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Hervey Bay Whale Watching

Home > Queensland > Animals and Wildlife | Tours | Outdoor | Day Trips
by Where I Holiday (subscribe)
Writer, adventurer and wrangler to little people and pets. Follow me on Instagram @whereiholiday.
Published January 28th 2013
Get up close and personal with nature's gentle giants
Hervey Bay, located 3 ½ hours north of Brisbane, is billed as the whale watching capital of the world. It is considered one of the best spots to observe humpback whales, and their calves, as they migrate along the east coast of Australia.

whale watching, whales, hervey bay
Whale watching, Hervey Bay

The best time to experience whale watching in Hervey Bay is from August to the end of October. While whales can be seen during July, this is often referred to as whale "spotting" season and your chances of seeing a whale or pod of whales is lower.

whale watching, whales, hervey bay
Whale watching at Hervey Bay

Whales use Hervey Bay as a resting ground during their migration. This makes Hervey Bay unique in that the whales are not just in transit, they are here to rest, play and teach their young how to navigate the more treacherous waters of their journey.

The relative protection of Hervey Bay also makes it an ideal spot to see the whales. Rather than the sometimes rough open water, you are in the protected waters of the bay between the Australian mainland and world heritage listed Fraser Island.

whale watching, whales, hervey bay
Urangan Boat Harbour

There are a variety of tour operators and you are certain to find one that suits your schedule and budget. All vessels depart from the Urangan Boat Harbour and many tours offer a shuttle service from your accommodation. Most vessels comfortably accommodate children and, as we unfortunately discovered, the staff quickly spring into action should anyone suffer from motion sickness.

whale watching, whales, hervey bay
Unique experience for children

Some vessels offer an underwater viewing area which can give you an up close interaction with the whales. Tour operators are required to stop 300 metres from the whales- but the whales are allowed to move about as they please. They are quite curious and will often come close to the boat which allows for a truly awesome experience.

whale watching, whales, hervey bay
Up close and personal with Whales

While whale sightings are not guaranteed, the tour operators at Hervey Bay are very experienced and use a range of spotting techniques to ensure you have the best possible chance of seeing whales. You may get to see a more playful pod with some whales breaching and tail slapping. Or you may just get to see these gentle giants gracefully cruising through the water.

Whale watching season is extremely popular and it is advised that you book your accommodation and tours well in advance to avoid disappointment.
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Why? You will have a whale of a tale to share with your friends
When: August- October
Where: Hervey Bay, Queensland
Cost: Varies by tour operator
Your Comment
congratulations on getting to 50 articles, I've been enjoying reading them
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 3792 days ago
Thanks Claire, these milestones are great motivation aren't they?!
by Where I Holiday (score: 2|338) 3791 days ago
Hi @where I holiday, am a huge fan of Hervey Bay whale watching tours especially the smaller boats! Have just published an article with a link to this one, thanks kate
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1501) 2514 days ago
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