can be purchased at White Well Ranger Station on Head of Bight Road.
White Well Ranger Station is located 2 kms south of the entrance
gates on the left hand side of the Head of Bight Road. Please ensure
you stop to purchase your permit and obtain information from Community
Rangers. (EFTPOS or credit card facilities are NOT currently available.)
Community Rangers can also provide local tourist information or
advice on nearby services if required.
at Head of Bight include toilets, sheltered information gazebo,
walkways and a large viewing platform. While binoculars are not
required, some visitors enjoy being able to get a close-up view.
Currently, there are no dining facilities or services at Head of
Bight. You may however, bring a picnic with you. Seating and shaded
area are located within the information gazebo.
recommend items including a hat, sunscreen, drinking water and a
jacket. Throughout the whale-watch season, extremes of climate are
often experienced. Being prepared will ensure a more pleasant experience.
visit Head of Bight from May October every year to mate and give
birth. Although whales are not seen during the summer months, you
may still enter Head of Bight on the self-registration permit system
at White Well Ranger Station.
Southern Right Whales
called by commercial whalers because they were the "right" prey.
They moved slowly, close into shore, floated to the surface once
killed and contained high yields of oil and very long baleen.
1827 and 1930 Southern Right Whale products were manufactured overseas,
mostly for the luxury market and included:
whips and umbrellas from the strong baleen
to make candles and cosmetics
There were 18 whaling stations in South Australia alone, Fowlers
Bay occupied the closes station to the Head of Bight. Sites of past
whaling stations are still visited by migrating whales today.
one third of the total Southern Right Whales now seen in Australian
coastal waters have been born in the sandy bays of the Great Australian
gradually enter the nursery waters of the Bight in early June, where
those that are pregnant give birth. Daily life for the mother and
new born calf revolves around periods of nursing, rest, play and
and calves tend to spend more time at the Head of Bight than lone
whales which tend to leave and return over the season.
establishment of the park occurred between 1995-96 by combining
the Great Australian Bight Marine Park Whale Sanctuary and the Great
Australian Bight Marine National Park.
Right Whale numbers are increasing though they are still far below
26,000 the number of Southern Right Whales killed through whaling
in Australian and New Zealand waters from 1820 1850 alone.
in summer the whales begin to leave their feeding grounds in the
sub-Antarctic and migrate north to warmer waters. The journey is
long and the whales will cover thousands of kilometres in a single
trip. Each year between May and November the Head of the Bight is
transformed into a marine nursery as the waters come alive with
the activity of the visiting whales and their calves.