How To See Whales In The Whitsundays

Hoping to see whales in the Whitsundays during your catamaran tour? Luckily, during the winter months, whales are abundant in the warm, turquoise waters of Tropical North Queensland. So if you're wondering when to book your next sailing tour of the Whitsundays, consider booking during whale season! The potential whale sightings will add so much more excitement and beauty to your trip. Here is everything you need to know about spotting whales in the Whitsundays!

Whales Whitsundays

When Is Whale Season In The Whitsundays?

Whale season in the Whitsundays runs from June to September, roughly. Every year, thousands of whales leave the icy waters of Antarctica and migrate north to the warm, tropical waters of Queensland, Australia. Some whales begin migrating as early as May, but June and July are the best months for spotting whales on Australia's east coast.

Humpback whales are the most common species of whale to see, but you may also see dwarf minke whales or pilot whales, as well as dolphins and porpoises. 

Between June and September, whales mate, give birth, and nurse their young up in the warm and safe waters of the tropics. The Great Barrier Reef provides shelter from the ocean swell, so the balmy, calm waters are ideal for raising young. During these winter months, whales can often be seen frolicking along the northeast coast of Australia.

By September and sometimes early October, these majestic giants will begin to migrate back south to Antarctica, where they will spend the summer feeding on nutrient-rich krill at the end of the Earth. 

Whale tail

How To See Whales In The Whitsundays

The best way to see whales in the Whitsundays is to book an overnight boat tour! Whales roam the ocean around the Whitsundays freely, so quality time on the water is the best way to spot these gentle giants. Whale sightings are never guaranteed, of course, and patience is always important. But the longer you spend at sea the greater your chances of seeing whales will be. 

A 3-day, 3-night catamaran like Whitsunday Blue, Whitsunday Getaway, or Powerplay will give you ample time to look for whales in the Whitsundays. You may also see whales on a day trip or a shorter overnight tour, but more time at sea gives you more chances to find marine life.

Overnight tours also give you the chance to explore Whitsunday highlights like Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and the fringing reefs. There is no better way to combine whale watching with sightseeing in one of Australia's most beautiful areas than an overnight sailing catamaran tour!

Whale swimming

Responsible Whale Watching

When looking for whales in the Whitsundays, it's important to respect these beautiful creatures and behave responsibly. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park already has strict rules regarding the protection of the reef and its wildlife, and the same rules apply to whales in the Whitsundays.

In general, boats and jetskis must stay at least 100 metres away from whales. There are certain Whitsunday Whale Protection Areas as well in which boats must always stay 300 metres away from whales. The required distance between boats and whale calves is always 300 metres. 

It's also important to just admire whales from the safety of your boat. Don't get in the water if you see a whale, and if you're already in the water you should get back in your boat as soon as possible. The goal is just to respect the animal's space and keep yourself safe. When sailing in the ocean, you are in the whale's territory. Snap photos and observe these majestic sea creatures from afar, but don't feed or approach them.

Whale watching

Ready to book your trip to the Whitsundays? Live chat with us online or call us at +61 7 4914 2425 and we'll help you plan your whale-watching adventure!