Whales, especially Humpback Whales, typically can be seen migrating past the Gold Coast from June through until October each year as they migrate North for breeding then back South again.
There are a number of ways you can see whales from the Gold Coast.
From the Shore
If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse in the distance from any of the beaches, but they will likely be a fare way out. Typically your best vantage points are going to be up high, where the coast drops away suddenly, around Burleigh Heads for instance. If you are up for a drive, then you can also head down to the Byron Bay lighthouse.
From a Boat
To get up close to the whales, you are going to need to get off the shore and into a boat. Everyone from kayakers, to paddle boarders and jet skiers have posted about their run in with whales while at sea. This can be farely daunting though, when faced with some of the largest mammals on Earth, and there is a level of danger in going out on your own.
With Sea World Cruises Whale Watching Experiences
There are a number of cruise services that offer whale watching from the Gold Coast. We recently headed out with Sea World Cruises as they are one of the more popular options.
They also depart from right near Sea World, where there is plenty of free parking, public transport and is close to resorts like Sea World, Versace and the Sheraton. The departure terminal is also the Northern most stop on the Hopo Gold Coast Ferry which connects to stops in Surfers Paradise and Southport.
We went on the 12pm cruise which took us out through the sea way for about two hours in search of some whales. It can be quite windy and cool out on the water, so be sure to pack a jacket, some nibblies and water to drink.
Whale Watching with Sea World Cruises
They have a number of boats that go out. Ours had three levels. We sat at the back on level 2, which allowed us to move around the boat quite freely.
Once we were out at sea, it took a little while as the crew looked out for movement. First up we came across a pod of dolphins and before long, a quick sighting of whales. Then it was further out to catch up with a larger pod. As we were heading out we could see them breaching in the distance, making massive splashes.
They certainly found a great spot as it was whale sighting after sighting, moving around the boat to catch a glimpse. The crew even dropped a microphone into the water so we could hear their sound. It was truly a magical experience to safely get up close to these incredible creatures.
We had a great time and the knowledgeable crew really added to our experience. I definitely think this is the best way to see whales when you are next visiting the Gold Coast.
Have you had an experience with whales? Let us know about it in the comments.