Killer Whales of Eastern Australia

Collaboration is the key

Sightings of killer whales along the Australian coastline are infrequent, therefore sharing of information is paramount if we wish to build a well-informed understanding of this species in Australian waters. 


Who Are We?

The Founders and Administrators of Killer Whales Australia are:

David M. Donnelly, Josh D. McInnes, Dr. Margie Morrice and Courtney Andrews

Killer Whales Australia (KWA) was first established in 1994 as the Southern Ocean Orca Database (SOOD) and has since broadened its scope to include the whole of Australia. Due to the transient nature of Australia’s killer whale population(s), KWA relies almost exclusively on accepting sightings information and images from fellow researchers as well as using a Citizen Science approach. Our network of citizen scientists includes charter operators, the fishing community, wildlife management groups, maritime organisations and the general public. Using these donations of data and imagery, it is our aim to build a database. 

This document has been made possible through the generous donation of over 3,000 digital and film images by our Citizen Science network members. So far the Killer Whales Australia (KWA) team has scrutinised 3,332 images taken from 139 sightings. These images were all collected from the east coast of Australia over a 32 year period. 

To Report a Sighting

Call 0401 011 022


Tonga Whale Swims

Join an unforgettable experience, swimming with whales in Tonga. This ethically-run tour is led by David Donnelly and endorsed by the Australian Dolphin Research Institute: "Dave’s commitment to the welfare and understanding of the whales, combined with his gift as a skipper and guide, make his whale swims a standout ethical ecotourism experience that I am delighted to recommend." - Jeff Weir, Executive Director, Dolphin Research Institute.

Killer Whales in Indonesia

Raja Ampat, Whale Macro-cruise, Feb 2017

In 2017, our friends at Wildiaries are running a trip with 10 full days of whale and dolphin-watching, snorkeling and photography on board the Pindito off Raja Ampat, an area renowned for its whales and dolphins. This program is led by founder, photography and whale and dolphin expert Simon Mustoe and Sea Turtle Foundation’s Tim Harvey. It offers a rare opportunity to encounter rarely seen whales and dolphins including Killer Whales, Pilot Whales, Sperm Whales, Bryde's whales, Spinner and Pan-tropical Spotted Dolphins.