Whale-watching on the Sunshine Coast
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Whale breaching in front of Mount Coolum with Sunreef Mooloolaba

This whale season, get up close to experience the breathtaking breaches, tail lobs, and pec slaps of our magnificent humpbacks as they make their way up and down the coast. 

As the first place in Australia to offer the swim-with-whales experience, we’re in the prime spot to offer some of the best whale watching in Australia – from boats, vantage points on the coast, and even in the water.  

The Humpback Highway

Whale watching with Adventure Rafting
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Whale watching with Adventure Rafting

What makes the Sunshine Coast so special for whale-watching? Here, the official season kicks off from June and typically runs all the way through to the end of October. Each year, after feeding up on krill and fish in the waters of Antarctica over summer, thousands of humpback whales make the migration north to give birth to their calves in the sheltered waters of Queensland’s coastline. These young calves then join in on the journey home (so make sure to keep an extra eye out towards the end of the season!).  

Our proximity to the coastline and the ‘humpback highway’ means we benefit from a longer whale-watching season – allowing you plenty of time to witness these gentle giants along the way.   

Whale watching by boat

Join a tour and see the whales up close
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Join a tour and see the whales up close

For a classic whale-watching adventure, head out on a tour with Whale One, Adventure Rafting or Cavalier Cruises. These tour companies operate regularly during the season from the convenient coastal town of Mooloolaba

Staying a little further north? You’ll also find several fabulous tours operating from the sparkling waters off Noosa. Enjoy the padded seating and 360-degree views on Noosa Thriller Ocean Adventure's purpose-built vessel, make the most of up-close-and-personal vantage point from Noosa Oceanrider's sleek 12-seater boat, or hop aboard with the team from Noosa Wave Boating Adventures for a fabulous whale-watching experience.   

Swimming with whales

Swim with the whales - Sunreef. Credit: Tourism Australia
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Swim with the whales - Sunreef. Credit: Tourism Australia

Step out of the boat and into the Pacific Ocean for an experience you’ll never forget. Share the sea with our humpback whales on their epic migration and experience a side to these spectacular mammals that’ll have you making lifetime memories.  

There are very few spots where you can come face-to-face with a humpback whale... and the Sunshine Coast is one of them. Swim with these beauties from July to October on a tour with Sunreef or Noosa Wave Boating Adventures.   

Spotting whales from the shore  

If you’d rather stay on dry land, there are an abundance of opportunities to witness these graceful giants on their migration. Whether you feel like strolling along the beach and watching tail slaps near the horizon, or heading to one of our numerous coastal lookouts, you’re in the best place to score a sighting! Favourite local spots include Point Perry in Coolum, Point Cartwright, Moffat Headland, Dolphin Point Lookout (Noosa), and Alexandra Headland.