Whale watching is becoming one of the world's great natural experiences, and nowhere is it as enthralling as in the calm waters of Hervey Bay, Queensland.
This rapid growing coastal city has become known as the Whale Watching Capital of the World, an accolade bestowed by experts and the many thousands of visitors who are overwhelmed year after year by the acrobatic displays by the humpback whales.
Every year thousands of humpback whales travel from Antarctica along the east coast of Australia to give birth in the warm waters of Northern Queensland. On their return migration they stop to rest and play and nurture their calves in the safe waters of Hervey Bay in the protected lee of Fraser Island.
It is an amazing experience to watch, from very close quarters - sometimes no further away than arm's length - 40,000kg whales leap out of the out of the ocean, lift their great heads to watch the whale watchers watching them, salute with their flippers, splash their powerful tails as they take a dive and roll over like puppies.
Finally there is the added bonus of the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island on the doorstep so whale watchers can combine the best nature has to offer with a visit to the island, all in the one holiday.
As we wave goodbye to our visiting Humpbacks, here's some highlights of the 2013 season:
- 08 Sept 2013: We're not sure who is having more fun here - the whales or the whale watchers!
- 07 Sept 2013: Synchronised swimming Hervey Bay-style.
- 01 Sept 2013: Utter magic in the Great Sandy Strait and playful southern Humpbacks.
- 24 Aug 2013: Dwarf Minke Whale spotted off Fraser Island.
- 22 Aug 2013: Do whales wink? Yes, yes they do!
- 21 Aug 2013: Stunning underwater whale photography!
- 18 Aug 2013: Humpback Whale song captured by the gang aboard Quick Cat II
- 11 Aug 2013: Pelicans, Southern Right Whale and calf and breaching Humpbacks in close proximity to the boat. Today was a great day!
- 3 Aug 2013: A Southern Right Whale, first calf of the season (and turtle companion) were spotted on tour.
- 1 Aug 2013: Fraser Island's official Whale Watch season splashes down... here's a taste of what's in store...
- Jul 2013: Check out Kingfisher Bay Resort's latest Ranger blog featuring, you guessed it, our holidaying Humpies! #HATH.
- 15 July 2013: Captain Brian from Quick Cat II captures the first breach of the season in the calm waters on the lee side of Fraser Island.
- July 2013: Fraser Island's famous stranded Orca pod make their way into open waters.
- June 2013: The first Humpback Whales of the season, including Migaloo - the white whale, have been spotted in our waters.
- May 2013: Follow us on Facebook - we'd love to see your Whale Watching shots or tag your shots with #HATH.
20 Feb 2014: Study finds Hervey Bay in south-east Queensland as a pivotal habitat for humpback whales.