From May to November every year, pods of whales migrate from the freezing waters of Antarctica to the warmer regions of the Queensland coastline.


And for those looking to see these magnificent animals for themselves, there are plenty of amazing whale watching experiences in Queensland.


Hervey Bay was named the world’s first whale heritage site. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.


Hervey Bay

Named the world’s first whale heritage site, Hervey Bay is located 3.5 hours north of Brisbane, and is widely accepted as one of the best places to spot whales in the world. The natural and calm bay makes it a popular resting point for whales on their migration, and by joining one of the many tours on offer, you can get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures.

For a unique experience, visit during the Whale Festival’s Paddle Out for Whales, where hundreds of people float out into the ocean on surfboards and kayaks to raise awareness for the conservation of whales and their marine environment. This year, it’s being held on the 31st July, and there are plenty of other whale-spotting opportunities held over the festival’s duration, including the whale parade with rides, floats, and food honouring the Humpback Whale. For those wanting the most immersive whale watching experience ever, Hervey Bay is the place for you.


Whale watching



Brisbane is home to many local tours and whale spotting opportunities, but Brisbane Whale Watching has to be at the top of the list. Operating for over 25 years, guests can hop aboard the “eye-spy,” captained by Kerry Lopez, who is recognised as the only female captain owning and skippering a whale watching venture in the South Pacific Rim. The “eye-spy” is Brisbane’s only purpose built whale watching vessel, making it perfect for those wanting to witness whales up close.

Plus, choose to embark on a VIP tour for your own private cabin, priority meals, and personal crew, and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Whale breaching. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Whale breaching. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.


Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine coast has many whale-watching experiences not found anywhere else. Visit Sunreef Mooloolaba, the largest dive centre in South East Queensland, for the opportunity to swim with Humpback whales. They provide you with a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit, so all you need to do is suit up and jump in. After a short 15 minute boat ride out to Mooloolaba River, visitors can dive into the water for a chance to swim alongside a migrating whale.

Or, if you’d rather stay warm and dry, hop aboard Sunshine Coast Afloat. You can choose from private or public tours, and secure a place on one of their elegant vessels. The company is known for luxury and comfort, meaning you’ll be in safe hands to sit back, relax, and watch out for passing whales.

To stay on-land, why not visit Moffat Beach Headland? With close by parking, and easy access walkways for prams and wheelchairs, the headland is a convenient and beautiful location. You’ll have an open view of the water to watch the whales as they travel past, and seats are perfectly positioned for some incredible sunset views.


whale watching experiences in Queensland

A glass Bottom boat tour on the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best whale watching experiences in Queensland. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.


Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a popular resting point for Humpback whales due to the warm waters and calm conditions. Here, guests can sign up for the Lady Musgrave Experience, multi-award winning tour operators who offer half-day whale watching tours. They are an advanced Eco Certified company, meaning they operate with minimal environmental impact to give you peace of mind as you embark on your tour.


Loving the sound of these whale watching experiences in Queensland? To check out your options in Sydney, click here.

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