We only often see them in animated films, playing the role of gentle giants that aid protagonists in their journey. But on Fraser Island, they’re not just mere characters—they’re the main stars of the ocean that show up especially from late July to early November! Yes, we’re talking about none other than one of the most popular activities on this World Heritage-listed site: whale watching on Fraser Island.

Meeting the Gentle Giants

A trip to Fraser Island not only ensures that you get to explore some of the best natural wonders on the world’s largest sand island. It also provides visitors an opportunity to witness pods of migratory humpback whales rest and play in the calm and clear waters of Hervey Bay, the whale watching capital of the world.

According to Australian Geographic, “the whales begin to arrive in Hervey Bay from mid-July, where they remain until late November, before heading south again.” Because of the protection that Fraser Island offers to the waters of Hervey Bay, the latter has become a preferred area for humpback whales to rest and nurture their young, as well as to socialise with their group. It also makes it an excellent place for nature lovers and whale watchers to observe these enormous and inquisitive creatures rise up to check out their watchers, splash their tails and make acrobatic somersaults.

Whale Facts You Should Know

You don’t need to be a devout whale lover to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of humpback whales. But of course, it won’t hurt to know a thing or two about these massive yet gentle creatures. Here are a few things you need to know about them:

  • They’re enormous creatures. By enormous, we mean up to 40-tonne enormous! According to Whale Watch, “Humpback whales are the fifth largest of all the dolphins and whales – with adults growing up to 15 metres and weighing up to 40 tonnes. A new born calf is around 4.5 metres long and 1.5 tonnes in weight.” That said, even if you put five or more elephants together, they’re still not going to weigh more than one humpback whale.
  • They’re friendly and curious. If there’s one thing you need to know about whales, it’s that they are the kind of animals you should never fear however large they are. They’re actually quite friendly and curious about people who get to witness them. As highlighted by See Fraser Island, “Humpback Whales have become totally at ease with the Hervey Bay whale watch fleet and often swim up close to the vessels”. So, if you’re in one of the whale watching tours on the island, be sure to hop on to a sturdy vessel as humpback whales might decide to approach and take a look at you!
  • They’re great performers. If you think that dolphins are the only sea creatures who know how to entertain, then you’ve never been so wrong. Humpback whales have earned the reputation as the ocean’s best performers for good reason! They spin, dance, leap out of the air and even sing. Erin Raub of Nature Air Blog says that “Male humpback whales sing elaborate, beautiful and somewhat eerie songs to attract females during mating season. Their complex vocalizations are the most wide-ranging (20-9,000 Hertz) and inventive of any whale species.
  • They’re protected creatures. Whale hunting is definitely considered illegal whatever part of the globe you live in. According to Tour Fraser Island, “Humpback Whales have been protected by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) since the mid 1960’s, with commercial whaling totally banned in the mid eighties.”

Being able to witness these majestic humpback whales on the Fraser Coast is definitely an experience of a lifetime. Let us arrange this experience for you by calling us at Dropbear Adventures today!