Marine Life in Western Australia

More than 13,500 kilometers of coastline in Western Australia are home to some of the world’s most amazing ecosystems and vibrant marine life. Some species found in Western Australia’s oceans have never been seen anywhere else in the world.

You’ll remember the magical times you had with the fish and other marine animals on the coast of Western Australia for the rest of your life. There are many things to do in Western Australia related to marine life. You can swim with sharks and see limestone caves, seagrass meadows, and coral atolls.

Marine Life in Western Australia: The Big List

1. Whales in Western Australia

Marine Life in Western Australia

Humpbacks, southern right whales, and the rare blue whale make an annual migration from the Southern Ocean in the South West to a warm breeding ground north of the Kimberley coast. The longest whale-watching season follows this epic journey.

They come to Western Australia between May and December. You can see them with binoculars or the naked eye from places on the coast where you can get a good look. At noon, when the sun is directly above, is the best moment to see these gentle sea giants.

Whale types found in Western Australia

According to the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment, at least 45 species of whale are living in Australian waters. And you can see many of them in Western Australia. But blue whales and humpback whales are so common. 

Top spots in Western Australia for whale watching

  • Margaret River
  • Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth,
  • Hillarys
  • Albany
  • Dunsborough
  • Broome
  • Bremer Bay
  • Kimberley Coast
  • Rottnest
  • Bremer Bay

2. Whale sharks in Western Australia

Marine Life in Western Australia

Those aren’t whales at all, but rather the world’s biggest fish. These enormous creatures may reach lengths of up to 12 metres. Even so, whale sharks have earned the nickname “gentle giants” because of their mild nature. For tourists from all over the globe, the opportunity to snorkel with these gentle giants is regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Western Australia.

No, whale sharks can’t bite or chew. They are filter feeders, not predators of big animals. Each hour, their gills can process more than 6,500 litres of water. A whale shark’s teeth are so small that, despite its mouth being four feet wide, it can only consume minuscule crustaceans, fish, and plankton by utilizing its gill rakers as a suction filter.

The whale sharks that congregate on the Ningaloo Reef between April and August each year make the Ningaloo Coast renowned. A journey to the area may include swimming with whale sharks, one of the most thrilling and fulfilling experiences many visitors have while there.

3. Dolphins in Western Australia

Australia’s bottlenose dolphins are, without a doubt, one of the country’s most popular marine creatures. Visitors visiting Western Australia can’t seem to get enough of them, whether because of their liveliness, intelligence, or turned-up mouth corners that resemble a permanent smile.

Dolphins and humans have a closer relationship than you would assume. To begin with, they are warm-blooded animals, just like us. Dolphins, unlike fish, do not lay eggs. Instead, they give birth to live young, much like all other mammals. When you go on a dolphin cruise with a reputable tour operator in Western Australia, you have a good chance of seeing a newborn dolphin with its mother at any time of the year. And that’s because they mate year-round. 

Best places to see dolphins in Western Australia

Mandurah

When you visit Mandurah, which is about an hour south of Perth, you will often spot dolphins playing in the estuary, boat port, and canals. As an excellent playground for dolphins and a rich source of fish for feeding, the inland waterways of Western Australia are a popular destination for dolphin watching near the capital city of Perth.

The Swan River

The chance to see dolphins at the mouth of the Swan River in Perth is less certain. But it is also more thrilling since it is less predictable. It is most common for dolphins to congregate in deep water, where they can readily herd schools of fish together.

Rockingham

The best thing about a Rockingham dolphin tour is that you get to see bottlenose dolphins, penguins, and sea lions near Perth.

4. Penguins in Western Australia (Penguin Island)

Marine Life in Western Australia

Penguin Island is an island of 31 acres off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. It has the greatest bird population in Western Australia, including a colony of over 250 little penguins. A penguin island tour is the best way to see these little penguins in their natural habitat. 

5. Sea lions in Western Australia

Several spots along Western Australia’s Coral Coast are home to huge populations of sea lions. At Seal Cove, Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals mingle. Watching the sea lions plod down the cliffs and into King George Sound is a popular activity in the area. 

Sea lions may be seen in abundance in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, located near Perth. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some at the Jurien Bay Marine Park, but the best way to get up close and personal with them is to go on a Jurien Bay snorkeling trip.

6. Turtles in Western Australia

Every season of the year, sea turtles may be seen along the Coral Coast’s beaches. Turtle snorkeling in Ningaloo Marine Park, a wildlife cruise around Shark Bay Marine Park, or a tour of the Jurabi Turtle Center at night are all great things to do in Western Australia. You can also see their nest and hatch on a night tour of the Jurabi Turtle Center in Cape Range National Park.

If you want to see some of the most endangered sea turtles in the world, you can go to the Turtle Bay area of northern Dirk Hartog Island. You can also visit the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area and the Muiron Islands off Exmouth if you want to see more of them.

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