Top 8 Hervey Bay Whale Watching Questions Tourists Ask
Whale watching in Hervey Bay and K’gari Island (Fraser Island) is an incredible experience that draws tourists annually from around the world. As such, there are many questions that people have about what to expect on these marine encounter tours. So, to be of assistance, we have jotted some down of the most frequently asked questions about whale watching in Hervey Bay and Fraser Island:
1. How close can we get to the humpback whales?
The whale watching tour operators in Hervey Bay and Fraser Island adhere to strict Government guidelines and regulations that ensure the safety and well-being of the whales. As such, they maintain a safe distance from the whales, typically, around 100 meters. However, these whales are highly inquisitive of the tourist boats, and they willingly swim up to and around the boats for very long periods. They rollover and look you right in the eye which is a really awesome experience.
2. How many whales can we expect to see?
Again, the number of whales you'll see on a whale watching tour depends on the time of year and the tour operator. There are around 40,000 humpback whales migrating annually along the East Coast of Australia, so it depends how many of them decide to call into Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. During peak season, which is from July to October, it's common to see humpback whales breaching, tail-slapping, and playing in the waters off Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. August to September is when there are a lot more whales languishing in the safety of these waters. On average, you can expect to see anywhere from five to 10 whales on a single tour and during the peak periods many more.
3. How many people are on these whale watching tours?
The number of people on a whale watching tour can vary depending on the tour operator and the type of tour. Some Hervey Bay whale watching tour operators offer smaller, more intimate tours with a maximum of 12 passengers, while others may have larger boats with a capacity of up to 60 passengers.
4. When is the best time of day to go whale watching?
The best time of day to go whale watching is typically in the morning or early afternoon when the water is calmer, and the light is better for taking photos. However, it's important to note that whales are active throughout the day, so you can still have a great experience no matter what time you go.
5. What happens if we don't get to see whales?
While it's indeed rare to not see whales on a whale watching tour in Hervey Bay and Fraser Island, it can happen. Most tour operators have a policy in place that allows passengers to go on another tour free of charge if they don't see any whales on their first tour.
6. What should I wear?
It's important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions on the day of your tour, and keep in mind it is winter in Australia. Bring warm clothing as it can get breezy out on the water, a good hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It's also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes with non-slip soles.
7. Can we bring food and drinks on the tour?
Most tour operators provide food and drinks on their tours, but it's always a good idea to check the details online before you book. If you do bring food and drinks, make sure they're in sealed containers to avoid any mess or spills. We suggest that you have a light meal before going out on the boats to ensure your stomachs are fully settled before your whale watching cruise.
8. Are these tours suitable for children?
Yes of course, most whale watching tours in Hervey Bay and Fraser Island are suitable for children and older folks who may not be so steady on their feet. However, it's important to check the details on the booking page of the tour you are booking to ensure that the tour is appropriate for your child's age and ability level. If in doubt always call the Barrier Reef Australia team and they will be pleased to assist.
Whale watching in Hervey Bay and K’gari (Fraser Island) is a unique and unforgettable experience. By understanding what to expect and preparing accordingly, you can maximize your chances of having an enjoyable and memorable time on your tour.
Read more articles in our Whale Watching blog section where we discuss all you need to do and need to know before you go whale watching in Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. View and book your Hervey Bay Whale Watching cruise here.