Humpback whales make their annual journey to Hawaii between the months of November and April (whale season), and the Big Island is our favorite of the Hawaiian islands to see them! Other great islands for whale watching are Maui and Kauai .
The best time to see whales on Maui is November through May when thousands of North Pacific Humpback whales grace Hawaiian waters during their annual winter migration. At 25 to 40 tons, Pacific Humpback whales are the fifth largest whale species in the world. They’re a spectacular sight to behold!
North Pacific Humpback Whales (Kohola) arrive in Hawaii after their journey from Alaska sometime from November to May, with most sightings January to March, making February the peak time. The more than 3,000-mile journey is believed to take as little as 36 days up to 4-6 weeks one-way.
Species of Whales In Hawaii Humpback Whales . Hawaii Population Estimate: 10,000. False Killer Whales . Hawaii Population Estimate: 150. Melon Headed Whales. Hawaii Population Estimate: 2,950. Short Finned Pilot Whales . Length: 12-24 ft. Sperm Whales . Hawaiian Population Estimate: 7,082. Dwarf Sperm Whales . Orca. Pygmy Killer Whales .
Maui is a top whale – watching spot for boat-based viewing; in fact, it is one of the best in the world. While Maui is the best location for humpback whale spotting , the other islands also see many whales in season . There are fabulous whale watching tours on Kauai, the island of Oahu , and off the shores of Big Island.
Sun protection—When watching whales always be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect your skin and eyes. Make sure your hat and sunglasses are secure so they won’t get lost. Polarized sunglasses are the best type to use for whale watching , but any sunglasses will be helpful.
Whales are out and about doing their thing day and night, so whether you go out in the morning, afternoon or evening you ‘ll always have a great chance of seeing whales and other marine wildlife.
People always want to know if whale watching is better in the morning or the afternoon . To be completely honest there is really no ‘better time. ‘ As a general rule, the ocean is calmer in the mornings . However this is not always true!
( Orca Whales ) A pod of four Killer Whales , Orca Whales , was found by Cascadia Research Collective on Friday 11/1/13 off the coast of Kona Hawaii . Killer whales are one of 18 marine mammals found in the Hawaiian Waters however many of these are rare and never seen.
There are four shark species common in Hawai’i. They are the white reef tip, black reef tip, sandbar and scalloped hammerhead shark. Occasionally there are tiger shark sightings. Tiger sharks are considered aggressive to humans.
Generally, the best weather in Hawaii can be experienced in June, July and September. This is when travelers can expect the least amount of rainfall along with warm water temperatures. However, Hawaii has pretty great weather year -round (after all, the Aloha State experiences only two seasons).
Maui Nui Basin
Blue whales are one of the rarest whales to be seen in Hawaii , and most confirmations are not sightings but sound recordings of their songs (their call is the loudest animal sound in the world) around the islands throughout the year.
Whales in June For those who wonder about the whales we always say the main season of the humpback whales around Maui is mid December to mid April..that is when most companies do their whale watches with a few that go to the end of April.
The Kona -Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the Humpback Whales ‘ favorite spots. Whales can be seen in such high concentrations in these waters that they were designated as part of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Image courtesy of NOAA.