In October 2019 it was made official! When Hervey Bay was crowned the world’s first Whale Heritage Site, it officially became one of the best places across the planet to see the gentle giants of the sea up-close-and-personal. Whilst most of the east coast of Australia is now conducting whale watching tours, none can quite compete with the magical, close encounters we experience here in Hervey Bay. If you don’t believe us, we’ve got the science (and plenty of Instagram videos) to prove it.
According to the Oceania Project, Hervey Bay is a ‘unique stop-over on the annual migration of the Humpback Whales and has been for thousands of years. The warm sheltered waters offer a safe haven to young whales, pregnant females and mothers who can allow their calves time to explore, associate with other calves and play.’
So like many of the grey nomads, humpback whales undertake their annual migration up the east coast of Australia to holiday and escape the harsh Antarctic winter to give birth. The shallow, calm waters of Hervey Bay is the perfect 5-star resort for the whales to relax, socialise and enrol their calves in ‘whale kindergarten’ before the food coma runs out and they need to return back down south.
Sightings during the season are quite literally guaranteed. In fact, most of the operators will even refund your ticket if you don’t spot one during your trip because #confidence is key, right? The crew that makes up our fleet are not only extremely experienced but passionate, knowledgable and look forward to showing you a whale of a time.
No fancy, state-of-the-art equipment is needed to locate these majestic creatures. Just leave it to the eagle-eyed crew to spot a splash or ‘blow’ from one of these 40-tonne mammals across the bay from hundreds of meters away. Hydrophones and similar tools are on board most vessels as well, so you can not only see but hear these amazing creatures when they are in the bay.
Humpbacks are known for their acrobatic displays. Capture a #kodakmoment, almighty breach (when a whale quite literally jumps completely out of the water), fluke and pectoral fin-slapping, head-lunging and spy-hopping (when a curious whale sticks most of its head above the water to get a better look at its surroundings).
Close encounters are dime-a-dozen at Hervey Bay and it’s not unusual to have one of the 40-tonne animals ‘mug’ (a term of endearment where a whale swims around the boat closely interacting with those onboard) a boat for literally hours on end. No one knows exactly why humpback whales like to ‘mug’ people, but most theories point simply towards natural curiosity at its best. Because the whales are enjoying an actual stop-over on their migration, we believe their inquisitive nature gets the best of them and they quite literally people watch as we whale watch. #iseeyouwatchingmewatchingyou
Hervey Bay truly is paradise for any #whalelover and if you haven’t done so yet, skip the next trip to the aquarium and enjoy the greatest wildlife show on earth here in the world’s first Whale Heritage Site.