Thousands of visitors flock to the east coast of Australia every humpback whale annual migration season. It is because Hervey Bay in the Fraser Coast is considered THE world’s whale-watching capital. A level of up close and personal interaction with the whales is always an astounding experience that will never be matched from watching them ashore.
The natural curiosity of the humpback whales as they swim along the boat tours is always a delightful and memorable experience for anyone. Humpback whales are also naturally friendly with humans, making them roll on their backs for a closer look.
Best months for whale-watching
June or July is the month whales begin to arrive on Hervey Bay. The restful and calm waters of Hervey Bay make them the ideal places for the whales to breed, birth, and teach adult behaviour to their offspring.
Between August and September offers sights of more than 1000 humpback whales making their way to Hervey Bay.
A five or 10-day rest is taken by the whales in the Bay before embarking on their long journey to Antarctica.
The best months for the whale-watching season, Hervey Bay includes:
The whale-watching season officially starts on Hervey Bay in July. Some of the festivals celebrated in July include:
- Paddle Out for Whales participated by hundreds of people using bright inflatables, surfboards, and kayaks to paddle out to the bay. This is to raise awareness for the welfare and conservation of whales.
- Blessing out of the Fleet
- Hervey Bay Seafood Festival
The month of August offers the best whale-watching experience for people to watch the whales that do not take part in the breeding cycle.
Mid-August to Mid-September
These are the peak months to see the largest appearance of whales on the bay.
Mother whales with new offspring make their appearance during September.
Swimming with the Whales
One of the new experiences added by the various boat tours in Hervey Bay is swimming with the whales. Things to expect from the swimming with the whales include:
- Only ten people are allowed to swim with the whales
- The experience depends on two factors: the mood of the whales and the weather
- A distance of 100 metres from the whales is required. The waiting time for whales to approach could be a cold experience. You could count yourself lucky if you happen to get the attention of a curious whale.
- The activity is suspended during the months when mothers and calves make their appearance. It is because swimming close to the calves is not allowed.
- It’s always best to ask an operator if they provide wetsuits for the activity as some don’t.
There’s a wide degree of comfort when it comes to whale-watching cruises. Sharing the cruise with 200 people is a whole different story compared to sharing the experience with only 12 people. The things to consider when choosing your cruise experience include:
- Larger vessels offering activities to occupy children are the best choice for people travelling with children.
- It’s always more comfortable to walk along with the spacious decks of large vessels.
- Afternoon cruises are often offered at discounted prices.
Going on Queenslands leading whale watching tour should always be part of your to-do list if you visit this part of the world.