Whale of a time

Gentle giants up close on the Gold Coast.

Hervey Bay is well known as the whale watching capital of Australia, but you don’t have to travel far from Brisbane to get up close and personal with the gentle marine giants.

Like humans, Humpback whales are drawn to the warm waters off the Gold Coast each May to November as they migrate from Antarctica to northern Queensland.

The extensive 10,000km return journey along Australia’s east coast provides ample opportunity to spot more than 20,000 Humpbacks in their natural environment.

The Gold Coast’s sheltered waters mean whales swim close to the coastline, making beaches and headlands excellent vantage points for whale watching. Coolangatta, Tweed Head, The Spit, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Byron Bay are known to be among the best sites to spot a Humpback.

Whale Watch Cruise Gold Coast

If you want a close encounter with the friendly sea giants, a number of whale watching cruises operate from the Gold Coast, providing the opportunity to witness the whales at play with tail and fin slaps, spy hops, fluke dives and full breaches.

You may also encounter other marine life including dolphins, turtles, Orcas and dugongs.

Booking a cruise in the second half of the season increases your chances of seeing whale calves when mothers begin the journey back to Antarctica after giving birth in the warm, safe waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Check out Humpback Highway on RACQ Living for more information on Sea World's whale watching experiences and how members can save.