Spring is the season of new life, and the perfect time for an amazing animal encounter!
You'll see adorable baby animals anywhere from the teensy ducklings in your local park, to the wild quokka joeys at Rottnest Island. And with the WA coastline being home to the world’s most extraordinary humpback migration, you won’t want to miss the whale-watching wonders of the Humpback Highway! Here’s our best-of Spring Wildlife Encounters; team this with our guide to Perth’s wildflower season for your ultimate natural and seasonal experience!
WA's Humpback Highway is home to the largest whale migration in the entire Southern Hemisphere - part of an ancient system of ocean paths circling the planet that’s older than any road travelled by humanity. In April each year, 35 thousand whales leave Antarctica to raise their calves in warm waters in WA’s North West; their journey back home to Antarctica from September to December brings them far closer to Perth’s coastline.
Join a thrilling, expert-guided whale-watching tour with Whale Watch Western Australia and Whale Watching Perth by Rottnest Fast Ferries, Rottnest Express to get close to these frolicking gentle giants.
Check out a whole lot of fascinating whale info from Whale Watch Western Australia - they even have virtual tours on their website! And new in 2021, Rottnest Fast Ferries have expanded their operations, commencing new daily departures from Fremantle along with their existing departures from Hillarys Boat Harbour. Enjoy stunning views of the Humpback Whales from Western Australia's largest whale watching vessel, accompanied with live, educational commentary from their partner AQWA’s marine scientist.
Rottnest Island’s off-shore location makes it a perfect spot for whale-watching. Rottnest Express's 90-minute Adventure Boat Tour allow you to get up close to the island’s most majestic visitor, and enjoy the beauty of Rottnest and whales all in one day (keep an eye out for Rottnest’s colony of adorable New Zealand fur seals, too!).
Want to know more? Check out our guide to Whale Watching in Perth.
What could be cuter than little penguins? Just off the coast of Perth’s marine paradise Rockingham, you’ll find Penguin Island: home to the world’s smallest penguins. The colony living on Penguin Island has been given the highest conservation status of all penguin colonies in Australia, making it super penguin-friendly; in fact, the island has the largest known penguin breeding colony in all of WA. You’ll find out plenty about the penguins and their personalities at the Penguin Island Discovery Centre; book a ferry ride to the island, entry to the Discovery Centre and a penguin feeding experience with Perth Wildlife Encounters for your ultimate penguin encounter.
More animal awesomeness from Perth Wildlife Encounters: swimming with dolphins! They’ve been running-multi award winning dolphin swims in the waters of Rockingham since 1989, and during that time they’ve built warm relationships with generations of these friendly and intelligent animals; humans and dolphins alike can enjoy each other’s company in a place of interspecies friendship and trust.
In Mandurah, join Mandurah Cruises for a truly only-in-WA experience: cruising down luxurious Venetian style canals that are home to frolicking dolphins (certainly a point of difference from their Italian inspiration!). Experience the Dolphin & Scenic Marine Cruise; a morning tea or lunch cruise; or even the half-day Murray River Lunch Cruise which will take you on a 5-hour cruise exploring Mandurah’s picturesque waterways, the Peel Inlet and serene Murray River, before enjoying a delicious 2-course lunch at a waterside restaurant or BYO picnic.
Rottnest Island is renowned worldwide for its adorably cheerful marsupial residents: quokkas! The #quokkaselfie first rocked Instagram a few years back, and it’s still a must-do (taking care to do it respectfully, of course: great info from Nature Australia on that here). Quokkas are very used to their human neighbours, and Spring is an amazing time to visit Rottnest because it’s the chance to see sweet little joeys (so tiny, so cute!) hopping out of the pouch for the first time to explore the world. Join a free walking tour to learn all about these amazing animals! Quokkas are mainly nocturnal, so they’re particularly out in force in the quiet of the evenings - so it’s well worth an overnight island stay! Check out the Rottnest Island Authority for accommodation options, including the beautifully #luxelife Samphire Rottnest.
Seals and Sea Lions
Fancy some seal-spotting? As usual, Rockingham delivers - you’ll find Seal Island in the Shoalwater Marine Park. Guided kayak tours are conducted by Perth Wildlife Encounters and Capricorn Seakayaking from September until April, giving you expert insight and showing you all the top spots; or catch the Penguin Island Wildlife Cruise, a glass bottom boat tour which includes both Penguin & Seal Islands for your ultimate wildlife watching day!
And while Rottnest Island is known far and wide for quokkas, they’re also home to a lesser-known spectacular animal attraction: a colony of resident New Zealand fur seals. The viewing platform at Cathedral Rocks means you can get closer to the colony without disturbing them, while they flip and play together in the bay and sunbathe on the rocks. You can reach Cathedral Rocks by bike or walking, or jump on the Island Explorer bus.
In the mood for animal encounters of the cuddly variety? There’s huggable animals galore over in the Swan Valley - and Spring is the perfect time to visit them! Whether you’re cuddling a koala at Caversham Wildlife Park, bottle feeding baby lambs, calves and piglets at Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, or getting cuddled by a python at the West Australian Reptile Park, there’s plenty of places to get that heart-warming snuggle fix.
We hope we’ve inspired your amazing animal adventures this Spring! To make the most of the great outdoors this season, check out our guide to Perth’s birds and where to find them, and the best exercise spots in Perth; and don’t miss our ultimate guide to Perth in Spring to help you make the most of this colourful season in our incredible city.