Whales in the Whitsundays - Whitsunday Escape™
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Whales in the Whitsundays

Winter is whale season in the Whitsundays, and when you hire a bareboat for a holiday between the months of June and September, you might be lucky enough to get front row seats on your own personal whale watching tour!

Whales migrate north every winter and the calm waters of the Whitsunday Islands are a huge drawcard for the mother whales to birth their new calves. The calm seas make the perfect place to then teach their new babies how to swim, slap their fins, use their blowhole, and even breach! Watching a baby whale learn to breach is the cutest sight! (If watching a one tonne sea mammal launch itself out of the ocean can be described as “cute”).

At night, some guests report hearing whale song underwater while lying in bed on their boat. What a divine experience!

This year, we’ve had some amazing whale watching experiences for guests holidaying with Whitsunday Escape.

Rules for whale watching in the Whitsundays

There are very strict rules in place to protect whales and ensure they feel safe and secure in the Whitsundays, as this is such an important breeding ground. The Whitsundays are special Whale Protection Area. We want them to keep coming back after all.

Boats must not chase whales, and are expected to remain 300m from whales. The exception is when the whale comes to you!

If a whale approaches close to your vessel, take all precautions to avoid a collision, either slow down and steer away from the animal, or place the engines in neutral and let the animal pass. When a whale comes to you, turn the engines off, and sit back and enjoy the experience.

More on whale watching rules


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.

Whale watching video

Check out how close this humpback whale comes to one our the Whitsunday Escape catamarans! It really does look like it is coming to have a good look at the humans and say hello. Beautiful majestic creatures.

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.