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Planning on visiting the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve? Looking for the perfect place to stay? Here are some things to keep in mind before making your booking.

As you can see in the map, the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve refers to the off shore marine protected zone stretching form the town of Witless Bay to Bauline East. It’s easy to make a mistake, thinking the town of Witless Bay is in the middle of the Ecological Reserve, but that’s not the case at all. The town of Witless Bay is where the fish plant, elementary school, and fire hall reside, and it’s the largest town on the southern shore of the Avalon peninsula. Larger whale watching tours leave from both Witless Bay as well as the industrial port of Bay Bulls purely because of the deep harbor and port infrastructure. These large tour boats, some of which can accommodate close to one hundred guests, can’t load their passengers anywhere else. Once on board, all boats venture into the middle of the ecological reserve between green island and great island. That’s where you find the whales, puffins, and biodiversity the ecological reserve is famous for. The big boats of Bay Bulls and Witless Bay are great for big groups, special events, and party tours. Departures are frequent and happen in most weather conditions.

If you’re most interested in whales, puffins, seabirds, nature, and wildlife, the middle of the ecological reserve is where you want to be.

The layout of Mobile Bay and Tors Cove is ideal for spawning capelin and therefore ideal for whales and puffins. Whales are active throughout the summer, and it’s possible to see whales in any Newfoundland bay, but areas like Mobile and Tors Cove are where they concentrate and feed all summer long. Just go stand on the beach in witless bay for 5 min and count how many whales you see and then repeat the same process on Mobile Beach. It’s not even comparable. Same thing goes for puffins and seabirds. The closer you are to the middle of the reserve, the higher the biodiversity is.

If you’re looking for hiking, the most interesting parts of the east coast trail range from Mobile to La Manche. That’s where you find tinker’s point, the suspension bridge, and then abandoned village of La Manche. It’s possible to start your hike from the communities of Bay Bulls and Witless Bay, but if you do, a big part of your hike will take you along the southern shore highway as you connect between the communities of Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, and Mobile. Start your hike in Mobile, however, and you can connect all parts of your hike via the east coast trail.

Boat tours that leave the communities of Mobile and Bauline are on smaller boats (20 to 30 passenger max) that can navigate shallower waters. This means it’s easier to get close to where the whales are, and closer to the puffin and seabird colonies. If you’re looking for a party cruise with 80 people, taking a large vessel from Bay Bulls or Witless Bay is your best choice, but if whales, puffins, nature, and wildlife is what you came to see, you’re much better off going with a smaller tour operator and in a smaller group. Small boat operators tend to focus more wildlife, smaller boats are less likely to scare away whales, and they can generally go further and explore more.

Staying at the Whale House Guest House isn’t for everyone, but it might be perfect for you, Our quiet atmosphere, whale watching deck, and organic garden is perfect for seniors, families, children, and outdoor adventurers. We offer an experience that off the beaten bath, right in the middle of the ecological reserve, and close to everything. We don’t have space for 30 guests, and the small whale watching tour that departs three times daily from the end of our lane doesn’t offer a booze cruise of group party experience, so if you’re looking for that, Whale House may not be a good fit for you. We do, however, offer the best views, the best organic strawberries from our organic garden, and the best whale watching, wildlife viewing, hiking, and sightseeing opportunities in the area. I guess what we’re saying it, it depends what you’re looking for.

Give us a call or email us about your upcoming trip we would be happy to give you a run down on your options and the best way to enjoy the area.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi,
    We are planing to go to Saint John’s next year in june and we would know if this is a good time seeing whales in this area: Bay Bulls, Bauline East,.
    Thanks and we are looking forward to have your answer.

    1. Hi Alfred, yeah, June is a decent time. If you want to come in July or August you’d be taking less of a chance. There are a lot of factors involved with Whales and their timelines … June is good … but July is better.

      I hope that answers your question

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About Us

Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.

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