The Humpback whale is the most iconic whale found in Australia. Each winter in the southern hemisphere Humpback whales migrate north from the cold Antarctic feeding grounds to the warmer waters of the east coast of Australia. The Gold Coast whale watching has become known as one of the premier whale watching locations with Humpback whales getting as close as just 1 or 2km from the shore. The other unique advantage the Gold Coast has is its geographic location, which see whales pass by all season as the Humpback whales head in both directions, north and south.
This annual migration event offers a spectacular opportunity to witness the acrobatic display of Humpback whales as they frolic in the warmer sub-tropical waters where they mate and give birth. Witnessing such an event is made even more special due to the fact that this beautiful mammal was once hunted for their oil and whalebone, bringing them to the verge of extinction.
The Humpback whale feeds only in summer in the polar waters of the Antarctic. In the southern winter they migrate up to 10,000km to breed and give birth in sub-tropical or tropical waters such as the waters directly offshore from the Gold Coast. During their migration the whales rest and socialise and in the winter fasting months the Humpback whales live of their fat reserves.
The annual Australian Humpback whale migration can begin as early as April varying from year to year depending on things like water temperature, Antarctic ice, predators and quality of feeding grounds. The cold waters of the Antarctic winter force the whales to make their way north towards warmer sub-tropical and tropical waters.
The migration is typically led by young males and followed by pregnant cows and cow and calf pairs and can happen as early as April when their food source become scarce. The warmer northern waters also provide a perfect breeding ground and environment for new born calves who may not survive in the winter cold of the Antarctic waters. Humpback whales return to the Antarctic waters in mid-spring around October.
The adult Humpback whale can range from 12 to 16 metres in length and weigh around 36,000kg. They get their name from their long pectoral fins, knobby head and arched back when they dive. Their distinctive whale songs can last hours and be heard hundreds of kilometres away. Scientists believe the whale song is to communicate with other humpback whales and to attract a potential mate. The trademark black and white markings found on the underside of the Humpback whale is as unique to each whale as a fingerprint.
You can enjoy this spectacular natural event in the comfort of our fully equipped modern catamaran built specifically for the purpose of whale watching. Whale Watching Cruise Deals are also available.
Child: $30 (4 to 14 years)
Everyday 9.00am – 11.30am (check-in from 8.30am)
Saturday & Sunday 1.30pm – 4.00pm (check-in from 1.00pm)