Whale Watching In Queensland: Best Places To See Humpback Whales

Welcome back to some more ‘whalesome’ content! In this edition of the whale blog, we’re breaking down the best places to watch Humpback Whales in Queensland. June kicks off the whale season in Queensland and every year like clockwork, more than 35,000 whales journey across the east coast.

Queensland’s sapphire waters, golden coasts, welcoming resting grounds makes it a favourite destination on the East Coast for the whales! So, without further ado, here’s your insider guide to the best whale watching spots in Queensland!

Hervey Bay

We’re starting the list with the whale watching capital of Australia – Hervey Bay. Every year from July to November, Hervey Bay becomes a sanctuary for thousands of Humpback Whales on their southern migration. The calm, turquoise waters provide the perfect arena for over 10,000 whales and their newborn calves to rest, play, and learn every year!

Hervey Bay's whale watching cruises offer intimate whale encounters, allowing you to see these majestic creatures up close and personal. It's also one of the few places on the East Coast where you can swim with the whales – a testament to its status as the world’s first Whale Heritage Site!


Guests taking photos of whales on a Brisbane cruise

The next stop on the tour de whales is the capital city of Brisbane, where urban landscapes meet marine wonders. With close proximity to the iconic Moreton Island, Brisbane offers a front-row seat to the Humpback Whales’ annual migration.

Brisbane's whale watching cruises are renowned for their knowledgeable guides and Captains, including Captain Kerry, the only female Skipper to own and operate a whale watching experience in the South Pacific. Just picture cruising through the waterways, towering skyscrapers on one side and breaching whales on the other – it's a sight that will make your heart ‘flipper’!

Fun fact: If the whales are hiding on the day of your cruise, don't worry, all operators offer a guarantee – come back again for free on another day!

Sunshine Coast

Underwater view of a migrating whale in Sunshine Coast

Moving up, we arrive at the sunny Sunshine Coast. Whale watching from Mooloolaba in Sunshine Coast is defined by exceptional visuals of the whales with the dramatic coastline in the backdrop! 

Some unique cruises also offer an opportunity to watch the whales both above and below the water, thanks to their state-of-the-art underwater camera. Don’t forget your sunnies and sunscreen! PS: There are plenty of departures from June to October.

Gold Coast

Whales breaching against Gold Coast Skyline

Gold Coast offers spectacular whale-watching opportunities from June to November. The whales visit the Gold Coast waters, making it the best place to watch them at the start and end of the season.

Join a Gold Coast whale watching cruise departing from Main Beach or Surfers Paradise for the best chances of watching these graceful creatures breach and frolic in the water.

It’s safe to say that just like all of us, the whales love to visit Queensland as much as they can. Whether you choose Brisbane, Hervey Bay, Mooloolaba, or the Gold Coast, each destination promises a unique and unforgettable whale-watching experience. So, choose your spot, book your cruise, and get ready to be ‘overwhelmed’!