Australia’s Hervey Bay is known as the whale watching capital of the world

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In the sheltered waters of Hervey Bay in Australia, humpback whales can be seen frolicking and resting during their migration to Antarctica.

Whales, gentle giants of the oceans, have long fascinated humanity. There are many whale watching tours around the world, such as Puget Sound in Washington State and Kaikoura in New Zealand. One of the capitals of whale watching is Hervey Bay in Australia. Hervey Bay is just across from Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.

In some parts of the world, it is even possible to swim with whale sharks and see the biggest and softest fish in the seas up close. In the past, whales were hunted – in some cases, to the brink of extinction. Today they are loved and admired – attracting tourists from all over the world.

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Hervey Bay – One of the best places to see humpback whales

Hervey Bay is positioning itself as the whale capital of the world and is one of the best places to see humpback whales. It is recognized as the only true stopover in the humpback whale’s southern migration along the east coast of Australia. The calm and safe waters of Hervey provide sanctuary and rest for whales during their long migration.

The bay is also free from the whale’s main predators – orcas (killer whales) and pack sharks which can prey on the young.

  • Whales seen: humpback whales

Hervey Bay has been part of a marine park since 1989 and is famous for its migrating humpback whales. Australia and New Zealand are also working together to create a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.

  • Whaling: Illegal in Australia – Even for Australian citizens anywhere in the world

Whale watching practices are strictly monitored and regulated in Australia so as not to disturb these enormous beasts of the ocean. Boats are not allowed to stray more than 100 meters from the animals and are not allowed to alter the director or the behavior of the whale.

  • Season: august to october

Whale-watching boats even help study whales by photographing the tail flukes to help identify whales and those that return year after year.

The whales stop in the bay on their way to Antarctica. Here they rest, play and feed their calves. The females focus on feeding and preparing their young for the massive 5,000 km (3,000 mile) journey ahead.

There are many whale watching tours in Hervey Bay – some tours combine the experience with a 4×4 trip to nearby Fraser Island.

Related: Whale Watching: The Best Places in the World to See These Majestic Animals

Half Day Morning Whale Watching

An example of a dedicated whale watching tour is offered by Hervey Bay Whale Watch & Charters. It is the oldest whale watching company in the bay. Their Morning Whale Watch Tour is a half day excursion aboard their Quick Cat 2.

The tour includes stunning views of Fraser Island and even offers the added option of disembarking for lunch at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island.

  • Departure time: 7:00 a.m. (Return 12:30 p.m.)

Pricing:

  • Adult: $115.00 ($80)
  • Child: $65.00 AUD ($45 USD) – 4 to 14 years old)
  • Family: $380.00 AUD ($265 USD) – Two adults and three children included

The tour includes a light breakfast and morning tea. On board, passengers have informative commentary and a hydrophone equipped to listen to whale songs underwater. All customers must have checked in at least 15 minutes before departure.

There is also the possibility of upgrading your ticket and swimming with the humpback whales. It costs an additional $100 AUD ($70 USD) and is paid during the tour. Lunch is an additional $35 AUD ($25 USD) per person.

Related: Did you know you could do whale watching tours in Boston? Here’s what to expect

Whale Watching and Fraser Island Package

One cannot visit Hervey Bay without exploring Fraser Island. If you come during whale season (August to October), combine the whale watching experience with a visit to the island. A sample package offers whale watching, Fraser Island tours and accommodation on Fraser Island.

  • Season: August 1 to October 25
  • Cost: From $759 AUD ($530 USD) per person

Understand :

  • 3 nights resort accommodation
  • Half Day Whale Watching Tour
  • Fraser Island 4×4 Tours

The package includes three nights at a resort hotel with shared room accommodation, a daily hot breakfast buffet, a half-day whale-watching cruise, a round-trip ferry and a 4×4 tour of the Fraser Island. The 4×4 tour includes a buffet lunch and national park fees.

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