Discover the Ultimate Whale Watching Destinations in the Gold Coast

by Admin

Gold Coast is full of amazing things and one of the most exciting and notable experiences it offers is whale watching. Both nature lovers and those looking for adventure will find it to be a true haven. Beautiful beaches, green jungles, and a wide variety of exhilarating outdoor pursuits are the city’s well-known features. Whale watching is one of the most breathtaking experiences among the many natural wonders the Gold Coast has to offer. The Gold Coast becomes a popular destination for seeing these magnificent animals in their natural habitat each year when thousands of humpback whales migrate along its coast between May and November. Also, this place is known for providing the longest whale-watching season. 

This blog will take you on a journey to discover the best places in the Gold Coast to see whales. Here, you can experience the amazing spectacle of humpback whales breaching and tail-slapping against the breathtaking backdrop of Australia’s breathtaking eastern coastline. 

You will find whale watching quite an exciting and entertaining thing to do in the Gold Coast. So to make your work a little easier, here we will list some of the top spots and cruises that are popular among visitors for whale watching.

1. Burleigh Hill

Burleigh Hill

Burleigh Hill, on the Gold Coast, is a well-known spot for whale watching. It is tucked away against the lush backdrop of Burleigh Heads National Park. This elevated vantage point, which is perched high above the coastline, provides amazing panoramic views of the ocean. During their annual migration, it becomes the best place to see humpback whales from May to November. It is truly breathtaking to watch these gentle giants breach and slap their tails in the shimmering waters. Whether you are an experienced whale watcher or a novice, Burleigh Hill’s charming atmosphere is ideal for a day of exploration and leisure. 

To make your whale-watching experience even more enjoyable, set up a picnic, lay out your blanket, and bring binoculars. Burleigh Hill is an absolute must-visit on the Gold Coast because of its natural beauty, leisure opportunities, and the opportunity to see one of nature’s most magnificent spectacles.

Address: Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia


Google Review: “A great location for whale watching. A real joy to spot them swimming past.” – Allan Wallace

2. Point Danger Lookout

Point Danger Lookout

Point Danger Lookout has become a popular and reliable spot for whale watching in the Gold Coast. It draws both nature lovers and tourists who want to see humpback whales on their migratory journey. Being located on the Queensland and New South Wales borders, this spot will give you a perfect view of the Pacific Ocean. This makes it an ideal place to watch humpback whales during their yearly migration.

When they migrate for mating and calving, Point Danger Lookout comes in their route and that increases the possibility of watching whales more. Due to the lookout’s hilltop location, the ocean is visible. This means that you can see the whales even from a distance and can also observe things like blowing water, leaping out of the water, and splashing their tails.

In addition to providing excellent whale-watching opportunities, Point Danger Lookout offers an amazing view of Coolangatta Beach and the surrounding beauty. It is a great spot to take in the splendour of the Gold Coast and look for whales. After enjoying whale watching, do not forget to visit the nearby restaurants, which offer delicious snack items. 

Address: Point Danger, Tweed Terrace, Coolangatta QLD 4225, Australia


Google Review:Absolutely beautiful view. I love bringing my international friends here so they can experience two states at once! You could watch the waves forever up here. Absolutely amazing time to visit! You can see the humpback whales breaching😍😍” – Alysha Pope

3. Tumgun Lookout

Tumgun Lookout

Tumgun Lookout should be at the top of your list of places to see whales if you are hoping to see the majestic creatures that swim along the Gold Coast. This picturesque location provides a front-row seat to one of the most breathtaking displays of nature. Whale-watching enthusiasts flock to Tumgun Lookout, which is centrally located inside Burleigh Heads National Park on the Gold Coast. 

Its high location offers a wide-ranging perspective of the ocean, which makes it an ideal spot to observe these docile behemoths as they migrate annually. It is the perfect place to go whale watching because the whales congregate near the coast to eat and have fun.

Apart from being an excellent location to observe whales, Tumgun Lookout is also a great place to take breathtaking pictures of these amazing animals. This lookout is an excellent option, whether you have seen whales before or not. But keep in mind that these creatures remain inside the water for 1 hour so you need to be patient while observing them. 

Remember to bring your camera so you can record these amazing moments! So, when planning your next whale-watching adventure, don’t forget to add this spot to your list. 

Address: Burleigh Head National Park, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia


Google Review:Great views, and a good spot for whale watching” – David Ingram

4. Kirra Hill Lookout

Kirra Hill Lookout

You can get a great view of the ocean from Kirra Hill Lookout, which is perched atop a hill. As they migrate, whales often swim near the coast; from this vantage point, it is easier to see these amazing animals because the water is not obscured.

This magnificent animal frequently breaches, slaps its tail, and spits water in front of Kirra Hill Lookout. People have a great opportunity to spot whales as they travel along the coastline thanks to the lookout’s elevated position. When these massive marine mammals migrate annually, locals and visitors alike flock to this well-liked location to witness the spectacle. Many enthusiasts visit the lookout to capture photos and enjoy the natural beauty of the Gold Coast while witnessing the incredible sight of humpback whales in their natural habitat.

Visiting Kirra Hill Lookout for whale watching doesn’t cost anything. There’s nearby parking, making it convenient to access. You can choose to bring binoculars if you have them or simply rely on your own eyes to spot the whales. It’s a fantastic activity for families and anyone interested in the wonders of nature.

Address: 6 McLean St, Coolangatta QLD 4225, Australia


Google Review:Great views over the coast from here. We saw a whale breach while we were there.” – Sandy Philps

5. North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island

If you’re a beach enthusiast, Stradbroke Island won’t disappoint. The island boasts a variety of beaches, from the serene Deadman’s Beach to the surf-friendly Main Beach. You can swim, surf, or simply relax in the sun while enjoying the sound of the waves.

Stradbroke Island is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. With pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush bushland, it’s a haven for eco-tourism. There are three main towns on the island – Dunwich, Amity Point, and Point Lookout, each offering unique experiences and activities.

One of the island’s most spectacular attractions is the opportunity to witness the annual whale migration. North Stradbroke Island is a prime location for whale watching, with humpback whales passing by during their migration. Point Lookout is a favoured spot for this, offering an excellent vantage point to observe these gentle giants.

Beyond whales, the island is home to a wealth of wildlife. You can spot kangaroos, koalas, and a diverse array of bird species. The North Gorge Walk at Point Lookout is a fantastic place for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a chance to see dolphins, turtles, and seabirds.

Address: Queensland 4183, Australia


Google Review:What a fabulous place! Caught the ferry, then the bus to the top of the Island. Some stunning scenery / beaches & nice walks. Was able to see dolphins & whales” – John Darcy

6. Boattime Yacht Charters

Boattime Yacht Charters

Along with popular spots, certain cruises offer whale-watching opportunities. BYC is one of them. Boattime Yacht Charters is situated in a location that provides excellent access to prime whale watching areas along the Gold Coast. The company’s yachts depart from marinas close to key migration routes, ensuring that you have a higher chance of encountering whales during your excursion.

The crew at Boattime Yacht Charters is knowledgeable and experienced in spotting and interpreting whale behaviour. They can provide valuable insights about the whales’ habits and ensure you have the best opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures up close.

The company offers a range of comfortable and well-equipped vessels, including yachts and catamarans. These vessels provide a stable platform for whale watching, allowing you to relax and enjoy the experience without discomfort.

Boattime Yacht Charters often operate with smaller groups, creating a more intimate and personalised whale-watching experience. This means you won’t have to contend with large crowds, and you’ll have a better view of the whales.

The crew on Boattime Yacht Charters’ vessels provides informative commentary throughout the tour, sharing interesting facts about the whales and the Gold Coast’s marine ecosystem. This enhances your understanding and appreciation of these incredible creatures.

The company offers a variety of whale-watching tours, including morning and afternoon trips, giving you the flexibility to choose a time that suits your schedule and increases your chances of spotting whales.

Address: 60/70 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217, Australia


Google Review:Our whale watching tour with Boat Time Charters on the Gold Coast this morning was absolutely incredible! The staff were not only incredibly knowledgeable but also extremely friendly and accommodating. We were blessed with beautiful weather, which made the experience even more enjoyable. The facilities were top-notch. A perfect day out for nature enthusiasts!” – Ally Croker

7. Spirit of Gold Coast

Spirit of Gold Coast

Spirit of Gold Coast is a popular whale-watching company on the Gold Coast known for providing an exceptional and memorable whale-watching experience. They exclusively focus on whale watching, ensuring that their tours are designed to maximise your chances of encountering these magnificent marine mammals.

Spirit of Gold Coast is so confident in their whale sightings that they offer a “Whale Sightings Guarantee.” If you don’t see whales on your tour, they will provide you with a complimentary return cruise.

In addition to watching whales, Spirit of Gold Coast provides an educational aspect to their tours, which can be particularly appealing to families and those interested in learning more about these majestic creatures and the marine environment.

The company is committed to responsible and sustainable whale-watching practises, promoting the welfare of the whales and minimising environmental impact.

Their departure point is strategically located near major whale migration routes, increasing your chances of encountering these incredible creatures.

Address: 60/70 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217, Australia


Google Review:Fantastic whale watching experience. The captain/guide was awesome and provided so much information about the whales we were lucky enough to see. We went at 9:30am and the water was very calm. Saw 4 pods of whales and quite a few dolphins! It was amazing and I would highly recommend spirit of GC” – Sophie Kramer

8. Sea World Cruises

Sea World Cruises

Sea World Cruises provides an incredible opportunity to witness the majestic humpback whales during their annual migration. With a team of expert marine naturalists, you’ll learn about these incredible creatures and get up close to them in their natural habitat.

For those who prefer a leisurely day at sea, Sea World Cruises offers scenic sightseeing cruises that allow you to take in the stunning coastal views and natural beauty of the Gold Coast. These cruises are perfect for a relaxing day out with family or friends.

If you’re looking to add a touch of romance to your evening, Sea World Cruises hosts intimate dinner cruises. These cruises combine breathtaking waterfront views with delectable cuisine, creating a memorable and romantic experience for couples.

Sea World Cruises also caters to special events and functions, providing a unique and picturesque setting for weddings, corporate gatherings, and private celebrations. Their vessels are well-equipped to make any event a success.

Sea World Cruises takes pride in its experienced and friendly crew, who are dedicated to ensuring your safety and enjoyment on the water. Their modern vessels are designed to provide comfort and convenience while you explore the Gold Coast’s aquatic wonders.

With Sea World Cruises, you can embark on an adventure to spot marine life, relax while taking in the stunning coastal scenery, or enjoy a romantic dinner on the water. Their commitment to delivering exceptional cruise experiences makes them a top choice for anyone seeking aquatic adventures and memorable moments on the Gold Coast.

Address: Sea World Cruises Terminal, Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, 4217 QLD


Google Review:Super excellent great whale great skip per and Crew members to serve us. Best quality to whale watching in definitely more conservation ways.” – Wen Hou

9. Whales In Paradise

Whales In Paradise

Whales In Paradise is a well-known whale-watching tour company based on the Gold Coast, and it’s renowned for providing some of the most thrilling and educational whale-watching experiences in the region. 

Their expert guides are dedicated to creating an unforgettable experience, sharing their extensive knowledge about these majestic creatures and their behaviours.

This isn’t just a boat ride; it’s a chance to learn about the marine environment and the incredible world of humpback whales. The experienced guides provide valuable insights into the whales’ habits, behaviours, and conservation efforts, making it both an entertaining and educational experience for all passengers.

Whales In Paradise caters to a diverse audience. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast eager to get closer to these gentle giants, a family seeking an exciting and educational day out, or a tourist exploring the Gold Coast’s natural wonders, their tours offer something for everyone.

Whales In Paradise is a top-notch choice for whale watching on the Gold Coast. Their dedication to providing an educational and exciting experience, combined with their knowledgeable guides and comfortable vessels, ensures that you’ll have an extraordinary encounter with humpback whales while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the Gold Coast’s marine environment. It’s an adventure that’s not only entertaining but also deeply informative and inspiring.

Address: 10a Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia


Google Review:Highly recommended. There is plenty of parking nearby and the ticket office is easily accessible near the wharf. The crew are very helpful & are skilled in finding whales. I took my elderly mum on a cruise a while back with Whales in Paradise also & everyone was so kind to her given she wasn’t used to being on a boat. Thank you for the awesome whale memories.” – Michelle Coates

What Is The Best Time To See Whales In The Gold Coast?

As we stated above, Gold Coast offers the opportunity to watch these awesome creatures for a longer duration as compared to Brisbane and other spots. The popular visitor season for whale watching in the Gold Coast is from June to October. As the migration of whales occurs in the month of August, it becomes the peak time to watch whales. During these months, these wonderful creatures make their way towards the warmer waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea for breeding and calving. During their migration, you have a high chance to see these whales and observe their behaviour. 

Also, during late October to early November, you can observe these creatures as they make their way back to Antarctica. 

The best time during these months is from morning to early afternoon. So whenever you are planning a whale watching trip on the Gold Coast, give preference to timing and season so that you get the most out of your trip.

Tips to Follow To Make Whale Watching More Enjoyable

It is amazing to see whales up close but to protect the whales’ safety and wellbeing as well as your own, it is crucial to observe them well and responsibly. To enhance the pleasure of whale watching, follow these recommendations:

Respect the Guidelines and Laws

  • Learn about the rules and regulations that apply to whale watching in the region you intend to visit, both locally and nationally.
  • Pay attention to any boat-specific speed restrictions and observe the advised viewing distances.

Bring the Right Gear

  • If you want to see the whales up close without upsetting them, bring binoculars or a camera with a good zoom lens.
  • To protect yourself from the sun, dress in layers and put on a hat and sunscreen.

Stay Quiet and Patient

  • On the boat, refrain from making loud noises or abrupt movements. To avoid upsetting the whales, keep your talk to a minimum.
  • Remember that whales are erratic creatures, so it might take some time to locate them.

Respect the Whales’ Space

  • Be sure to maintain a safe distance from the whales. It is advised to keep at least 100 metres between you and the majority of whale species.
  • Avoid touching or feeding the whales at all costs. Maintain a passive observational approach.

Observe Whale Behavior

  • Observe the behaviour of the whales. The boat should stay further away if they seem anxious or agitated.
  • Keep an eye out for indicators of typical behaviours such as spy hopping, tail-slapping, and breaching.

Minimise Litter and Pollution

  • Make sure you properly dispose of your trash to prevent it from ending up in the ocean.
  • Choose tour companies that are thoughtful, ecologically aware, and adhere to sustainable practices.

Safety First

  • Pay attention to the safety instructions that the tour operator gives you, especially if you are on a boat.
  • When the boat is moving, stay seated and put on a life jacket if necessary.

Be Mindful of Wildlife

  • Look for other aquatic animals, including dolphins, turtles, and seabirds, when you are watching whales. Enjoy the diversity of wildlife in the area.

Educate Yourself and Others

  • Take advantage of the chance to learn more about the value of responsible whale watching and marine conservation, then impart that knowledge to others.

Limit Your Impact

  • Select eco-friendly travel strategies, like cutting back on your carbon footprint and patronising companies that advance sustainable travel.

Weather Considerations

  • Prior to your trip, check the weather and sea conditions. Bad weather can have an effect on how enjoyable your whale-watching tour is. 

Flexible Schedule

  • Accept the possibility that your whale-watching experience may not always be predictable. Although nature does not always follow a schedule, the best time to see whales is during their peak migration season.

Final Words

Watching these creatures perform their activities without any filter is really amazing. They will really win your heart and you will happily love to see them again and again. You should keep in mind the popular seasons so that you can watch them. Also, do not forget about the ethics that are a must while whale watching. So if you have not yet visited these spots, then plan your vacations, make travel arrangements and make advance bookings to avoid the rush at the last moment. We wish you a happy and exciting whale-watching trip for you and your family.

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