Witness the giants

Reasons why you should go whale watching in Hervey Bay.

Witnessing a 15m humpback whale slowly emerge to the surface of the ocean is a truly unforgettable experience.

Every year, between mid-July and November, the  town of Hervey Bay becomes a playground for thousands of Humpback whales as they make their journey from the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica.

Hervey Bay waters are protected by World Heritage-listed Fraser Island – which makes it the perfect place for these 40 tonne wild animals to put on a show for tourists.

Tourists can witness the friendly giants on a whale watching tour with one of the local operators during the “whale season”.

Experience breaches, fin slaps, spy hops and muggings of the boat – when the whales swim around the boat in curiosity.

If seeing the whales isn’t exciting enough, some vessels also have sound systems through which passengers can hear the whales sing to each other beneath the ocean.

There’s also a high chance you will encounter other marine life including dolphins, turtles and, occasionally, dugongs.

Locals celebrate the arrival of the whales with the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival, a 10-day festival highlighting the importance of the ocean and promoting marine life in the Fraser Coast region. 

This year, the festival will kick off on August 11 with events including:

  1. The Blessing of the Fleet
    The Fraser Coast’s famous fleet of whale watch boats will be blessed in a century’s old tradition at Hervey Bay Marina to ensure a safe season.
  2. The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival
    A seafood festival, hosted by the local fishing industry, with live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and prizes.
  3. The Whale Parade and Concert
    A fleet of floats will fill the streets to represent the humpback’s annual migration.
  4. Paddle Out for Whales
    Locals and tourists will paddle out to sea on a kayak for one minute’s silence to highlight efforts made to protect the marine environment.
    Hervey Bay Ocean Festival

Humpback whale facts

  • Humpback whales sleep with one eye open.
  • They can stop blood flow to certain parts of their body.
  • Sound is a more dominant sense than sight.
  • They are conscious breathers and decide when to reach the surface for air.
  • Their brain is much larger and more complex than the human brain.
  • They can make sound frequencies higher and lower than humans can hear.

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