Hervey Bay has just been named the world’s first Whale Heritage Site, recognising it as the best place in the world for sustainable whale watching. And whale watching in Hervey Bay certainly doesn’t disappoint!
Every year humpback whales migrate up from Antarctica to Queensland, Australia to have their babies, as the water is too cold for the young in the icy waters.
The relatively calm Hervey Bay provides good shelter for mothers and their calves, and so it is a popular stop-off point before they continue their journey either north or south.
While at other whale watching places the whales are usually just passing by on their migration, Hervey Bay is unique as it is an area where whales choose to hang out for a few days.
Heading south back to Antarctica, the whales use the calm conditions here to strengthen up the calves and teach them some life skills needed to survive on their long journey back home.
This offers an excellent opportunity to view these magnificent sea creatures up close in their natural habitat, making for a really memorable day trip.
We had been whale watching before but Hervey Bay whale watching was a whole new magical experience and was one of the highlights of visiting Fraser Island.
On our Hervey Bay Whale Watching tour, we were lucky enough to come across a mother and her calf, and also a larger male who was acting as their ‘escort’. (Whales often form temporary pods like this during migration).We spent a good couple of hours with the trio, and during this time they swam around our boat several times.
They were super curious, and whenever our captain killed the engine, they would swim up and around and under our boat for a closer look, giving us an amazing opportunity to get a really good look at them.
But the real treat was left til the end. Just as we were about to take our leave, the large male put on a spectacular breaching show, leaping into the air several times and demonstrating his strength and dexterity.
If you have the opportunity to go whale watching in Hervey Bay – do it!
What is the best time to visit Hervey Bay?
The Hervey Bay whale watching season runs from July – November every year. The best time to see mothers and calves, is August-September. We visited in October and still had this magical experience. There are less whales to be seen at the beginning and end of the season.
Can you swim with whales in Hervey Bay?
Some whale watching tours from Hervey Bay do allow you to swim with the whales. This is only usually at the beginning of the season when the whales are migrating north, as they don’t encourage getting into the water when there are calves present.
Where do I get the boat for whale watching at Hervey Bay?
The boats for Hervey Bay whale tours depart from Urangan Boat Harbour in Hervey Bay. Most tour companies will provide a shuttle bus to collect you from your accommodation. Hervey Bay Whale Watch also offer a pick up at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island.
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Disclaimer: Mum on the Move were guests of Hervey Bay Whale Watch and Kingfisher Bay Resort for the purposes of writing this review. This in no way affects our review, and all opinions, as always are honest and our own.