Every year July to November, thousands of humpback whales make the journey up the east coast of Australia to the warmer waters of Queensland in order to calve, mate & play. For reasons unknown, they like to have a length pit stop in Hervey Bay, a large inlet between the mainland and Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
This is one of the best places in Australia to see whales up close doing their thing. We chose to go with Blue Dophin tours. Their sailing catamaran is a bit smaller than some of the high speed boats, so offers a bit more of an intimate experience.
We were lucky to have a very calm day with the whales, and we saw plenty! They weren’t in a hurry so we were able to get quite close and see them frolicking. At one point the captain shut off the boat’s engine and we could hear 2 males singing to each other (only the males sing)! It was an amazing thing to hear, they have quite a complex range of noises. The tour leader put a microphone into the water that was attached to a speaker, in order to amplify the whale song, it was unreal!
We saw whales breaching, fin slapping, spy hopping, tail slapping and at one point one of them swam directly under our boat and popped up on the other side. The video below doesn’t quite do the experience justice! But it gives you and idea.
This was one of the most enjoyable organised tours I’ve every done. I’ve decided to join my mum in returning every year, to try and get a little bit closer each time. If you ever get a chance to go to Hervey Bay, I would highly recommend it!
If you listen carefully in the video below, you can hear them grunting when they surface, they were really quite loud!
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