Whale watching season is coming up, and when it comes to whale watch season, Gold Coast should be your go-to destination! Make this year THE year you’ll have a precious encounter with the ocean’s gentle giants that travel along the “Humpback Highway'' on the East Coast! Read on to know more about whale watching season on the Gold Coast.
When is the whale watching season on the Gold Coast?
Good news for Gold Coasters - we have the most extended whale watching season in all of Australia!
Whale watching season usually runs between June and October. Still, the best time for whale watching on the Gold Coast is during August, when the peak of whale migration happens and mating season occurs along the humpback highway.
The best time for whale watching on the Gold Coast is during the mornings to early afternoons when the sun is overhead so you can take your kids and make a day trip out of it!
What to expect during whale watching season on the Gold Coast?
Besides friendly humpbacks, keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins, Minke whales, and gigantic whale sharks during whale watching season on the Gold Coast! See these social mammals put on a show as you pass by on your whale watching cruise. More than 30,000 whales usually visit the Gold Coast during whale watching season!
What to wear during whale watching season?
Make sure to wear comfortable clothing with warm layers during whale watching season. Since you’ll be staying under the sun for a while, don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
Don’t forget to pack your cameras so you can take snapshots to keep forever. Binoculars are optional, but you can bring one if you want to get a closer look at these magnificent creatures.
Where to go whale watching on the Gold Coast?
The best spots to go during this whale watching season on the Gold Coast are high places where you can get a great vantage point or on cruises where you can get up close with these creatures.
If you want to watch the whale watching season unfold from land, we recommend you head to Burleigh Hill or Elephant Rock in the north or Point Danger Lookout in the south. For whale-watching cruises, Gold Coast offers many day tours that will give you the best views during this whale watching season!
To help you decide how to spend this year’s whale watching season, we curated a list of whale watching cruises and Gold Coast spots you can head to! Check out our list below and discover which whale-watching cruise on the Gold Coast suits you best!
- Sea World Whale Watching Cruise
- Whale Watching Day Trip from Brisbane
- Whale Watching Cruises from Surfers Paradise
- Half-Day Morning Whale Watching Cruise in Fraser Island
Other whale watching spots:
- Burleigh Hill
- Elephant Rock
- Point Danger Lookout
Humpbacks and High-rises is an NGO based on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Since 2011 they have been running Queensland's largest marine mammal monitoring program dedicated to the protection and research of marine mammals.
Their mission is to ensure present and future generations of the community have access to enjoy, appreciate and care for whales and dolphins through research, rescue and education!
1. Sea World Whale Watching Cruise
This whale watching season, make sure you embark on this whale-watching cruise by Sea World Cruises and be assured that you will encounter some of these magnificent creatures during the trip!
Embark on a 2.5-hour cruise aboard Spirit of Migaloo II, a comfortable luxury vessel with three viewing platforms. You’ll get uninterrupted views of the Surfers Paradise skyline, and encounter potential whale shows along the way. Travel with marine experts, and learn fascinating trivia about humpback whales as well as other creatures you’ll see during whale watching season.
Guess what: this tour has a 100% whale sighting guarantee and gives you a free return cruise if you don’t chance upon some whales during your first cruise!
2. Whale Watching Day Trip from Brisbane
If you’re coming from Brisbane, you might fancy this whale-watching cruise from Whales in Paradise! Get round-trip transfers from Brisbane city to the terminal, and experience a hassle-free whale watching season on the Gold Coast!
This 3.5-hour whale watching cruise guarantees you whale sighting, so watch out for humpback whales doing playful lobs and dives along the Humpback Highway! This tour also accommodates lesser crowds so you could get as close as possible with the majestic giants. It’s also inclusive of live commentary, complimentary tea or coffee and cakes, and light lunch.
3. Whale Watching Cruises from Surfers Paradise
If you’re on the Gold Coast during this whale watching season, don’t miss out on the chance to witness rare whales aboard this whale-watching cruise that departs from Surfers Paradise.
Cast your eyes upon many humpback whales breaching and playing in the waters as you sit back on a comfortable vessel made especially for whale watching. Depart from Surfers Paradise and experience 3.5 fun-filled hours with whales, dolphins, and other marine creatures. You may also avail of a scenic waterways canal cruise valued at $33 along with this whale-watching cruise on the Gold Coast!
4. Half-Day Morning Whale Watching Cruise in Fraser Island
Aside from the Gold Coast, another great spot to go during whale watching season is Fraser Island! A 6-hour drive from Gold Coast, this Fraser Island whale-watching cruise may be a bit more convenient for some Banana Benders.
Head onto Kingfisher Bay and climb aboard this whale-watching cruise to see adorable whales and dolphins swim along the waters! During whale-watching season, around 1,000 whales take a rest from their migration on the waters of Fraser Island, so there’s a mighty good chance you’ll see these creatures up close. Who knows—they might even put up a show when you pay them a visit.
Get more viewing options with the onboard underwater viewing camera that beams images onto screens around the boat!
5. Burleigh Hill
If you want to go whale watching from land on Gold Coast, you might want to check out Burleigh Hill. This natural paradise tucked in Gold Coast provides a perfect vantage point to witness the great migration during whale watching season. Make sure you pack your binoculars to make the most out of its picturesque coastal view!
You can also enjoy other activities on this peaceful grassy hill such as picnics or a quick cuppa at nearby coffee shops. Aside from whale watching, the most popular activity at Burleigh Hill is taking a stroll along its walking track where you can choose whether you want a rainforest or ocean view.
6. Elephant Rock
Get the best views this whale watching season on the Gold Coast when you visit Elephant Rock in Currumbin! Climb up the stairs of this volcanic rock formation and be mesmerised by the fantastic scenery of Currumbin Beach, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta.
After whale watching, you can go for a quick dip at Currumbin Beach, or visit nearby attractions such as the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
7. Point Danger Lookout
Closer to the south of Gold Coast? Go whale watching at Point Danger Lookout, and get a chance to see a pod of whales swimming along the coast! Take a stroll along this scenic park and head onto its viewing platform, complete with benches and viewing scopes that you can operate for a dollar.
Point Danger is known as a romantic getaway and has a number of picnic tables that overlooks the ocean. It’s also a popular wedding destination thanks to its charming ocean backdrop.
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