Experience an incredible natural wonder –
a newly discovered marine wilderness hot spot
Every year, between January and April, this remote spot off the WA coast becomes the epicentre for an unbelievable intensity of life. Journey with Naturaliste Charters to the Bremer Canyon – a stunningly beautiful, remote habitat abundant with marine wildlife: whaler sharks, giant squid, sperm whales, masses of sea birds and the largest known group of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere.
Why does this happen?
We suspect it’s a leak from a massive hydrocarbon pocket under the seabed, which fuses with the surrounding water to create an ice-like reef known as methane hydrate. This in turn sparks a food chain involving crustaceans releasing billions of nutrient-rich eggs into the desolate waters.
Killer whales are present at the location over 96% of the time. Even if they aren’t exactly on the coordinate, we usually find them close by. Although every trip out there is unique and different each time, we have excellent sightings and interaction consistently, and have seen in excess of 100 killer whales at the canyon during previous scientific research trips; it is quite possibly the largest yet discovered aggregation of orca in the southern hemisphere!
During the 1.5 hour journey to the site, you can also expect to see a wide variety of marine species including seabirds, dolphins, sharks, tuna and seals.
Experience this awe inspiring phenomenon and support the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale research project
This eco marine project seeks to uncover the mystery behind this remarkable event and is dedicated to the preservation of this beautiful wilderness location. Your participation in the expedition is actively supporting ground breaking passive research, helping to fund and document this important project. Everyone who books the tour automatically becomes a member of RiggsAustralia.com, the website where images and information on the research being conducted can be found.
What is the research project?
David Riggs has been observing the scenario since 2005 and subsequently produced a film that aired internationally, drawing attention to this remarkable location. A part of the tour will be conducting research and citizen science, collating photo ID of the animals, lowering an underwater hydrophone (if conditions permit) to listen to the activity down there in the watery world, and towing underwater cameras to collect data. Focusing on killer whale vocalisations and their influence on human/Great White Shark interactions, the recordings we make are being tested with Great White Sharks to see if the sounds may act as a deterrent.
Naturaliste Charters – your tour guides
We are honoured to be exclusively aligned with the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale project. It’s an incredible opportunity to share this natural wonder and contribute to its research and preservation.
Our friendly, professional and informative crew have marine science backgrounds to ensure you learn everything possible and have an unforgettable experience.
We keep our tour numbers small so everyone on board has the best opportunity to see the wildlife.
Our 20mt state-of-the-art research vessel has three viewing areas – including a spacious lounge area with excellent viewing, a huge foredeck and an upstairs fly-bridge with 360 degree views for an exhilarating experience.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I find accommodation?
For accommodation please contact:
Albany Visitor Centre (+618) 9841 9290
Bremer Bay Community Resource Centre (+618) 9837 4171
Or Google ‘Bremer Bay’ and choose from the options
Are refreshments provided?
Lunch, morning and afternoon tea, soft drinks and bottled water are included in the price and supplied on board. If you have special dietary requirements, please contact us in advance.
What should I bring?
We suggest you bring a warm jacket. Dress for the conditions, casual and comfortable layered clothing. It can get quite cold out at the Canyon. And flat enclosed good quality comfortable shoes with a good grip. Organise sea sickness tablets with your pharmacist and take prior to the tour. Bring extra with you on board to top-up during the trip if recommend on the instructions. Its a long day out on the water and you want to enjoy it.
Visitors on the expedition are encouraged to bring a good quality still camera in the hope that any images they collect will be entered into our rapidly growing orca photo data base.
The goal of these citizen science funded expeditions is to gather information that will help authorities understand how this seasonal ecosystem works and ultimately ensure its continues functionality into the future. Accessing imagery captured by expeditioners while on board is one of the methods RiggsAustralia are using to further our understanding of the Bremer phenomenon and as such, we request that no imagery is offered for sale or to scrutiny to outside commercial interests (researchers and TV broadcasters) without our prior written consent as this will dilute the potency of our project and jeopardise the potential for proper management and protection of this delicate eco system.
Are children allowed?
Yes, older children are allowed on the Expedition however it is not recommend for children under the age of 10, and is also dependent on their past experiences on a boat. This is an adventurous Expedition, and as the parent you need to be 100% comfortable and confident in their ability to handle a full day out at sea, a long way from shore. Their comfort will be your full responsibility and understandably if they are not handling the conditions then this may detract from your quality time seeing the Orca’s. Please take your time to make a decision regarding children as this is very important for all involved. The price is $385 per person. To book online the booking system option allows for just one rate for this tour, please choose “Adult”. Once you’ve made your booking please inform the office by email or phone if there are any children in your party and their age. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have further questions about this.
Choosing the correct category when booking?
The Killer Whale Expedition only has one rate of $385 per person. When you do your booking you will notice that there are several options to choose from: adult, concession, child etc. This is part of the online booking system and is set in place for our other whale watching tours in the Margaret River region. There are no concession rates for the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition as every ticket sold helps to fund important scientific research at the Bremer Canyon. Please choose “Adult” when making your booking for the Expedition.
Can I get a bus from Albany to Bremer Bay?
Yes, Busy Blue Bus from Albany can drive you to Bremer Bay for the day. And if you have anyone in your group who isn’t going on the trip but would like a tour of the region while you’re on the boat, they offer that too. To make a booking for a Bremer Bay Day Tour, please contact our office directly by phone or email or choose the bus option online. Cost $484 per person. This includes the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition and the return bus trip.
If you’re already booked on but would prefer not to drive and love to arrive in comfort, then the bus ticket is $99 per person. Minimum of 2 passengers required for the bus trip. Times: Departs Albany Visitor Centre at 5.45am and returns to Albany approximately 7pm.
What other wildlife has been seen on the Expedition?
Long-finned Pilot Whales
Gray’s Beaked Whales
Bottlenose and Common Dolphins
Sharks including Hammerhead and Blue Sharks
Australian Sea Lions
New Zealand Fur Seals
Seabirds including Black-browed Albatross, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross (a rare visitor), Shy Albatross, Wandering Albatross, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Australasian Gannet, White-faced Storm Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Long-tailed Jaeger.
What happens if there’s no killer whales on the day?
The expeditions are subject to wildlife we are looking for being there on the day. Whales are free-roving mammals – as such there are no guarantees, although in the unlikely event of no whales being sighted, please see our No Whale Policy below.
No Whale Policy: If there is marine wildlife present but no killer whales are sighted on the tour, we offer a discounted return price of $220 per person. If there is no marine wildlife on your tour, you get a complimentary trip with Naturaliste Charters with the only cost being to cover meals at $30 per person. Your voucher will be valid for any Naturaliste Charters tours for 1 year. If you wish to carry it over to the next season of the Killer Whale Expedition please note it is for mid-week tours only. The voucher can only be used by the passenger/s on the original tour. No further offers of a complimentary revisit will occur once this offer has been used. This offer is valid for one revisit per person, and is not transferable. You must contact the office directly to arrange a revisit.
What happens if I need to cancel or change my booking?
Cancellations will incur a minimum 20% fee. Cancellations 14 days or less prior to departure incur a 50% fee. Cancellations 7 days or less of departure, no refund applies.
If you need to change your booking please contact the office directly on (08) 9750 5500.
What happens if the tour is cancelled?
If the tour is cancelled due to inclement weather or any unforeseen circumstances we will endeavour to get you onto the next available tour or full refund applies. We recommend contacting our office prior to leaving your destination if you have any questions or wish to check on availability or weather conditions.
Where’s Bremer Bay?
Bremer Bay is a coastal community located 515kms south east of Perth and 180kms east of Albany in Western Australia.