Did you know that there are over 15 different Whale Watching cruises in Hervey Bay? That’s got to grab your attention and make you wonder why there are so many Whale Watching tours in the same location. But which tour is the best?
Well we’ve done the hard work for you (actually it was awesome fun because we have experienced them all) and can break down the differences to help you decide which tour is best for you. Of course you can always contact us for more details.
But firstly why is Hervey Bay Australia’s Whale Watching Capital, and why does it have so many cruises in one place? Hervey Bay was declared the first Whale Heritage Site in the world in 2019 and is recognised globally as a premier Whale Watching destination. It’s the only place on Australia’s east coast where thousands of Humpback Whales take a break during their annual migration and stay up to two weeks in the calm, warm waters of Platypus Bay in the lee of K’gari (Fraser Island). The large number of Whales in this relatively small area results in extraordinary Whale Watching experiences from mid-July to late October.
Hervey Bay has a variety of vessels and cruises that operate from the Hervey Bay Marina at Urangan, providing amazing experiences for more than 50,000 passengers each year. Many people return each season to watch or Swim with the Whales in Hervey Bay describing their experience as truly spiritual.
A Few Fun Facts About Humpback Whales!
Adult whales are about 13-15 metres long and weigh 35-40 tonnes.
They can consume up to a tonne of food a day.
When swimming, Humpbacks breath every 6-8 minutes and when resting every 10-20 minutes.
Calves remain with their mothers for about 6 to 12 months nursing on fat-rich milk and growing rapidly.
Hydrophones are microphones that crews lower into the water so you can hear whales signing (typically called ‘whale song’).
So What’s A Whale Watching Cruise Like?
The first thing to consider about your Whale Watching experience is how long do you want spend cruising on the water looking for and watching Whales, and what time of day would you prefer to go. For those who have the time and want to see as many whales as possible, we highly recommend a Full Day Cruise. There are three very popular but quite different full-day Whale Watching cruises to choose from out of Hervey Bay. Tasman Venture is an amazing adventurous cruise that takes you to the remote west coast of K’gari (Fraser Island) so you can experience the north western beaches, swim & snorkel in the aqua clear waters, kayak & explore K’gari’s fresh water the creeks, as well as experience Whale Watching in Platypus Bay. This cruise gives you two different and unique experiences in the one day and is very popular. Blue Dolphin is another full-day & unique Whale Watching experience due to it being the only eco-sailing vessel in the fleet and this tour focuses on expert marine commentary. Of course on both cruises, you are well looked after by experienced crews and fantastic food and hospitality all day long. Freedom Whale Watching cruise is the third vessel we recommend which is the only cruise that spends 3/4 of a day on the water. It tends to suit those who like a slightly later start and earlier finish to their full-day and indulges guests with specialty catering and a luxury vessel.
The majority of the other Whale Watching vessels operate half-day cruises for about 4-hours duration in the morning and afternoon, so you have the choice for which part of the day suits you best. On average most vessels are large modern catamarans and carry an average of up to 80 guests which means there is plenty of room for everyone. Whalesong and Quick Cat vessels are also wheelchair friendly and accessible. All cruises also provide informative commentary, refreshments and most have a licensed bar for your convenience. A few other differences to these cruises are that some include the additional option to Swim with the Whales which we highly recommend if you are interested. Whalesong also includes lunch and dinner with their cruises as they return to the Marina. Quick Cat has an exclusive optional extra experience where you can stop off at Kingfisher Bay Resort on K’gari (Fraser Island) for lunch.
But if your time is limited, or you would prefer a shorter but informative Whale Watching Cruise, then research experts Pacific Whale Foundation offer 3-hour cruises and have a marine biologist onboard their ridged inflatable boat.
So how do you choose between all of these wonderful Whale Watching cruises in Hervey Bay, Australia’s Whale Watching Capital?
We suggest you should think about how long you’d like to be on the water Whale Watching and narrow down the cruise according to this i.e. full-day or half-day. Also decide what inclusions you may need or like, and any other optional activities like Swimming with Whales or inclusive of meals. Once you find the right cruise for you then comes the hardest part which is booking, especially if your preferred cruise and date you have chosen is booked out (it does get very busy especially in August & September so we highly recommend to book ahead!).
The easiest way to compare and learn about all 15 Whale Watching cruises in Hervey Bay is right here.