Blue Whales which grow to in excess of 25 metres and can weigh over 200 tonnes are one of the Endangered species of a world estimated population of 2000 and only one percent of the original population. These huge, vocal and massive mammals are as round as a bus in width and are as long as two Buses joined together in length.
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In Portland, from April to May is the best time to try and view them in close, to the rugged Cape Nelson Lighthouse and The Great South West Walk look outs on the scenic drive about three kilomtres from Portlands? city centre. Portland is decieving because it was blessed with water on three sides, being positioned on a land outcrop with underwater, old volcanoes and truly rugged country under the water.
These blue whales come within two to three kilometres off the rugged cliffs, of which are the highest in Victoria off the water and indeed some of the highest in Australia. These cliffs serve as perfect viewing platforms when using binoculars. The viewing platforms on the South West Walk serve perfectly as they are beside the road.
The blue whales frolic in this seventy metre water and feed on the rich krill that are forced in by the swell in off the krill up lift which is unique to Portland. One of the few places in the world that the whales feed in close where you could watch them feed in the krill in calmer weather with binoculars and still be land based. These creatures are massive in size and are the biggest mammal on earth and are worth the patience, timing and travel to view them.
The Great South West Walk is world famous with back packers from all over the world testing their legs and eyes on it. This walk was an inspiration of Bill Golding, a local many years ago and he had a vision of sharing what he could see through his eyes with others. The krill that feed the wild masses of migrating mammals, fish life to the bird life comes through massive canyons higher than Mt. Everest under the sea and the Bonies Upwelling (or krill up lift) is not a common food pattern around the world and is only unique to a few places in the world, the whales know this and probably have been doing this feed cycle for thousands of years.
Some times these whales will feed in Beautiful Bridgewater Bay beside Cape Nelson. This feed area boosts one of the closest Continental shelves to land in Australia and the westerlys drive the crill in on the cliffs at Cape Nelson with the help of some currents, Krill is the top of the food chain and from the massive whales to the smallest creatures thrive on it. The blue whale needs six tonnes per day on its diet. In this area, the trawlers have caught: the giant squid, 260kg broadbill sword fish, giant sunfish with some other unusual and amazing fish.