The Humpback Whales are back, and the Whale Watching Season on the Sunshine Coast is set to start this weekend, presenting a special opportunity for locals and Queenslanders.
Sunreef Mooloolaba’s Dan Hart said this year’s whale watching season was set to be another fantastic one, with 35,000 humpback whales expected to travel north, and then back south through Sunshine Coast waters this winter.
Dan said the number of whales migrating north up Australia’s east coast was continuing to increase by about 10% a year, according to whale researchers.
“If last year’s season is anything to go by, we will see whales from now through until the end of the season in early November, and we expect we can expect more than 25,000 people on our whale watching and swim with whales experiences.
“While all of us humans, particularly those in southern states have been restricting our movements, no one told the whales, so their migration is on track with other years.
“We also find that the whales are as curious about us, as we are of them, coming in for a closer look – whether we are on Whale One, or in the water on one of our Swim with Whales tours, Australia’s first whale swimming experience.
“We are already seeing good numbers of whales and expect to see adult whales looking for mates, mums ready to calve in the warmer waters as well as juvenile whales travelling in pods.”
Dan said whale watching tours would be aboard Whale One, which underwent a total refurbishment in 2019, while Swim with Whales tours would be onboard Sunreef’s fast boats, Wild One, and the purpose-built Tsunami, which Sunreef took delivery of in March 2020.
“Whale Watching season is an economic driver for the tourism sector, during what is traditionally a quieter period,” Dan said.
“It’s even more important this year as the region continues its recovery following the COVID-19 shutdown.”
“Whale Watching brings in visitors, who spend not just on whale watching but also on accommodation, hospitality and other attractions, which in turn creates employment so we are super proud to be playing our part,” Dan said.
“Whale One has taken hundreds of thousands of people whale watching since she was first launched in 2007, and we are proud to have her as part of our fleet and to also have introduced Swimming with Humpback Whales to Australia.”
Dan Hart said the whale watching season would run through until 1 November, with the Swim with Whales season to run from 3 July to 17 October.