If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience while on vacation in Hawaii, whale watching is a must. The Big Island is home to some of the best locations in the world to see humpback whales, and there are plenty of ways to go about it.
This article contains everything you need to know about whale watching on the Big Island. It will share where and when to go, what you can expect, and how to prepare. So if you are ready to take in the spectacle of these majestic creatures, read on for more information!
What Makes Whale Watching On The Big Island Special?
The Big Island of Hawaii provides a truly unforgettable experience for whale watching. Humpback whales come each year to warm and shallow waters off the west side of the Big Island, which are perfect for breeding.
Multiple whale species gather in this area from December to April, providing visitors with plentiful sightings of these majestic creatures. Besides simply sailing along the waters and marveling at the whales’ beauty, visitors can also learn more about their behavior through guided whale-watching tours.
They will learn fascinating facts about whale vocalizations and witness amazing behaviors such as breaching and spy hopping in person. The combination of its accessibility and its wealth of activities makes it even more special for whale watching on the Big Island of Hawaii.
How To Prepare For Whale Watching
Whether you are on your own or as part of a guided tour, there are some important things to remember when preparing for whale watching on the Big Island. First and foremost, it’s crucial to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Generally, it is cooler along the open ocean than in land-based areas, so wear layers that you can remove or add as needed.
You’ll also want to pack plenty of snacks and water, as whale watching can take several hours, depending on where you go. Other things to consider bringing include a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent – especially if you’re planning to travel to the island’s east side. And if you’re planning on taking any photos or videos, pack your camera and extra memory cards!
What To Expect On Your Whale-Watching Excursion
Exploring the diverse wildlife of the Hawaiian Islands on a whale-watching excursion is an unforgettable experience. While out on the waters, you may find yourself close to breaching humpbacks, spy-hopping dolphins, and orcas working in harmony with one another. It’s truly a sight to behold and one that visitors won’t soon forget! Additionally, experienced tour guides will likely provide keen insight into the wonderful world of Hawaiian wildlife.
Furthermore, many tours will allow visitors to get in the water with marine life if they so desire. Whether snorkeling with colorful tropical fish or diving to see larger creatures up close, this is an excellent opportunity for those who want a more immersive experience.
The Best Times To Go Whale Watching
As previously mentioned, the best time to go whale watching on the Big Island is from December to April, when many species of whales gather in shallow waters off the west side of the island. Typically, January and February are peak months for viewing humpback whales. However, it’s important to note that no matter what time you plan to go, your chance of seeing them will improve earlier or later in the season.
If you are curious about which time of day is the best for whale watching, many people find that early morning or late afternoon is better than mid-day. However, check local weather conditions before heading out to choose a day with optimal viewing opportunities!
The Best Locations For Whale Watching On The Big Island
For those new to the Big Island of Hawaii, anywhere near the water is an excellent place to spot whales. However, in reality, certain areas are much better than others for whale watching, and it’s wise to do your research to ensure you are going to the correct location. Here are a few of the best stops to try:
The Kona coast is one of the best spots for whale watching on the Big Island due to its unique lava formations, which provide an ideal location for the world’s largest mammals. In addition, the scattered rocks make for a shallow bottom that results in warmer waters, encouraging whales to congregate near this region. It also offers excellent visibility with clear waters and plenty of places to observe from the land.
Plus, the seascape here is spectacular, with dramatic cliffs covering much of its shoreline along the northern portion of the island. All these features create a unique experience when whale watching from the Kona Coast. Whether observing humpback whales playfully breaching or admiring their graceful beauty while they cruise by, it’s sure to be memorable.
Another great spot is North Kohala, where the rocky shoreline offers a unique opportunity to observe from land rather than from a boat. Here you’ll encounter lava formations that feature atypical shapes and colors, including deep reds, purples, and blues. In addition to whale-watching activities, this area is ideal for hiking and exploring lush jungles, as well as diving and snorkeling to see the incredible marine life in action.
Furthermore, North Kohala is home to the Pu’u O’o crater, providing a unique opportunity for hikers to ascend steep slopes. At the top, you’ll have stunning panoramic views of the entire coast – and a fantastic spot to see the majestic whales through your binoculars.
Finally, if you’re in the area, check out the Hilo Coast – the eastern part of Hawaii’s Big Island. Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, with lush vegetation and a rugged shoreline made up of black sand beaches that offer a striking contrast against the water.
It’s also home to many popular whale-watching destinations, including Coconut Island, Hilo Harbor, and the Kahului-Hilo area. The Hilo coast is the perfect place to whale watch with a chartered whale-watching cruise that will take you out onto the open ocean to witness these magnificent creatures in action!
Whale Watching On The Big Island Is An Amazing Experience!
Whether you are visiting the Big Island of Hawaii for the first time or a seasoned whale watcher, there is something here for everyone. With so many stunning locations, it’s easy to find the perfect spot to spot these majestic creatures on their annual migration up and down the coast. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in one of the most beautiful places on earth, be sure to check out all that whale watching on the Big Island has to offer!