By Ian Neubauer
Australian Spirit Sailing is offering a 10 per cent discount for groups to get a close-up look at humpback whales as they bypass Sydney Harbour on their yearly migration to their feeding and breeding grounds up north.
Thousands of humpback whales migrate along Australia’s east coast between May and November each year, offering a unique opportunity to observe the bizarre behaviour of these majestic animals.
Australian Spirit Sailing operates Katrina, a mid-size yacht that offers a rewarding and exciting experience in the form of a four-hour eco whale-watching cruise for small groups.
The experience has become increasingly popular in recent years as the whale population balloons as a result of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, which established a whale sanctuary in all Australian waters.
“People are starting to awake to the fact that Sydney as many as 11,000 humpback whales are passing by Sydney ever year,” said operator Tony Smith. “When we started in the year 2000, there were 3000 or 4000. But conservation efforts have now built up the whale population’s critical mass.”
Unlike his competitors, who fot eh most part operate larger vessels carrying up to 100 passengers, Smith huddles with passengers to share information on the whales: how to spot them, how long they spend can spend submerged, their mating rituals and the speed at which water shoots from their spouts: an impressive 450km per hour.
Australian Spirit Sailing charges $99 per head for four-hour morning and afternoon whale watching tours, seven days per week.
The vessel Katrina can also be hired excslusively for groups as small as two and as big as 12. Catering can be provided and the operator is licensed to serve alcohol. A 10 per cent discount is available to groups of 12.
For more information call 0409 125 186 or email [email protected].