Are you planning a trip to the Gold Coast in the winter or spring months? Don't miss the opportunity to witness the beautiful humpback whales on their annual migration. Whale watching on the Gold Coast is a popular family activity, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
Here's everything you need to know before you embark on a whale watching cruise, from when to go, what to prepare and what to expect.
There are several whale watching cruises that operate on the Gold Coast. Different cruises will offer a range of experiences, including morning, afternoon, and sunset tours. Prices vary depending on the duration and inclusions of the tour.
The best time to see whales on the Gold Coast is from June to early November, where you can witness these gentle giants breaching, tail slapping, and playing in the water. From June to July, humpback whales migrate north from Antarctica to the warmer waters of Queensland before starting to return in August. This time of the year is known as the “crossover period” when many whales are still switching to the north, whilst others are returning south back to Antarctica for the summer.
While it is common to see whales during these times, it is important to keep in mind that whale sightings are not guaranteed, as they are wild animals that can be unpredictable.
Both morning and afternoon whale watching tours offer great opportunities to see whales. However, weather conditions can affect the visibility of the whales. Morning tours tend to have calmer seas, which can make it easier to spot whales. Afternoon tours can be a better option if you want to witness the sunset while watching the whales.
While there's no guarantee that you'll see whales on a whale watching tour, the odds are generally in your favour. The Gold Coast has a high rate of whale sightings, with humpback whales being the most common species spotted. In the unlikely case you miss out on sighting whales on your tour, you could be entitled to a free or discounted cruise next time. We recommend reading the product’s T&Cs before booking to find out more.
Whale watching is a must-do activity for anyone looking for fun things to do on the Gold Coast. Remember to dress warmly, bring a camera, and keep your eyes peeled for these incredible creatures of the sea.