The whales are here

From June to November, experience the aquatic acrobatics and majestic presence of the humpback whales as they travel through the waters of the Sunshine Coast. 

The whales are here

Get up close to experience their breathtaking breaches, loud tail and pec slaps and tail lobs as they make their way up and down the coast.

This year more than 22,000 humpbacks are expected to make the migration north from Antarctica starting in about March, arriving in Queensland by June and returning south from September to November. 

After eating up to four ton of krill and small fish a day each in the Antarctic over summer, the Humpbacks migrate to the warmer northern waters which provide perfect temperatures to give birth to their calves in the sheltered waters of Queensland’s coastline.

The Sunshine Coast benefits from a longer whale watching season as the whales make the 10,000km journey along the Australian coastline to Antarctica, newborn calves in tow, and then pass by again as they head south to the Arctic.

Sunshine Coast Afloat

Sunshine Coast Afloat

It’s a special sight to spot these creatures with the tell-tale spout, tail slapping or breaching a full body from the water.

Where to see the whales

You can witness these graceful giants from several vantage points on land along the coast:

  • Point Perry or Point Arkwright,
  • Point Cartwright,
  • Moffat Headland,
  • Dolphin Point,
  • Alexandra Headland

To head out on the water and get even closer to these graceful giants, try a whale watching tour with Whale One, Elite Sailing, Adventure Rafting or Sunshine Coast Afloat. These tour companies operate regularly during the season from Mooloolaba.

Whale watching Sunshine Coast style.

Whale watching Sunshine Coast style.

The opportunity to swim with a humpback whale is a rare and very special one – something that people who have experienced it have described as “life changing”.  If you want to get up really close with the whales in their natural environment, you can you can even swim with these beauties from July to October thanks to Sunreef. They offer four-hour day trips for up to 20 participants and provide all participants with wetsuits and snorkelling equipment. 

Sunreef Whale Swim Tours

Sunreef Whale Swim Tours

The Sunshine Coast also offers many other immersive animal encounters that you can dive right into! Why not try swimming with rescued seals at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast or kayak with dolphins with the team from Epic Ocean Adventures.

Kayak with Epic Ocean Adventures and you may have a close encounter of the humpback kind.

Kayak with Epic Ocean Adventures and you may have a close encounter of the humpback kind.