Adventure Cook Islands Dive Centre and Rental Specialist
Winter is humpback whale season in Rarotonga. Every year, humpback whales take on a 4000 mile journey from their feeding grounds in the colder polar waters of the Southern Ocean to the warmer waters of the South Pacific islands, where they mate and give birth. Once the humpback whales leave their feeding grounds, the whales do not feed and rely totally on their fat reserves.
Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, are cetaceans and can weigh up to 40 tons and reach up to 19 meters. These giants are one of the larger rorqual species, which is the largest group of baleen whales. The rorqual, or Balaenopteridae family includes the minke whale and the blue whale, the largest animal on the planet.
The whale season in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands starts in July and goes until October. Most of the whale sightings in Rarotonga are usually in September, however this can vary from year to year.
We treasure the whales that reach our shores on their long journey. As we do not want to disturb the whales, Adventure Cook Islands does not offer any tours or trips designed to see or interact with humpback whales.
During whales season, humpback whale sightings off the beach are common, and there is no need to go on a boat to see the whales.
However, it is possible to spot whales anywhere around the island. Whale sightings off the boat are also very common on any of our dive and snorkel trips. Additionally, there is always a chance of underwater whale encounters when scuba diving during whale season in Rarotonga.
Humpback whales are well known for their beautiful singing, which they use for communication and mating. These sounds can travel for many miles through the water and you can often hear whale singing when scuba diving in Rarotonga during whale season.