Our Latest News

New lease of life for original lighthouse vents

15/05/2018

As part of the ongoing conservation of the Cape Bruny and Maatsuyker Island lighthouses, a team effort has been underway to restore the original bronze vents from the lighthouses' lantern rooms.More

Record visitor numbers at Highfield Historic Site

09/05/2018

Visitation numbers at Highfield Historic Site in Stanley have reached a record high, with 12,535 people visiting in the 12 months ending March 2018.More

Cradle Mountain shuttle bus tender awarded

08/05/2018

A new bus fleet featuring environmentally friendly technology and vehicles with improved accessibility and increased capacity will help to meet increasing visitor numbers following the awarding of the tender to McDermott Coaches.More

Southern Right Whale Dolphin

Drawing by Graham Sanders
This strange looking dolphin lacks a dorsal fin, as does the Right Whale. The Southern Right Whale Dolphin is a conspicuous black and white colour with the upper parts black with white flank, face, flippers and flukes. It has a small distinct beak and slim body weighing just over 100kg and about 3m in length. The average group size is around 50 animals but they can be in pods up to 1000. They often swim with other whales and dolphins including Pilot Whales, baleen whales and Common Dolphins. They can travel at speeds up to 25km/hr with bouncing leaps and lobtails.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
Southern Right Whale Dolphins are a southern hemisphere species and in some places have a year round occurrence. They are considered abundant in South America. They are usually found well offshore or in association with upwellings. Calves are less than 1m long at birth usually born in November to April and they reach maturity at about 2m in length.

Stranding Information

Most mass strandings of Southern Right Whale Dolphins are from outside Australia and up to 77 animals have stranded at one time. They have stranded singly off Tasmania at least five times. In 2004 one live stranded off Nubeena and there have been several Tasmanian sightings of them free swimming in the south and south east, as well as off New Zealand.