“Each year from late July through to early November, the mighty humpback whales take time out from their annual migration for a bit of R&R in the protected waters of Hervey Bay.”
It’s a time to celebrate these magnificent mammals of the deep and there is no better place to experience their antics and their awesome size than close up on a whale-watching cruise.
Rising majestically from the calm blue waters the massive shape of a humpback whale surges in an awesome display of its size and strength, lifting its entire body from the water before crashing back into the sea with a massive splash. All just a bit of fun for the frolicking whales and a wonderful spectacle for the thousands of visitors who flock to Queensland’s Fraser Coast between July and November to spend a few days at Australia’s Whale Watching Capital – Hervey Bay.
A fleet of vessels provide a selection of whale watching tours during the season and visitors can choose from either a dawn, morning, afternoon, three-quarter-day or full-day tours with informative commentary, marine interpretation, refreshments and lunch depending on the time of tours.
Despite their enormous size, humpbacks are one of the more active whales, performing a variety of behaviours from the simple ‘blow’ to tail slapping, waving their pectoral fins, or best of all, the spectacular ‘breach’, the most prized of subjects for every visitor armed with a camera. Whale watching season provides an ideal focus for a short break holiday to enjoy all of the offerings of Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast with the guarantee you’ll have a whale of a time!
The clean clear waters of the Hervey Bay Marine Park are sheltered from the South-Easterly trade winds by Fraser Island, generally providing lake-like conditions and superb viewing opportunities. It is not uncommon for thirty or more whales to be present at one time in the whale watching area, providing a feast of spectacular displays of breaching, tail flapping and torso slapping, leaving the visitor with lasting memories.
History of whale watching in Hervey Bay
The fact that Humpback whales entered the waters of Hervey Bay each year was no secret. Often a radio call to the Air Sea Rescue was overheard reporting the position of whales and a warning of danger for the faster smaller vessels on the water. Occasionally people would stop for a quick look, but generally the whales had been regarded as part of the environment and taken for granted along with the dolphins and thousands of dugongs.
Then at some point through the 1980’s the world re-discovered whales.
Tremendous interest began to be shown by both the public and media in wanting to see the whales which appeared in the Bay between the end of July to the beginning of November, (the now established season). has now grown to over eighteen vessels of various types and sizes with many purpose built for whale watching.