Whale Watching on the Gold Coast

by | 22 Apr | Beaches, Listing, Nature, Top 100 Experiences, Wildlife | 0 comments

There are times in life where you do something that you think will be ok and it turns out to be just a little bit of magic that stays with you forever. That’s what it’s like when you go whale watching.  These magnificent creatures are a sight to behold in their natural habitat.

whale watching gold coast

Image Credit: Paul Jones

The whales seem to show off for their audience as they leap into the air and twist around with enormous grace. It’s hard to imagine something so large being so graceful until you see it.  And I have to say it but this true beauty is only ever captured when seeing them in the wild.  So if you’ve ever seen them somewhere in captivity then I’m sorry to say, but you haven’t really seen them.

Whale watching season on the Gold Coast runs from the beginning of June to sometime in November each year and most operators will guarantee you whale sightings every day during that period. I won’t tell you who we went with as I don’t want to unfairly bias you towards one company as I’m sure all the operators are great. Usually you are offered some sort of compensation if you don’t see a whale so I wouldn’t worry about not seeing them. It is highly unlikely. Hubby and I went a few years back now, in BC (before children) time but you can take kids with you and plenty of people make this a family outing. I think it’s especially great once kids get to be about 8+ as they can really start to appreciate what they are seeing and will remember it. Younger kids will enjoy it too they just might not remember it when they are 20.

I really can’t rate it highly enough as an experience. It costs around $95 per adult, $60ish per child and there are good family rates around too. Most companies will go at least once per day, either morning or afternoon for about 3.5 hours, and some even go both times. The tours usually include a nice little cruise through the Gold Coast waterways, morning or afternoon tea aboard a lovely boat and super informative guides that can teach you all need to know about whales in an ever so short timeframe.


Image Credit: eGuide Travel

The bonus of seeing the whales in the Gold Coast is that it has a super long whale season where you are 99.9% certain to see a whale every single day. Plus, the whales go through quite close to shore so you only need to travel about 15-20mins in your boat before viewing begins. Perfect for those that don’t have their sea legs yet. The other great awesome thing is that there is so much marine life in the area that you will often see dolphins, turtles and dugongs on your trip. These aren’t guaranteed but it is likely you will see something! We saw dolphins and turtles on our trip. The dolphins were all playing about by the boat as we motored along. It was really awesome.

The thing that we like best about this experience, though, was that it reminded us of how insignificant we really all are in the grand scheme of things. We are just one little part in this thing called life and we are no more the centre of the universe than the glorious whales. It was like having a small moment of complete self-awareness. It will take your breath away.