Bowen - Top of the Whitsundays
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Whales in the Whitsundays


They're the big friendly giants we've all got on our bucket-list to see or get up close and personal with – and we've got the top spots to spot our favourite Winter visitors and all the interesting facts about our biggest visitors.
Humpback Whales make an annual migration during Winter from the cold Antarctic waters to the warm sub-tropical waters of Eastern Australia. During their epic journey they delight tourists and locals in the whale watching hot-spots of Eden in New South Wales, Hervey Bay and of course the Whitsundays!


Sightings of mothers and calves are common; the whales come north for mating season and to give birth, and the warm Whitsunday waters make a great nursery and play room for them as the young learn all the skills they need from their mothers.
Since being hunted to near extinction (in the early sixties numbers dwindled to mere hundreds) experts now estimate the population to have regenerated to over 30,000 individuals – so that means there's a great chance of spotting one!
So now for the important bit – how and where do you go about getting your own glimpse of these gentle giants of the deep? Well, the good news is it's pretty easy – in fact you don't even need a boat. How about whale spotting....

From the land:

From Bowen's Flagstaff Hill there's a 360-degree view that encompasses offshore Whitsunday islands, Port Denison, the open ocean, and of course (you guessed it) whales at play! If you're up for a little exercise, a walk along the Edgecumbe trail provides numerous vantage points of our beautiful coast. Make sure to spend some time at the beach and headlands at Murrays Bay, as this is a whale spotting hotspot for locals.


From an island (you can walk to!):

For an extra special wildlife experience, time your visit to Bowen with the annual 'Walk to the Lighthouse' event. The crowds winding their way from the headland at Dalrymple point to North Head Island on the lowest tides of the year are treated to close up interactions with giant red starfish, sea cucumbers and sightings of Green Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Dugongs and both Humpback and Minke Whales!

From a sailing boat:

A great option is to join one of the many quality day trips exploring the Whitsunday Islands that depart from Airlie Beach daily, and it doesn't get more iconic than sailing in the Whitsundays! Day sailing with Derwent Hunter or Providence tall ships will delight the whole family, or for maximum whale spotting time book an overnight trip with Explore Whitsundays or Whitsundays Sailing Adventures! Bliss.

With a thrill:

Like your whale spotting with a side of adrenalin? Well, if the thrill of seeing one of nature's marvels isn't enough to get the heart racing, a trip on Thundercat or Ocean Rafting sure will! Not only will you have a full day of snorkelling, exploring island tracks, lookouts and of course Whitehaven Beach; during Winter Whale sightings are an added bonus as they come up to play and show off for our visitors.

On the way to the Great Barrier Reef:

Visiting the GBR from the Whitsundays during winter is one of the best options for whale spotting in our waters. Cruising across open ocean to explore our World Heritage icon is the perfect opportunity to see the whales on their own journey through the Great Barrier Reef. Explore Dive & Snorkel offer the opportunity to really immerse in the wonder of the reef with amazing dive and snorkel options or treat the whole family with a full day at Hardy Reef pontoon with Cruise Whitsundays.


Whether it's on land or on water, you're sure to have a whale of a time exploring the Whitsundays in Winter!

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