Byron Bay is well known for having a large inshore Bottle-nose dolphin population. This species inhabits the waters directly surrounding the headland and local beaches often only a few hundred meters from the shoreline. This allows us to easily observe these amazing creatures as they feed on baitfish and interact in their social groups.
Very little research has been conducted on this wild population and Dolphin Wildlife tours is collaborating with the Southern Cross University in data collection to learn more about these dolphins.
Common dolphins are also a regular visitor to Byron Bay and we often encounter this inquisitive species on our tours. Common dolphins are well known for bow riding and circling vessels.
When possible we can listen to the dolphins communicating with each other on our hydrophone.
Every year thousands of Humpback whales leave their summer feeding grounds in Antarctica and head north towards their winter breeding grounds in the tropical waters of the Southern Hemisphere. One group of Humpback whales makes this annual migration up the Australian east coast from May through to December.
This journey not only takes these whales past Australiaís most eastern point but also concentrates the migrating whales to within a few kilometres of Cape Byron. For this reason, Byron Bay is one of Australia's premier whale watching locations.
The migratory path of Australiaís east coast Humpback whales brings them so close to Byron Bay that they are often sighted within a few hundred meters of Cape Byron.
Due to an abundance of food sources, many seabirds inhabit this region. Many resident species inhabit the coastline including Julian Rocks, a focal point of our tours. Here you will observe a variety of species including cormorants, terns, gulls, oystercatchers and many migrating species stopping over on their journeys north and south. Julian Rocks is regularly visited by birds of prey including Osprey, White Breasted sea eagles and even a local Peregrine falcon.
Throughout the year many migratory species can be witnessed as they wander the oceans including albatross, shearwaters and petrels.
Three different species of sea turtle call the protected waters of Cape Byron Marine Park home. Hawksbill, Green and Giant Loggerhead turtles inhabit this area all year round. They are commonly observed throughout the tour particularly around Julian Rocks where there is an abundance of food. Turtles regularly surface close to our vessel to breath air providing the perfect photo opportunity.
Over 600 different species of fish have been recorded in the Cape Byron Marine Park. Using our underwater viewing devises (bathoscopes) you will be amazed when you see Blue Gropers, puffer fish, eagle rays and wobbegong sharks just meters below the surface at Julian Rocks.