In 2021 we are launching a new series of whale experiences in Australia and Norway. Whether you are interested in experiencing the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef or the wonders of the Northern lights, there is something amazing for everyone in this series.
As the humpbacks arrive in large numbers to breed and give birth, you will bear witness to one of nature’s great events. The crystal clear waters of Ningaloo Reef are the perfect place for nurturing mothers teaching their calves how to be whales, while groups of whales demonstrate their overwhelming presence. Your day is filled with excitement, only stopping to explore the coral reefs and abundant marine life that inhabits the Western Australia coastline.
Minke whales make their way through the Great Barrier Reef during the winter months which makes June and July the best months to experience these beautiful creatures up close and personal. These inherently curious whales have been known to seek out and investigate vessels in the water and enjoy interacting with swimmers which makes for a wonderful experience.
This trip is for anyone interested in orcas, humpback whales, Northern lights and spectacular fjords. The best time of the year for this phenomena is November and January when the balance between light and access to herring and whales is at its best. The winter days in Norway provide excellent light for photography. We will spend the daylight hours looking for whales and other wildlife and, if the opportunity occurs, snorkel in the crystal clear waters.
For more information contact us through the website or directly via email at email@example.com or +61 (0)402124453
Norway is a country famous for its beauty – dramatic fjords, soaring mountains and of course the infamous northern lights. What is less well known are the visiting orcas, the largest gathering of its kind in the world. In January this year, I joined Waterproof Expeditions on board the cosy M/V Malmo to experience the orcas for myself.
Visiting schools of herring entice the orcas into the fjords every year between November and February. Around this time there are also many large groups of humpback whales, and it’s also possible to encounter white-tailed eagles and the northern lights. At this time of year, the average temperature is a refreshing -3° C, and the water usually a much warmer 5° C, so it’s not an expedition for the faint-hearted. Once you see an orca under the water though, all thoughts of cold disappear in the magic of the moment (the specialised dry suits also help). The behavior of orcas here in Norway, resulting from the spring-schooling herring & mackerel, makes it one of the best places in the world to encounter these incredible ocean predators.
The daylight hours were spent following the herring schools and seeking interactions with the whales, wherever we found them we suited up and went to get a closer look under the water. The nights were spent listening to informative talks onboard the M/V Malmo, and of course photographing the northern lights. The M/V Malmo is a historical expedition yacht, a legitimate piece of maritime history built in 1943 (but renovated to be comfortable for our adventures). Spending a week on the boat like this is a good way to ensure encounters with the whales.
As with all wildlife expeditions, you never know what to expect. So much is dependent on weather conditions, and of course the behaviour of the animals you hope to encounter. Orca are particularly hard to see underwater, despite being found in every ocean in the world. The often misnamed ‘killer whales’ are in fact a large dolphin, and have never been known to harm a human in the wild (although in captivity, confined to small pools, is another story). While feeding in Norway they sometimes work together, herding herring to the surface in a tight ball and then slapping and stunning them with their tails. This ‘carousel feeding’ is just one example of an incredibly intelligent animal working together in close-knit family groups. A pod normally consists of 5-30 whales, led by females and with a defined social hierarchy. Each family group has its own dialect (varied language) and often unique feeding habits.
Norway has a history of adventure – home to renowned explorer Amundsen (the first person to reach the South Pole), birthplace of skiing, and with a law that protects people’s rights to roam & to wild camping (the Allemannsretten). Unfortunately, it’s one of few countries in the world that continue to hunt whales, despite the International Whaling Commissions ban on whaling globally. The good news is that supporting industries like this, which prove that a whale is much more valuable alive than dead, help push to end Norway’s whaling industry.
This trip was an incredible wildlife encounter set against an amazing backdrop. After a lot of time spent in the warm waters of Tonga with humpback whales, this was a completely unique experience for me. I’m looking forward to going back next year!
One of my favourite times of year in Tonga is when Garrett and his family turn up for their annual pilgrimage to swim with the whales. I love the enthusiasm and connection they have with the whales. Their bucketlist journey takes them all around the world. Their latest v-blog really captures the essence of their last trip here with us in Tonga. Can’t wait to see you guys again next season. I love this video!!
This Lord Howe Island Photographic shootout event just got bigger and better. We now have options for wildlife and bird enthusiasts, snorkelers and water people and hard core divers alike. 3 different packages and 12 categories that you can compete for on land and in the water.
WIN Amazing Prizes!
Holiday Packages for 10 days including flights & Accommodation Categories for Land based and underwater photographers Attend Photo Workshops, with Scott Portelli Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner
Return flights from Sydney
Workshops with our Hosts
Dinner on Arrival
Gala Dinner and Presentation Night
Dive and Snorkel Gear
10 dives around Lord Howe Island
1 night dive
NON DIVER’S PACKAGE
8 guided walks with local expert Jack Shick
3 boat trips with local expert Jack ShickSNORKELER’S AND NON DIVER’S PACKAGE
6 guided snorkels
4 guided walks with local expert Jack Shick
Attend workshops with Scott Portelli to learn more about your photography or tweak what you already know. workshops will include practical and in classroom techniques.