Our Latest News

Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Maintaining vigilance with campfires

03/11/2017

Parks and Wildlife Service staff have thanked the many campers who have heeded the restrictions placed on campfires and pot fires, but ask that park and reserve visitors continue to take care while the fire risk remains high in certain areas of the State.More

Fin Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
Also known as the Finback, the Fin Whale has a tall, falcate dorsal fin about two thirds of the way down its body. It has a sleek streamlined body with a V-shaped head, often with several light grey V-shaped chevrons behind the head. The body is distinctively coloured: black or dark brown grey above and white below. They also have a distinctive asymmetric colouring of the jaw where the right jaw is white whilst the left jaw is dark. The southern hemisphere Fin Whales are a subspecies Balaenoptera physalus quoyi and its status is vulnerable. They can occasionally be spotted off both the east and west coasts of Tasmania. Their winter migration pattern is unknown. Like the Blue Whale they can live up to 90 or so years. They reach up to 26m in length.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
Fin Whales feed on krill and small fish and can be in small groups of up to 10 animals which do not appear to be closely bonded. Known as the greyhounds of the ocean they average speeds of around 17km per hour over distances of twenty thousand kilometres per year as they travel from the Antarctic to the tropics. They make the lowest frequency sound in nature which can be heard by other Fin Whales thousands of kilometres away.

Stranding Information

There are no records of live strandings of Fin Whales from Australia and stranding events are very rare. There is at least one from Victoria, two each from South Australia and Western Australia and three from Tasmania.