Want to meet a humpback whale?! Possibly one of the most spectacular creatures of the natural world is the humpback whale just for it’s sheer size and incredible ability to thrive.
Close to Extinction
The East Australian Humpback Whale population were hunted and killed for commercial gain until the early 60’s. This saw their decline in population to just 300 whales. They were in serious danger of extinction. A ban on whaling was issued by 1965 and since the population has seen a remarkable comeback with last official counts in 2016 identifying a population of around 20,000 humpback whales.
Whilst travelling the East Coast if you are around in whale watching season, a visit out to the ocean in search of these creatures is a must do. You will be in awe of everything these gentle giants are. Here are 10 awesome humpback whale facts to tempt you!
10 Awesome Humpback Whale Facts
- Humpback whales have one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal on Earth, migrating on average 5000km each year.
- The East Australian Coast population can be spotted along the coast of Australia between April and November, depending on your location.
- An adult humpback whale can range in length from 12-16m weighing up to 50 tonnes (6 elephants). At birth a humpback calf will measure 4-5m and weigh around 2 tonnes (3 cows).
- The gestation of a Whale is around 11months and the optimum birth environment of the water should be around 22-25 degrees. This is the most important reason for their humpback whales’ annual migration.
- The humpback whales’ name derives from their very long pectoral fins and knobby head that make them look like they have a hump.
- Whales are identifiable by the unique markings on their tail fluke, like humans and their fingerprints; no two tail flukes are the same. This is used by National Parks to help record and track Whale population numbers as they migrate along the East Coast.
- Humpbacks can travel up to 8 km/h. However during their long migration they allow plenty of time for resting and socialising along the way and so average only 1.6km/h.
- Humpback Whales feed on krill, small shrimp-like animals, and small fish, eating up to 1.5 tonnes a day.
- The male humpback whale is famous for its extraordinarily long and complex songs, which travel very far throughout the oceans. They are specific to different populations and can be heard hundreds of kilometres away.
- Residents and visitors of the East Cost of Australia keep their eyes peeled each year for the all-white male humpback whale, known as Migaloo. His name means, “white fella” in aboriginal language.
Book Discounted Tours
Jumping on a Drop Bear Adventures tour and planning to visit Hervey Bay before or after? Find out more about discount bookings of whale watching tours with our whale friends in the bay. Get in touch to book.