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Private Whale Watching Charters In The Whitsundays

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Alison Condon
Updated Fri 28 Jun 2024

If you’re determined to make the most of whale season in the Whitsundays, your best bet is to set off on a private whale watching charter. 

From June until October, humpback whales will migrate from Antarctica all the way to Australia and toward the warm, welcoming waters of Tropical North Queensland. If you’re lucky enough to be around the Whitsundays during this time of year, you’ll be sharing the sea with these magnificent creatures - and you might even get up-close and personal with one! 

At this time of year, almost all tours that set off around the Whitsundays are in with a chance of encountering humpback whales. But most of these trips have strict itineraries to follow and need to get guests out to Whitehaven Beach or the outer Great Barrier Reef. However, a private boat charter puts you in control of the itinerary, and your skipper will be happy to help you customise your tour specifically for whale-spotting. Here are some of our favourite boats that you can charter for whale-watching

Humpback whale mother and calf

Private day charters for whale watching in the Whitsundays

Most private charters will update their itineraries for whale-watching opportunities - so long as vessels keep a distance of up to 200m. That being said, there are some boats that can specialise in whale-focused itineraries. These are are top picks.

Salty Adventure Private Charter

This luxury motor yacht is perfect for an exclusive cruise around the Whitsundays and the sparkling Great Barrier Reef Marine Park!

Salty can take up to eight adventurers out for an exclusive tour through the islands, and comes with a knowledgeable skipper who ensures every aspect of the tour is planned to your liking, so all you have to do is kick back and relax. Before you set off on Salty, let your skipper know that you want to see some whales, and they’ll know exactly where to take you so you can see the magnificent mammals up-close.

Salty private charter boat in the Whitsundays

Paradise Explorer Private Charter

Paradise Explorer is the perfect vessel for more intimate private charters, designed especially for spotting unique marine life. From July to September, this boat offers whale-watching charters, with chances to see other ocean life from dolphins and sea turtles to dugongs and Maori Wrasses. While you’re out among the Whitsundays, why not enjoy some snorkelling around Hook Island, Whitehaven, or Langford Island

Hoping to add some romance to your whale-watching excursion? Then we recommend opting for the couples-only getaway package, complete with a gourmet lunch hamper, some sparkling wine, your snorkelling gear, and a spectacular sunset cruise!

Paradise Explorer boat in the Whitsundays

Wild Dreams Private Charter

Wild Dreams is a brilliant vessel for whisking all ages out around the Whitsunday Islands and beyond. Ask Skipper John for an itinerary that centres around humpback whales and he’ll be happy to oblige! While you’re out and about, explore popular spots like Tongue Bay, Chance Bay, Hill Inlet Lookout, or Nara Inlet, depending on the weather and tide!

Opt for a full day or a half day private charter, depending on how much time you want to spend whale watching in the Whitsundays.

Wild Dreams private charter boat

Private overnight charters for whale watching in the Whitsundays

Want to dedicate more time to whale watching among the Whitsunday Islands? Consider an overnight private boat charter to increase your chances of spotting humpbacks and their calves playing in the water.

Much like the day charters, overnight charters around the Whitsundays will customise their itinerary to suit you and your group. So if it's whales you want, the skipper will do their best to make it happen! Here are some of our top picks:

Humpback whale in the Whitsundays

Whitsunday Getaway Private Charter

Set off on an intimate expedition around the islands and beyond in a stylish catamaran. With room for up to eight guests, Getaway will take you out on a 3D/3N tour where you can explore the best of the Whitsundays, with room for snorkelling, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding in between. Spend your days searching for humpbacks before kicking back and relaxing in the outdoor lounge or in spacious cabins with queen-sized beds. Plus, all meals are included in the price of your tour, including classic Aussie BBQ, so you'll be fully energised for your three-day exploration.

A group of tourists smiling and posing onboard Whitsunday Getaway in the Whitsundays

Whitsunday Blue Private Charter

Spend your 3D/3N tour searching for majestic mammals on Whitsunday Blue, a stylish private catamaran. Boasting four private cabins, the cushy vessel can fit up to eight guests. In between whale spotting, you and your guests will be able to enjoy fresh, delicious meals and alfresco dining, snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding, and a spacious saloon and deck to chill out on. Now, that's the life!

An aerial shot of the boat Whitsunday Blue in the Whitsundays

Powerplay Private Charter

Board one of the most luxurious vessels in the Whitsundays for an exclusive, customised tour. Tell your Powerplay crew that you want to watch some whales and they'll do everything they can to make it happen - while making sure you cruise in total comfort. After a day of whale-spotting, chill out on the trampoline nets or the heated spa. Then at night, after a delicious dinner, check out the vessel's underwater blue lights, designed for attracting marine life.

An aerial shot of the boat Powerplay in the Whitsundays

Where are the best places to see whales in the Whitsunday Islands?

There are plenty of spots amongst the 74 Whitsunday Islands and beyond that where whales have been spotted. The mammals and their calves often frequent spots like harbours and bays where they will be sheltered from harsher conditions. 

Some of the most popular spots include Cid Harbour and Blue Pearl Bay, or around Hook Island.

During whale season, there are plenty of opportunities to spot these gentle giants out and around the Whitsundays. Many tourists are lucky enough to come across mother and baby humpback whales on regular day tours, and even during scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef!

Spotting humpback whales can never be guaranteed, but for the best chances of getting up close and personal with these magnificent mammals, a private charter boat is the way to go.

Whales swimming through the outer Great Barrier Reef

Interested in booking a private charter to go whale watching? Book with us today!

Call (07) 4914 2425 or live chat with our knowledgeable travel experts, who can find the best tour for you.

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