Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
The Gold Coast’s whale season has already been one of the best the local industry has seen—but the season’s still got plenty to go, according to one operator.

Since the season’s beginning at the end of May, high numbers of whales and other marine life like dolphins and turtles have been spotted by whale watchers on the Gold Coast.

Whales in Paradise managing director Anthony Ardern says the season still has a number of highlights to go before the whales leave Queensland waters.

“The whales have made their migration north and are now on the way back to southern waters, meaning the numbers should still be high over the next few weeks,” Mr Ardern says.

“We’ve had excellent numbers so far this season—currently, we have mothers coming back with their calves and the males looking to begin the courting process.

“This courtship process means we’ll be seeing plenty more breaching, tail slapping, and all-round playfulness from the males as they come through our waters and try to find a mate.”

In addition to increased numbers of humpback, minke and southern right whales, the migratory period will also see another visitor in Gold Coast waters—killer whales.

Also known as the orca, these whales are part of the dolphin family, and are attracted to Queensland waters during this part of the season to hunt the younger whales as they migrate.

It’s expected that pods of up to 12 orcas will be able to be spotted in Gold Coast waters in the next month.

According to Mr Ardern, it’s this part of the season that in previous years has yielded some of the best sighting opportunities.

“The beginning of spring saw increased whale activity due to the start of the cross migration, and we’re still seeing excellent numbers at this point in the season,” Mr Ardern says.

“We tend to find that the whales are very inquisitive around this time of the year, often coming right up to the boat and putting on a show for onlookers.

“It’s also the time that you’re most likely to see a wide range of marine life; on a single tour, you can quite easily see humpbacks and killer whales, as well as dolphins and turtles.

“Now truly is one of the best times of the season for booking a tour.”

Whales in Paradise started in 2005 as the first whale watching operator on the Gold Coast. The company’s owner and managing director, Anthony Ardern, was 23 at the time—the youngest person in the world to set up a whale watching venture.

To book a tour, please visit or call (07) 5538 2111.

Contact Profile

James Blaxland

P: 0423 403 449


Whale watching, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Whales in Paradise, whale season



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