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Nullarbor Roadhouse © Glenys Gelzinis

Prior to departing

Winter on the southern frontier of Australia isn’t the warmest, so ensure to don ample layers to shield yourself from the cold winds at Cape of Bight.

It would also be wise to carry a camera along with a telephoto lens if available. The proximity at which the whales can be observed is astonishing, and the Bunda Cliffs always present a magnificent spectacle.


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