When winter arrives in Hervey Bay all the locals know the Whales are not far away, and we love it! The majestic Humpback Whales make their annual migration along the coastal waters of Southern Queensland. They make their way up the coast from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warmer, tropical waters.
This affords us the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures during their migration. Typically, the whales show up in Hervey Bay from mid of July and some stay right through until November. However this year they have arrived a little ahead of schedule, with the first sighting being 28th June 2017.
It is a very magical experience to see the giants of the sea in their natural form and it you’ve ever contemplated whale watching, but weren’t sure where to do it or why to do it, these 14 reasons will leave you planning your trip to Hervey Bay!
1. Hervey Bay is a beautiful place
There are lots of places you could go whale watching along Queensland’s Coastline, but Hervey Bay is the most beautiful destination of the lot. It takes around 3 1/2 hours to drive to Hervey Bay from Brisbane and it’s a very chilled out coastal town that’s bursting with typical Queensland beauty.
The weather in Hervey Bay is stunning and you can’t help but be blown away by the stunning sunsets, with bright blue skies and the perfect, pristine beaches. As far as coastal destinations go, Hervey bay is one of the best and it also just so happens to be the number one spot for whales to take a rest during their migration.
2. You get up close and personal with the whales
The tour operators know every single inch of Hervey Bay’s stunning waters. They know where the whales are likely to be and they are very experienced at being respectful of these gentle giants. Because of this, they’re able to get in the right spot to get you up close with curious whales. You’ll be amazed by how social and curious these creatures can be. They love putting on a show!
3. The water is the bluest of blue
The scenery all around you is just as incredible. The boat ride out to see the whales will have you sailing past the most picture-perfect spots you can imagine. The water is a vibrant, rich blue and it makes for some amazing photographs. If you aren’t from Queensland or Australia, you’ll be blown away by it. If you’re Queensland born and bred, you’ll be filled with pride at how gorgeous our state is.
4. It’s an incredible way to spend a day
You hit the open water, with nothing but the horizon ahead of you. You cruise past the very famous Fraser Island and gorgeous parts of the coastline. You spend the day out in the fresh sea air, close to some of the biggest, most amazing sea creatures you could ever hope to meet and you get to do it in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. It is a day you will never forget.
5. You gain a newfound respect for nature
If you haven’t been close to a whale before it’s hard to fathom just how large they are. Being that close to them and seeing how gentle they are is out of this world. If you plan to go with kids, it’s a great way to get them excited about learning about marine life and educating them on the importance of conservation.
6. You’ll see more than just whales
There is no doubt you will see Whales! But you’re also likely to spot a few other sea creatures too. We grantee you’ll see a dolphin parading along with the whales or see an entire pod hanging out together. If you’re lucky, they’ll jump and play in front of the ship for you, riding the slipstream and getting a fun, free ride. You’re also in with a shot to spot a dugong or a turtle as well as a few sea birds.
7. Seasickness doesn’t really happen
Hervey Bay is protected by Fraser Island, making our waters calmer. The vessels are well suited to our conditions and it will be smooth sailing. You are assured of having the most magnificent day!
8. It’s so easy and affordable
Whale watching doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg and you really do get good value for money. Most of the tours cover the cruise time, courtesy pick up and/or morning and afternoon tea. This makes the day easy and stress free, straight out on the water, whale watching, then back to the dock.
9. The locals are experts on spotting whales
Our local tour operators are old-hands at spotting whales. They will spot things you most likely wouldn’t even notice! It is amazing how easily and expertly they can spot the whales from a long distance away and also be able to see how many there are and what age they. Most don’t use radar, sonar or any other equipment to find the whales.
10. You get to wave at a whale or two
The whales are very curious and love to come near the boat to have a good old fashioned sticky beak. When they come close to the boat they get even more curious if you wave at them. So you get to hang off the side of the boat, waving frantically at a very big, very curious whale.
11. There’s a chance you could see Mum and Bub
You’ll most likely get to see whales of all ages, but if you’re super lucky you’ll get to see a mother whale and her calf. Understandably mothers are very protective of their young and usually don’t get too close. If you happen to find yourself near a curious Mum and Bub, you may just get the chance to see her teaching the little one a few tricks.
12. You get a holiday
If you’re going up to Hervey Bay, you may as well stay here and make the most of it! We have loads of great places to stay in Hervey Bay. From affordable caravan parks to luxurious apartments. There are heaps of good places to grab a bite to eat, the beaches are beautiful, and there are a heap of fun activities to get into. It’s the perfect spot to spend a week or just a few days away from home.
13. Fraser Island is just a stone’s throw away
If you’re up for an adventure, it’s easy to get over to Fraser Island on the ferry and join up with a tour of the island. There’s so much to see and do over there, we will have to do another article, so you may like to give yourself a few days to explore!
14. There’s plenty of cool stuff for the kids to learn
The Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere is a really cool spot to take the kids. It’s a chance for them to learn about the importance of conserving the land, waterways and the creatures who live in them. They’ll get to play around with microscopes, find Nemo and also learn about the traditional Indigenous owners of the land. The Discovery Sphere have a great video they run which tells the dreamtime story of how Fraser Island came to be.