Whales visit the Whitsundays every year on their annual migration north during the winter months. From June to September, whales are a common sight frolicking amongst the islands and even occasionally out on the Great Barrier Reef. They choose the Whitsundays to give birth to their calves, choosing the warm, calm, protected waters of the Whitsundays as in ideal nursery.
There are currently no formal whale watching tours in the Whitsundays, but whale sightings are a free bonus inclusion on most tours around the region. The best way to see whales is to hop on any of the day tours around the Whitsunday waters, as whale sightings occur almost daily for most of the boats in the region during these peak winter months.
Seeing the whales from the air is a real treat, and those enjoying seaplane or helicopter scenic flights are lucky to get a whole new perspective of these magnificent creatures.
Humpback and pilot whales are the most common species sighted, and Migaloo the white humpback whale has also been seen in the Whitsundays for the last few years.
Safe whale watching practices
In the Whitsunday Whale Protection Area, vessels can be no closer than 300m to a whale. Whales may approach a boat, in which case the skipper must turn the engines off immediately. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GPRMPA)'s website details safe whale watching practices to protect this incredible species and ensure their ongoing survival. Click here to learn more.