It’s Whale-Watching Season on the Big Island

Every winter, pods of graceful humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the warmer waters of the Hawaiian Islands chain. The whales begin appearing in December, and by February, the season is in full swing! Right now, thousands of whales are “on vacation” in Hawai‘i, where they’ve come to breed, give birth and frolic close to shore.

Humpback whales can easily be viewed from land or sea anywhere along the coast of West Hawai‘i. This year, vast numbers of whale sightings are being reported everywhere from Kailua Village and Napo‘opo‘o, to the Kohala Coast and Kawaihae. It’s easy to spot a humpback whale: the humpback whale’s “blow” can reach 15 feet in height. They spout, spy hop, breach, pec slap, leap out of the water or slap their fluke on the surface of the water.  Mother whales and their calves are often accompanied by a male escort. After a calf is born, the mother usually stays close to shore, resting and nursing the newborn.

Our friend Dan McSweeney runs a popular whale-watching tour out of Honokohau Harbor, and there are plenty of other ocean-faring tours that offer whale-watching and snorkel adventures, as well. But you don’t have to be on a boat to see a fantastic show. Just find a spot along the coast, or head out for a sunset cocktail somewhere in town, and chances are you’ll see a humpback whale swim by.

Panoramic views of the Kona Coast prevail from Holualoa Inn, where our friendly ohana will help you plan your Kona whale-watching adventure. Our romantic Kona bed and breakfast inn is the place to be during humpback whale season in Hawai‘i.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn