One of Australia’s unlikely superheroes is David Walsh, infamous creator of Australia’s most celebrated private museum – MONA – in Tasmania. Full of quirky, unexpected art, wouldn’t you like to pick his brains to see what makes him tick?
So why not have a private dinner with him and take him to task? Sure, he’s a terrible conversationalist—what with all the art and astrophysics chat—but the rest of this experience should be incredible. Dinner With David, one of the Cultural Attractions of Australia includes a ridiculously lavish private degustation in Mona’s chef’s hatted Source Restaurant. Mona has been known to make the tables out of humans, but that can not be guaranteed. Needless to say, David will also raid Mona’s legendary wine bunker for some game-changing wines.
Aside from dinner with the nerd, this experience also includes the best of everything Mona has to offer — private jet transport from anywhere in Australia, luxury accommodation in Mona’s 5-star onsite Pavilions, a guided tour of the museum with Mona’s head curator, as well as a VIP tour of Moorilla Winery with the winemaker.
David may invite you play him at tennis on Mona’s not-so-private court at the museum entrance. Avoid this, his serve volley game is too strong.
Private jet transfer from anywhere in Australia
Two night’s luxury on-site accommodation (Mona Pavilions)
VIP museum tour
VIP winery tour
Private dinner and wine degustation at The Source Restaurant with David Walsh
Lunch in Faro (bar and restaurant)
Access to all bookable art experiences
Breakfast in the Source restaurant
and pretty much anything else you might want or can dream up!
Just over two hours north of Broome along a deep red, dusty road is a special place that will take your breath away. Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, famed for producing some of the world’s most beautiful pearls for generations, is now one of the must-do experiences in the Kimberley.
Arriving by road at Cygnet Bay you’re reminded that it is indeed a working pearl farm. Old buoys and boats decorate the driveway and it feels very authentic, because it is. Visitors come for the pearls, for a beautiful location to stay and for the ‘sea safaris’, two extraordinary experiences on the water.
We visited in early April as one of the first guests of the season. Tourists do not usually journey this far north until a few weeks later when the wet season is truely over. At this time of year, some roads might still be impassable due to flooding and the extreme heat can make it unpleasant. On the plus side if you dare to risk it, it’ll be likely that you’ll have many places to yourself.
The pearl farm stretches across a vast area of the Dampier Peninsular encompassing the stunning Cygnet Bay, many uninhabited islands and red earth that is bordered on either side by indigenous communities. Despite being the only non-indigenous place in the area, there is a strong relationship that bonds the Brown family, owners of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm and the local aboriginals from the area.
The first thing that struck us as we pulled up was the bright blue water behind reception. There really is nothing like the colours of this region and the sea was calling us but no visit to Cygnet Bay would be complete without first learning about pearl farming. To know that time, effort and good luck all come into play to create such beautiful pieces of jewellery make them all the more special. We watched as a pinctada oyster was opened to reveal a pearl – the only gem to be created by an animal.
What makes this area unique (and so good for farming pearls) are the giant tides. Depending on the moon, the time of year and other natural phenomenon, the tides can vary as much as 12 metres between low and high. On the day of our visit the stars were aligned and we got to see the full force of these tides on a sea safari.
The excitement started on land as we boarded an amphibious vessel to drive across the beach and into the water. We cruised to see a floating pearl shell cleaning station in action before our giant tide adventure really blew our minds. Witnessing the power of the tides was just incredible. We saw whirlpools the size of houses and our boat used its full horsepower to move against the rush of water.
We were also lucky enough to witness another incredible phenomenon due to the tides – ‘Waterfall Reef’ – which appears to rise out of the water as the tides drop.
We also visited ‘Shell Island’, only available at low tide but the perfect place to arrange something special. It’s a little sandy mound surrounded by the clearest blue water you can imagine and makes for a unique wedding venue, a pop up bar or a romantic picnic.
After our day on the water we were dropped off at the Master Pearler’s Retreat – our accommodation for the night – and with glass of champagne in hand as the sun set, we waved goodbye and watched the amphibious vessel drive back into the ocean. That night we dined on a chef prepared meal sampling the pearl meat found in the very same shells that produce the gems. It was the perfect way to finish what was an educational, thrilling and peaceful day all rolled into one.
I recently discovered an experience that I didn’t know was even possible in Australia – seeing killer whales in a newly discovered marine hotspot.
In the south of Western Australia (about a 5.5 hour drive south east from Perth) lies a peaceful little coastal town called Bremer Bay. It’s from here that you can take an ocean expedition to encounter killer whales and a myriad of other marine and bird life that congregate here.
It’s about a one and a half hour cruise to reach the ocean hot spot – the deep sea Bremer Canyon. Here during the months of January to April, cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Antarctic and attract killer whales, dolphins, sperm whales, giant squid and much more.
The expedition was on a vessel purpose-built for the wild Southern Ocean with Australian Wildlife Journeys member Naturaliste Charters. On the trip I spent time with ‘Search for the ocean’s super predator‘ documentary maker David Riggs – the man who ‘discovered’ the region and who is doing all in his power to keep the area protected from oil and gas mining. His knowledge of the marine life and passion for the region is second to none. Also on board was a marine biologist plus a bird expert / photographer. We learnt all about the behaviours of orcas and the interspecies interactions between this apex predator and other marine life.
When we arrived at the ‘hot spot’ the anticipation on the boat as we looked for signs of the creatures was almost palpable. Everyone was on the look out for birds, surface oil slicks and spouts of water. But these are wild creatures and they hadn’t received the memo that we’d be there at 11am. In my heart I feared we wouldn’t see them but I had nothing to worry about – sure enough the experienced team found us what we came to see.
Whilst it was almost the end of the season, all up we saw two pods of killer whales (including a baby orca), about 100 pilot whales, dolphins, seals and the spouts of two blue whales. It was amazing to see these incredible creatures in the wild. Just days before I went out, guests were lucky enough to even see a pod of killer whales hunt down a blue whale!
It’s a full day experience at sea from about 7.45am to 4pm with lunch and snacks served on board. Think of it as a mini-Antarctica expedition without the ice and cold. The cruise runs January to April.
After my day out at sea I was headed to Albany, a two hour drive away. As I pulled out of the car park two kangaroos jumped across the road. Whoever thought you’d see killer whales and kangaroos in one day?
Surely one of the world’s greatest collection of interactive marine encounters, this itinerary combines swimming with Humpback Whales outside of Exmouth, cage diving with the ocean’s most formidable predator, the Great White Shark, swimming with Australian Sea-lions off the Eyre Peninsula, diving and snorkelling with Manta Rays, turtles, reef sharks and countless tropical fish off Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef and witnessing the amazing migration of Humpback Whales off Australia’s largest city of Sydney. Aside from these incredible marine encounters, these regions provide abundant opportunities for birdwatchers to spot seabirds.
Minimum Suggested Nights: 16 nights, plus a couple of extra nights in Exmouth if desired.
Suggested month: August
Departing from one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, board a luxury cruiser led by an experienced guide and crew, to encounter one of the greatest natural migrations in the world. Known for their spectacular acrobatic abilities, seeing Humpback Whales launch out of the ocean with sheer energy is awe-inspiring.
Guides will share key insights on the whales’ behaviour and on many occasions, these majestic and curious creatures will interact with the boat. Combined with Sydney’s stunning coastal backdrop, this cruise is a truly unforgettable experience. Other marine species that may be encountered include Bottlenose Dolphins, Minke Whales and pelagic seabirds including a wide variety of Albatrosses.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Birds
Peak season for viewing albatrosses, petrels and prions. Black-browed, Campbell, Shy, Indian Yellow-nosed, Buller’s, Gibson’s, Grey-headed and Wandering Albatrosses are sighting possibilities. Fairy Prions congregate, Providence, Wilson’s Cape, Northern Giant, Southern Giant Petrels, Brown Skuas, Australasian Gannets, Crested Terns.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Marine Mammals
Humpback Whales head north to give birth and mate in the waters of the Coral Sea, providing plenty of sightings close to shore, Southern Right Whale will occasionally move along the coastline seeking places to mate and shelter with their newborn calves.
Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef
Located within a highly protected ’Green Zone’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine National Park, the waters surrounding Lady Elliot provide a sanctuary for over 1,200 species, with outstanding water clarity perfect for admire the healthy coral reef, abundance of turtles, Manta Rays, reef sharks and a vast array of tropical fish.
In season guests can also encounter birds nesting, turtle hatchlings or migrating Humpback Whales. Staying at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, this package offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a myriad activities to learn more about the Island and its unique history, flora, fauna and incredible marine life. This slice of paradise provides an environment that inspires a diversity of exciting daily nature based activities including reef walks, bird watching tours, snorkel safaris, night tours and scuba diving.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Fish & Marine Invertebrates
Seasonal Highlights: Peak season for seeing Manta Rays. Bull Rays, Cowtail Stingrays and White-spotted Guitarfish, Spotted Eagle Ray and Blue-spotted Fantail Ray, Damselfish, Wrasses & Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Angelfish, Groupers, Blacktip and Whitetip Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Wobbegongs.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Birds
Black Noddies, Crested, Sooted Terns, Silver Gulls, Lesser Frigatebirds and Great Frigatebirds, Brown Footed Boobies, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Capricorn Silvereyes, Buff-banded Rails, Tawny Grassbirds, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes and the Golden-headed Cisticolas.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Reptiles & Amphibians
Green Turtles, Loggerhead Turtles and critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles.
Port Lincoln, South Australia
This four day adventures combines the best terrestrial and marine protected areas across the region including Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park, Neptune Islands Conservation Park and Mount Dutton Bay Conservation Park. Being one of the only places to swim with wild Sea-Lions, visitors will be mesmerised by the agility, curiosity and playful interaction from these ‘puppy dogs of the sea’.
On shore, there is an abundance of seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, parrots (including the beautiful Port Lincoln Parrot) and raptors including Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles, with Western Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas and Rosenberg’s Goannas a delight for visitors.
For an adrenaline rush, guests will venture out to the Neptune Islands to try and observe the Great White Shark via a cage or 360 degree underwater viewing pod, using a bait and berley free approach to witness the ocean’s most formidable predator.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Fish & Marine Invertebrates
Peak viewing for large Great White Shark females that feast upon the plentiful Long-nosed Fur Seals.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Birds
Nesting season for waterbirds. Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks, Black Winged Stilts, Banded Plovers and Cape Barren Geese at Big Swamp wetlands. Osprey, White-bellied Sea Eagle breeding, Caspian Terns, Hooded Plovers, Red Capped Plovers, Red Necked Stints, Golden Whistlers, Masked Lapwings, Emus and Wedge-tailed Eagles.
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
A staggering 30,000 west coast Humpback Whales migrate through the Exmouth and Ningaloo region and start to rest after their long migration from the Antarctic. Mothers will typically move their calves into the Gulf area at Exmouth over these months, to fatten them up for their lengthy return journey south.
The Department of Parks & Wildlife has recently given authority for Exmouth Diving Centre to provide guided swims with these amazing creatures under strict parameters and conditions. Visitors will venture out in small groups of five with a guide & videographer to record one of the most special intimate encounters of the ocean. Following this, guests will enjoy a snorkel on the reef to enjoy the amazing tropical fish, rays, turtles and corals.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Fish & Marine Invertebrates
Coral Spawn & Plankton reaches its highest concentration, Whale Sharks seen until the end of July Manta Rays around Exmouth, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Cardinalfish, Scissor Tails, Groper, Coral Trout, Nudibranches, Grey Nurse Sharks congregate around the Navy Pier competing for space with the Whitetip Reef Sharks and Wobbegongs.
Winter: Jun-Aug – Marine Mammals
Over 30,000 individual west coast Humpback Whales migrate to the area (opportunity to swim with them from July onwards) with Orcas prevalent. Pseudo Orcas, Minke Whales, Pilot Whales, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins are occasionally sighted whilst Bottlenose and Australian Humpback Dolphins are abundant.
Immerse yourself in Tasmania’s natural beauty with a perfect balance of luxury and adventure.
Start your Tasmanian journey in the Hobart waterfront precinct at the unique storytelling hotel, MACQ 01, set on a site with a colourful and distant past. Spend the afternoon with a private driver to show you the sights of Hobart and introduce you to the remarkable stories of some of its most interesting characters before being enlightened or shocked at MONA with its controversial collection of modern and ancient art.
Experience the remote rugged South West with an unforgettable full day tour via scenic flight to the incredibly remote waterways and wilderness of Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey. Leave civilisation behind as you see the rare and endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot at the Deny King Bird Hide before travelling on an untouched waterway twice the size of Sydney Harbour. Find yourself in a remote location for a delicious lunch featuring Tasmanian produce and wine.
Continuing on your journey, you are invited for four days to explore on foot and by water the beautiful East Coast with its spectacular beaches, peninsulas and island trails. Enjoy the wonders of Maria Island, Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island where you will walk and immerse yourself in the history & wildlife of the region with your passionate & educated guides.
Enjoy exclusive use of the luxurious Lady Eugenie, a 23-metre ketch rigged yacht complete with teak decks. After a long days walk you can relax and unwind onboard taking in the sunset scenery whilst you are indulged in delicious local produce and superb 3-course dinners before retiring to your comfortable cabins. The team’s belief is that your accommodation should be enjoyed not endured!
All that adventure can be taxing so once you are ready to kick back where better to do it than Saffire Freycinet with the backdrop of the Hazards. You can make the most of the experiences included in your stay all that are designed to engage and connect you with this stunning location. If you’d like a little extra we always recommend indulging your inner wine connoisseur and chef by spending the day with a local discovering the region’s mouth-watering delicacies all with the most picturesque views.
A spectacular helicopter flight back along the East Coast and over the islands retracing your trip on the Lady Eugenie is the culmination of your Tasmanian adventure.
For travellers visiting Tasmania, Mona (the Museum of Old and New Art) is a must-do in the way that the Guggenheim museum is a must-do in Bilbao. It’s a quirky, attention grabbing private museum unlike any other, with a collection of unusual art, described by owner David Walsh as a “subversive adult Disneyland.”
Alquemie has created an incredible VIP Art & Food Experience at Mona just for you.
Package includes return ferry transfers (in the Posh Pit, mind you) from Hobart to Mona, as well as museum entry, lunch in the Source Restaurant, a private tour of the vineyard and winery with Moorilla’s Ambassador, and a complimentary bottle of wine from our Muse series.
Itinerary 9:30am: Depart Brooke Street Pier for Mona in the Mona ferry’s super exclusive, super luxe Posh Pit.
10am: Arrive at Mona and begin exploring the museum…focusing on B3 – a major exhibition – accompanied by one of Mona’s Art Concierges.
11:30am: The Cut Crystal experience begins and it’s a rare pleasure, as most wines are designed to drink young these days. Cellaring demands foresight and patience—it’s a real gamble but the rewards can be stunning!
This experience includes a private tour of the Moorilla winery with one of the resident ‘wine dorks’ and an extensive, intimate wine tasting in their totally glamorous subterranean tasting room featuring new and mature wines from Moorilla’s Muse and Cloth Label series. You’ll be treated to vintages no longer widely available, find out how to match each wine with the perfect glass and learn the finer points of decanting sparkling, white and red wines.
1.30pm: A two course lunch in the Source Restaurant drinking some of the wines that have been opened for the Cut Crystal tasting chosen by the guest…
3:30pm: A Mona Fart! (Food + ART) Art concierge will take guests back into the museum to look at B2 and B1 Monaisms’ – David Walsh’s collection with a pre-booking for unseen seen experience… this takes 45 minutes per couple (optional).
5pm: Guests end up in Faro with a pre-dinner Cocktail with Outrageous canapes and the James Turrell light experience.
6 pm ish: Guests sit down to a bespoke food and wine experience created by Mona Head Chef Vince Trim. With the priority access to some the new Pharos wing’s art rides – “Unseen seen and Weight of Darkness”.
Guests will be returned to their hotel at their leisure…their day will include a signed copy of Monaisms and a bottle of Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon to take home.
To enquire about this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine the tranquility of a place so remote that you can only get there by foot, boat or light aircraft. In Tasmania’s Southwest, Port Davey is such a place. This remote wilderness area is a Marine Nature Reserve and forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s three times the size of Sydney Harbour and one of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet, with wild rivers, quartzite peaks and extensive waterways.
The best way to explore this area is by purpose built boat. With no roads in or out, the journey starts with a spectacular flight from Hobart across the densely forested Southwest National Park to Melaleuca, a remote locality consisting only of a couple of buildings.
Upon landing you will be taken by tender through the mirrored waters of the inlet to your ‘boutique floating hotel’ the Odalisque, the base from which you will explore the untouched South West.
The itinerary will be tailored to your interests and daily shore excursions will see you totally immersed in the wilderness. It’s all about “getting your feet wet”. During your unforgettable time, you’ll explore narrow winding waterways lined with Huon pine by jet boat, hike to mountain-top vantage points where it feels like you can see over the edge of the world, picnic on remote beaches and soak up the serene views from the deck as you cruise past sea caves, rock arches, blowholes and rocky islets. You could be one of the very few to witness the islands of Maatsuyker, cruise the Davey River gorge, wander the buttongrass moorlands or beachcomb the white sand of seemingly endless beaches.
Tasmanian owner Pieter van der Woude’s custom-built twenty-metre expedition cruise vessel is designed for the comfort and safety of guests. Cruising with a maximum of 10 guests overnight, the Odalisque has three private cabins, a comfortable entertaining and dining area and three spacious outside decks for sightseeing, photography or sunset barbecues. The galley consists of a contemporary spacious kitchen with an island bench, sofa seating and large open windows to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery or watch the chef cook up a storm. The open plan saloon area allows panoramic views, has plenty of lounging capacity and a large dining area for a leisurely dining experience. A true boutique floating hotel, it’s perfect if you’re eager for adventure but not so keen on roughing it.
What’s so special about this region?
The Port Davey Marine Reserve was created to protect an extraordinary underwater world. In Bathurst Harbour a very unusual marine environment has been created by a deep layer of dark red-brown, tannin-rich freshwater, which overlies tidal saltwater. The tannins restrict sunlight penetration to the top few metres, limiting the growth of marine plants. In their place live colourful and delicate marine invertebrates, including sea pens. In the clearer marine waters of Port Davey – away from the influence of the freshwater tannins – a more typical Tasmanian underwater world exists. Diverse kelp forests and abundant fish thrive beneath the surging Southern Ocean waves. This Marine Reserve forms part of the Southwest National Park, and is surrounded by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area encompasses a greater breadth of values than any World Heritage property on Earth. Of 1052 sites in the world which are recognised as World Heritage areas, Tasmania is one of only 35 sites that satisfy both cultural and natural heritage values. But even more impressively, the area satisfies seven of the ten criteria, including unique human culture and history, wilderness, plants and wildlife, and geology. Only one other site in the world (located in China) equals this number and none exceed it. There’s a lot to explore; Tasmania’s World Heritage Area comprises 1.38 million hectares, or about 20 per cent of the entire State.
Talk to Alquemie to incorporate this remote part of Australia into an itinerary.
Experience the contrast of the rugged coastline and burnt red outback of Western Australia to the bustling city of iconic Sydney and Vivid Sydney 2019.
When to go? May & June 2019
Start your journey in Perth with a special night out, the city has a burgeoning food scene so let us book a dining experience to suit your tastes whether it’s modern Australian or a menu based on the indigenous six seasons.
A far cry from the city find yourself amid the vast and ancient landscape of the East Kimberley region where sits the untamed natural beauty of El Questro nestled amongst burnt-orange cliffs and lush green lawns. Your scenic flight transfer over the spectacular Bungle Bungles from Kununurra will deliver you to one of Australia’s last true frontiers.
April and May offer the best time to see the waterfalls in full flow after the monsoonal wet season so spend the day in a majestic setting at the top of one of the highest falls, Amaroo, accessible only by private helicopter. Take an enthralling guided walk before enjoying a swim and picnic in the isolated beauty. The edge of the waterfall provides a window to breathtaking views across an endless landscape and the return fight takes you over Explosion & Chamberlain Gorge.
A private flight will deliver you to the remote town of Exmouth from where you’ll take to the skies by microlight for an exhilarating Birds Eye View of the world heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. Take a sneak peek at your accommodation Sal Salis, an exclusive bush camp hidden in the dunes overlooking the pristine beaches and coral reefs before making your entrance.
Spend a day on private charter to experience the Whale Sharks and other marine life such as Manta Rays that call this rugged coast and the turquoise waters home. You’ll have the chance to swim with these amazing gentle giants and to complete this unique experience; find yourself in the company of a world renowned Marine Biologist whose knowledge and enthusiasm is contagious.
Journey from the starry skies of the outback to experience the bright lights of the big city and the largest festival of its kind in the world, Vivid Sydney 2019. You’ll be perfectly placed at the heart of it all in the coveted location of the Park Hyatt Sydney but to really immersive yourself step on board an exclusive private cruise of Sydney Harbour. Designed specifically, you’ll have the best opportunity to experience the dynamic program of light installations on the Sydney Opera House, Fort Dennison, Harbour Bridge, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour. For a further exclusive experience ask us too about a private meeting with one of the artists themselves.
Alquemie is very pleased to announce its first small group air safari for clients who would like to experience Australia’s remote outback by private air charter over 16 incredible days in May 2019.
Starting in Darwin, this air safari takes just 8 guests to far flung locations like Kakadu and Arnhem Land, the Bungle Bungles, Mitchell Falls, Ningaloo Reef and much more. Accommodation ranges from luxury lodges to remote rustic beach camps with incredible experiences.
This small group hosted air safari is perfect for couples who wish to meet like minded people or for those that wish to see this incredible part of Australia by charter flight but would prefer to share the air costs.
With just 8 places we expect this tour to sell out quickly.
16 DAY HOSTED SMALL GROUP AIR SAFARI BY PRIVATE JET
Dates: 13 – 28 MAY 2019
Meet and engage with traditional Aboriginal elders, a modern day urban Indigenous chef and Aboriginal artists living in a remote and restricted community near abundant rock art galleries.
See Australia’s spectacular outback and coastal scenery by air, land, and water with expert guides and local, authentic characters leading you to magical spots in the middle of nowhere.
Discover the wealth of Australia’s unique wildlife.
Swim with whale sharks, the ocean’s gentle giants, in the pristine turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef.
Stay at exclusive wilderness locations chosen for their breadth of interesting experiences including a bush campsite in the heart of Kakadu, a working cattle station, a cliff-top retreat on 700,000 acres of stunning outback, an award-wining rustic seaside camp accessible only by air or sea, and a desert-meets-the-ocean luxury tented camp.
From August to October guests at Sal Salis will have the opportunity to swim with whales at Ninglaoo Reef. 35,000 of these giants migrate along our coast each year and guests have the chance to share the water with them.
In addition to swimming with humpback whales, the crew & the Sal Salis spotter plane will be searching for opportunities to interact with whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins, dugongs and sea birds.
Guests will need to be confident swimmers, able to snorkel and swim freestyle as the whales are found in the open ocean so may be swimming in current and swell.
To swim with whales at Sal Salis please contact your Alquemie advisor.
About the Humpback whales of Ningaloo Reef
To swim with the whales at Ningaloo Reef is the experience of a lifetime. Humpback whales are gentle giants that weigh up to 40 tonnes and range from 12 to 16 metres in length. An estimated 30,000 Humpback whales visit this region annually from June to November during their annual 11,000km migration from Antarctica. They were once hunted to the brink of extinction during the whaling days when whale oil was prized. Whilst they have recovered to numbers around 80,000 globally, they are still negatively affected by noise pollution, shipping, fishing and other marine dangers. Humpback whales are popular whales to watch due to their breaching and other distinctive surface behaviours.