Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
Guided tours
Yes
ADA accessible
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Hervey Bay on the southeastern coast of Queensland, Australia, is indisputably one of the world’s best places to view humpback whales as they make their migration from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef. The calm, protected waters around Fraser Island create the perfect training ground for humpback whales to teach their young behavioral norms, like how to breach, slap their fins on the water, and spurt torrents of water from their blowholes. Located about 3.5 hours north of Brisbane, Hervey Bay makes for a great weekend excursion (or 2-day stop) to see the whales and to also visit nearby Fraser Island, the largest sand island on the planet.

When to Go

The best time to see the humpbacks is during the Australian winter, from July to November, and most whale watching tour operators nearly guarantee that you will see them during this period. If you are visiting in late July or August, do also check out the annual Oceans Festival that is held to celebrate the arrival of the whales while raising awareness for whales and marine conservation.

Whale Watching Tours

In Hervey Bay, there are many incredible whale watching experiences to choose from, and all that are listed here are certified ecotourism operators in the bay. No matter what operator you choose, the vessel captains are commonly in radio communication among themselves to spot where the whales are playing out in the bay.Eco-tour Operators

  • Blue Dolphin: an intimate sailing catamaran that caps occupancy at 24 people.
  • Tasman Venture: tours to the remote side of Fraser Island; whale sightings at close range without other vessels nearby.
  • Hervey Bay Dive Centre: get in the water with these gentle giants.
  • Pacific Whale Foundation: tours curated by marine naturalists and scientists that have researched the whales for over 30 years.
  • Hervey Bay Eco Marine Tours: founded to respect and educate visitors about the local environment and the culture of the Butchulla people.

There is no shortage of whale sightings in the Australian winter months in Hervey Bay, and the experience is unique as the whales stay here for months to teach their young survival tactics and a display of acrobatics. Hervey Bay also functions as a hub for ventures to explore the 120-kilometer-long sand island of Fraser Island and should not be missed!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Many humpback whales. Scenic boat ride.

Cons

Pricey.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Whale watching
Wildlife
Marina
Attraction
Family friendly
ADA accessible
Flushing toilets
Bird watching
Potable water
Guided tours

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.