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Whales in Paradise

Home > Gold Coast > Animals and Wildlife
by Beth McGowan (subscribe)
I am a British traveller with a love for writing, photography, and fun! Hoping to share some of my experiences with the world. :)
Published September 24th 2012
My boyfriend and I were looking to do a whale watching tour before the season ended, we asked around Surfers Paradise discount ticket booths and after careful consideration chose 'whales in paradise' and also got an 'Adults for Kids prices.' Bonus.

The day started off with a tour along the Nerang River for the free 'Rich and Famous' tour. The houses were stunning and made me very jealous and resent the fact we were still in a backpackers' plus probably never could afford houses like them anyway. Apart from not actually knowing most of the 'celebs' who lived there, it was a lovely little add on.

Rich and famous tour
I wish...


Open ocean, out of the river and into the sea. I mocked my sea sick boyfriend for buying the $2 tablets the staff provided but there were a couple of times I wish I had, too. Standing at the front in definately the best place to be, for sightings and less vomit.

Straight away we spotted a whale (well my boyfriend did as I did not have my glasses) we pursued it and waited for it to surface... no such luck.

On several occasions there were sightings from a distance but the whales did not want to come and play but the staff did sound like they knew what they were doing and did a good job of keeping everyone entertained with facts and jokes while the search was on.

A couple of dolphins were in much more of a playful spirit and started splashing about and riding in front of the boat which was probably the highlight of my day. This was the closest I've been to dolphins even on previous dolphin tours and got some great photos, plus lightened everyone's mood.

getting a free ride
'Oh look at me I'm a pretty dolphin'


Just as it seemed we wouldn't get a closer look at the whales (and my boyfriend was about to throw me overboard for quoting finding nemo the whole time) we heard a very loud noise which made everyone jump and there right beside the boat by its own accord was a huge humpback whale, and I'm talking huge.

It then swam right up to a pod of about 4 whales who splashed and dived and performed about 40m away. And although it wasn't flipping out of the water like the brochure shows, it was a truly magical experience to see such big creatures up close and in the wild.

Whale pod
Having a whale of a time


The best thing about this company is (bar that they provide tea and biscuits… ) it operates on a small boat. By law companies are not allowed to get any closer to the whales than 100m but luckily for us, the whales are not intimidated by this small boat and chose to come closer to it. Great day had by all, definitely recommend it before the season is over.

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When: Sept-Nov
Where: Surfers Paradise and Brisbane
Cost: $60-85
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