Whale Season in the Whitsundays 2023
Updated Mon 10 Jul 2023
Each year, from June to September, tens of thousands of whales migrate north along the east coast of Australia from the freezing waters of Antarctica to the balmy Great Barrier Reef. Here, they mate or give birth before returning back to the colder waters to complete their annual migration.
The two most common species of whales to be found on the Great Barrier Reef are humpback whales and dwarf minke whales. In fact, the Great Barrier Reef is the only known predictable place in the world where dwarf minke whales will congregate each year!
During whale season, visitors to the Whitsunday Islands are often treated to graceful aerobatic shows as whales breach and play in the warm waters. Inquisitive by nature, some whales will even approach boats, jet skis and kayaks to investigate. Snorkellers and divers have also reported hearing the whales’ songs while underwater, a beautiful but eerie sound.
Excitingly, since commercial whaling was outlawed in Australia in 1978, the population of humpback whales along Australia’s east coast now grows at around 11 per cent each year. Once classified as a severely endangered species, there are now said to be over 35,000 of these majestic creatures that travel to the Great Barrier Reef each year!
We can’t wait to witness this annual migration again in 2023 and are looking forward to watching the mothers and their newborn calves playing in the sheltered waters of the Whitsundays! But the question is - when will we see Migaloo?
If you are planning on visiting the beautiful Whitsunday Islands between July and September, be sure to talk to one of our friendly travel experts who can point you in the right direction of all the whale-watching action!