Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From mid July to early November, Hervey Bay has become famous as the playground of the majestic humpback whales on their return to the Antarctic.
Hervey Bay is preferred for its calm and safe whale watching conditions, where the whales put on a spectacular display for their admirers. A variety of vessels offer whale watching trips during the season and visitors can choose from either a dawn, morning, afternoon or full-day cruise.
Celebrating the return of the humpback whales each year; Hervey Bay stages a Whale Festival each year including an aquatic carnival, an illuminated procession of floats and the Blessing of the Fleet are highlights of this fun filled week.
The Bay's calm waters provide shelter for humpback whales and their calves as they pass through Hervey Bay on their migration to Antarctica, after giving birth in the waters of northern Queensland.
Humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales and are renowned for their 'singing'. They are the fifth largest of all whales, growing up to 15 metres and weighing up to 40 tonnes.
Each year, whale watchers are regularly treated to magnificent displays of tail and pectoral slapping as well as breaching. Many thousands of people have possibly the best opportunity in the world of seeing this magnificent creature in its natural environment. Other marine life such as dolphins, turtles and dugongs are also sighted regularly.
More than 12 operators offer whale watching tours with vessels departing the Hervey Bay Boat Harbour daily. Of course, tour operators adhere to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service guidelines, which ensure the whales are protected and keep returning to Hervey Bay. The fleet offers half-day, three-quarter-day, full-day and dawn tours on a variety of vessels, each hosted by professional and experienced crew members, who provide an informative commentary.