It’s not only the people that are heading back to Fraser Island, the whales are too.
Every year the calm sheltered waters of Hervey Bay, a popular jumping off point for Fraser Island, become home to one of the planet’s most awe inspiring marine mammals. From later this month through to October hundreds of humpback whales are expected to arrive as they make a watery pit stop during their annual 5,000km journey from the cold waters of the Antarctic up to the warmth of the tropics – whale watching around Fraser Island is some of the best in the world.
The whales are regular visitors
Humpback whales have been coming to these shores for thousands of years, drawn by calm conditions and the safe haven it provides for younger whales and pregnant females, allowing them to rest before continuing their journey. Individuals will often stay for long periods of time, meaning the same whales can be spotted time and again. Hang out for a few days and your chances of getting to know each whale intimately is pretty high!
Whale watching off Fraser Island is one of the top wildlife experiences you can have before or after your stay at the best Fraser Island accommodation. It’s estimated that there are upwards of 33,000 humpback whales in Australian waters, a huge increase on the 300 or so 30 years ago. These days the whales are so confident that mothers have been known to bring their babies right up to the boats as they teach them how to breach and spy hop (a way of checking out what’s going on at the surface while still remaining underwater). The sheer number of whales and their inquisitive and playful nature make for one of the most unique wildlife experiences you can have.
Choose a responsible tour operator for whale watching around Fraser Island
Everyone wants to see these guys up close, and with good reason. But the safety and preservation of the whales, along with an eco conscious approach should always be the top priority of any tour operator. We’ve found the best eco-conscious whale watching tours on offer.
Freedom Whale Watch offer a day on their stunning 58ft catamaran complete with 360 degree views of the ocean, on three levels. There will be no neck craning for a view on this boat. Tours include transfers, morning and afternoon tea and a tasty buffet lunch.
Pacific Whale Foundation have over 30 years of humpback whale research under their belt. Rest assured any questions you have about the whales and their behaviour will be answered by a true expert!
Blue Dolphin Marine tours take a maximum of just 24 passengers and have a hydrophone on board so you can listen to these beautiful creatures singing to each other under the waves.
Watching whales up close and personal in the waters off Fraser Island is an awesome and sustainable activity that everyone can enjoy – even the whales! Check out the best Fraser Island 4WD hire so you can head straight onto the island afterwards for more wild adventures during your stay in the cosiest Fraser Island accommodation around.