Aloha! Whale watching season is upon us! From December to May is Kauai’s whale watching season, where you can catch a glimpse of majestic gentle giants in the ocean. Kohola, or humpback whales, migrate to the warm waters of Kauai to breed and give birth to new calves. Take part in this magical experience and witness whales playfully surfacing, tail slapping, or blowing spouts into the air. Whether you watch from the shore, or hit the open ocean, your experience during this unique in Kauai will be extremely memorable.
You can watch these majestic animals from Poipu Beach on the south shore as well as scenic locations like Kilauea Lighthouse. If you are up for a possible whale sighting on a hike, check out Kalalou Trail on Napali Coast. Kapaa Overlook is a notable viewpoint on the east side. Be patient if you try and watch from the shore…these are wild animals and their migrations and activities are not predictable.
Hitting the ocean on a whale watching tour, or chartering a boat yourself, will give you amazing views of the Kauai shoreline and get you close to the whales. While on a whale watching tour, you can expect to see a variety of sea birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other marine life.
Tips for Whale Watching:
1) Check both the weather and marine forecast. Captains will not go out if the sea is too rough or the weather conditions are unfavorable. Also, if you are unsure if you get seasick, book your tour on the calmest day to ensure you have the best time.
2) Check recent sightings. Whale sightings cannot be predicted. While some companies guarantee a sighting, this usually means that they will provide you with a free return ticket if no whales are seen. Tour sites may post recent sightings so make sure you check ahead of time.
3) Pack for a day at sea and dress accordingly. While it may be warm on shore, temperatures on the ocean can be a good 10-15 degrees cooler so make sure you bring a light jacket and where sturdy rubber soled shoes. Bring a rain jacket if there is any chance of rain and make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat.
4) Contemplating taking motion sickness medicine? If you are unsure how you will react to boating on the rumbling ocean for several hours, it may be a good idea to take some motion sickness medication. Remember to take motion sickness medicine BEFORE the trip (about 30-60 minutes prior) and take the non-drowsy type so you are awake for your tour!
5) Bring your camera and/or binoculars! Whale watching can produce a spectacular show of various marine animals and you will want to make sure you can capture the moment and relive the memories. Action settings work the best as your boat will be about 100 yards away from the whale. A 35mm camera with 200-300mm lens will produce fantastic shots with excellent zoom. Don’t forget to capture photos of your family with the Kauai shoreline as your backdrop!
6) Keep an open mind. Each experience will be different and pictures featured on the website are the best shots taken over several years. Focus on all of the animals you are seeing, relax and have a great time!