Each year, the shallow waters of Queensland’s Fraser Coast become a ‘resting place’ for thousands of migrating humpback whales.
The ultimate springboard to experience this annual attraction is Hervey Bay which recently claimed the title as the world’s first Whale Heritage site.
Pacific Whale Foundation is part of a limited fleet of vessels that operate in the bay. Their main aim is to protect these gentle giants through science and advocacy.
They’re currently in their third year of a swim-with-whales impact study.
“Anybody who comes on board the PWF vessel is a part of the study and it’s a really good way for us to look at the impacts of the swim-with industry on the whales but also on swimmer’s safety.
Dr Kate Sprogis is a marine biologist and researcher who has studied whales for more than a decade. She observes the whale’s behaviour before, during and after swimmer’s enter the water with them, but only if the conditions, and whales, allow.
“We swim with only juveniles and adults here and not with mother and calves,” said Dr Kate. “The juveniles and the sub-adults are the ones that are more curious so they’re the ones that come up to the boat and do circles around the boat.”
Of course, if you’d rather stay on dry land, a whale-watching cruise is the next best thing.
During whale season, Whalesong Cruises depart from the Great Sandy Straits Marina on a daily basis.
Whale season on Fraser Coast runs from July through to November.