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Get ready for a whale of a time on the Sunshine Coast

Get ready for a whale of a time on the Sunshine Coast

From June to November, majestic humpback whales tavel through the waters of the Sunshine Coast - and sometimes they put on a show!

Get ready for a whale of a time on the Sunshine Coast

This whale season, 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
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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.

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

Whale watching Sunshine Coast style.
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Whale watching Sunshine Coast style.

For a whale watching tour with a difference, head out with Saltwater Eco Tours on a Cultural Whale Watching tour, departing Mooloolaba.

The two-hour experience is led by and Indigenous guide who shares cultural songs, ancient stories and deep connection to these majestic ocean dwellers as they migrate through Sunshine Coast waters.

The experience is run collaboratively with local business Adventure Rafting on board their vessel specially equipped with HD underwater cameras and an underwater hydrophone to live stream the whales as they play and sing.

A whale of a time with Adventure Rafting
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A whale of a time with Adventure Rafting

Why not jump in and have a swim?!

There are very few opportunities in life where you can come face-to-face with a humpback whale. If you want to get up really close with the whales in their natural environment, you can you can 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. 

Getting ready to swim with the Whales with Sunreef
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Getting ready to swim with the Whales with Sunreef

What happens next is 100 per cent on the whales’ own terms, but one thing is certain, it is an experience you will never forget.

Sunreef Whale Swim Tours
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Sunreef Whale Swim Tours

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

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

Explore places mentioned in this guide