The whales are here! - Whitsunday Escape™
Skipper yourself bareboat charter company

The whales are here!

Don’t miss out on this majestic experience…

Every year the annual humpback whale migration visits the Whitsundays on the way from Antarctica to the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and back.

A Whitsunday Escape bareboat hire is the best self-guided whale watching tour you can do. Unlike day trips, when you are on a bareboat you are cruising around at a slower speed and you are far more likely to encounter whales at ease in their natural habitat.

Best time to see whales?

June – August is the best time to see whales in the Whitsundays, with some lucky customers getting to see whales nearly every day of their charter!

Fun whale facts 

  • Scientists don’t actually know why they breach, whether it is to clean pests from their skin, or simply for fun!
  • Humpback whale calves weigh about a tonne at birth, and don’t stop growing until they are about 10 years old
  • A full size humpback whale will be between 15 – 19m long
  • Only the males “sing” and their songs can last for half an hour

Whale songs

Have you ever heard whale song while snorkelling? It’s a disconcerting experience! Their songs are very loud, deep, and travel at a very low frequency. The sound travels in such a unique way underwater thanks to that low frequency, that it sounds like they are very close, even though they may be miles away.

All males in a region actually sing the same version of a song, even when separated over large distances. Males in a different region will sing an entirely different song – essentially a different language. Whale song is considered the most complex form of non-human communication in the entire animal kingdom.

Listen to a recording of Migaloo the white whale singing:

Whale facts

Did you know each whale tail is as unique as a human fingerprint? That’s often how scientists and whale watchers tell whales apart, specifically the white whales, like Migaloo, Bahloo and Chalkie, which each have unique markings on their tail fins.

Protecting the whales

The Whitsundays is a designated Whale Protection Area and there are some rules in place to protect whales and ensure they are not stressed by boats or aircraft.

The general rule of thumb is that you must not be operating a vessel within 300m of a whale. If a whale appears suddenly, within 300m, and approaches your boat, you should stop your engines until the whale has passed. Once safe to do so, you may restart and continue slowly onwards, away from the whale.

A pod of whales is typically between 2-6 whales and in the Whitsundays, they are very likely to be mother whales travelling with their calves.

The safe, protected waters of the Whitsundays are the perfect place for whales to bring their new calves into the world. Many bareboaters are lucky enough to witness newborn whale calves swimming alongside their mothers, learning how to slap their fins and flick their tails.

More on whale watching rules

Want to book a bareboat charter during Whitsunday whale season?

Book a bareboat charter for a holiday between June and September with Whitsunday Escape for the best chances of whale watching. Need help working out which boat will fit your group the best? Contact our friendly reservations team for a recommendation.

See the fleet  Online availability calendar  Where you can go