Australia's first Indigenous-owned and operated whale tours

Witness giant humpback whales migrate through the waters off Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay.

For the first time, Australians and international visitors can experience whale watching tours in the Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island waters from Brisbane.

The Yalingbila Tours will be first Indigenous-owned and operated ecotours to launch from Brisbane city and will be managed by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC).

Whale watchers will be able to board the 24-metre SeaLink Rocket catamaran twice a week from Brisbane’s South Bank between mid-July to October for full-day tours.

While travelling along the Brisbane River and into Moreton Bay’s waters, guests can participate in cultural activities such as weaving and hear the Indigenous history of the Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions.

Quandamooka elders, songmen and storytellers, together with a ranger, will guide the tours, sharing Quandamooka people’s ancient connection to humpback whales, marine life and the land.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said it was a globally sought-after experience to witness whales at play and learn Indigenous culture.

“This will be a truly memorable trip with storytellers of the world’s oldest living culture telling their story of the whales, while guiding guests out to see them,” Mr Costello said.

“It is a unique Australian cultural and wildlife experience.”

The full-day tours will cruise along the ‘humpback highway’ where an estimated 28,000 humpback whales pass within 10km of the coast off Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) during their migration from June to November.

There are opportunities to see dolphins at play, turtles, manta ray, stingrays and, if you’re lucky, a dugong.

Information collected on the tours will also contribute to global whale conservation, research and education in a partnership with the University of Queensland.