Last August I finally took the advice of a long-time friend and went whale watching with her.
It was AWESOME…
Luckily for us, the weather on the Gold Coast couldn’t have been better – the sun was high in the sky, the sea breeze was refreshing, and the glassy ocean made for a smooth ride on our valiant vessel.
During our two-hour tour, we managed to spot seven whales, and witnessed one of these magnificent creature’s tail-slapping the water. It was, honestly, amazing!!!
I have only one word to describe the humbling experience of being so close to such colossal and beautiful animals: Perfect.
Later, I learned from Stevo, our local whale-watching guide, that the primary focus of whale watching along the East Coast of Australia is the migration of humpback and southern right whales, and that the whale-watching season occurs when the whales are resting close to the coast before another migration cycle.
After this little adventure of ours, the best advice I can give you is that there are only three essential requirements for successful whale watching: the location, planning and patience.
South East Queensland residents and visitors are well-served when it comes to selecting the location as we have a great whale-watching spot right here on the Gold Coast, and because the whales tend to concentrate on our shores at the peak season (between July and November).
Planning is essential because migrating whales rarely stay in one place for more than a few months, so you must time your trip according to the migration season.
Making planning easier is the fact that the whale migration season has led to the growth of a flourishing local whale watching specialised industry, that is efficient, informative, and aware of its environmental responsibilities.
It’s also important to bear in mind that whales are majestic and resourceful animals that migrate extremely long distances, and as a result, can be tricky and sometimes unpredictable to find. So be patient and be prepared to be surprised and amazed!
Having said that, I believe this unknown factor just adds to the experience. There’s always that uncertainty of when it’s going to happen, even though, according to industry numbers, most commercial whale-watching trips have a surprisingly high success rate (in the unlikely event you don’t see a whale, you should consider talking to the tour operator to obtain a voucher for another day trip).
No wonder that watching whales is capturing the imaginations of families, friends, and people across the world, bringing many of them to the Gold Coast in July, when they can experience all that together with great accommodation deals.