Whales in the Whitsundays

Whales in the Whitsundays

Witnessing the majesty of whales off the coast of Camp Island in the Whitsundays is an awe-inspiring experience that leaves visitors breathless. Between July and August, humpback whales embark on their annual migration along the Queensland coast, passing by the Whitsunday Islands on their journey. As these gentle giants make their way through the crystal-clear waters, their sheer size and grace command attention against the backdrop of the Great Barrier Reef.

“The World Cetacean Alliance has formally designated the Whitsundays as a Whale Heritage Site following an active community program by Whales of the Whitsundays (WoW) which recognises the importance of our region for humpback whales to calve.”

With this official endorsement, the Whitsundays now proudly stands alongside Hervey Bay as one of Australia’s recognized Whale Heritage Sites, solidifying its worldwide importance in marine conservation endeavors.

Camp Island, the 2nd most northerly Whitsunday island, offers a perfect vantage point to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. 

For those fortunate enough to encounter these marine marvels, the experience is truly unforgettable. The sight of a humpback whale breaching the surface, its massive body soaring gracefully before disappearing beneath the waves, is a moment that leaves a lasting impression. From the playful antics of calves to the mesmerizing songs of adult males, each encounter offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of humpback whales.

In our world's oceans, there are over 92 species of whales and dolphins. The Humpback Whale undertakes an awe-inspiring journey of over 3,000 miles from its feeding grounds in the frigid waters of Antarctica to the inviting, vibrant waters of the Great Barrier Reef. This migration occurs between June and October, making the Humpback a celebrated symbol along the East Australian coastline.

Every year, female Humpback Whales journey to the Whitsundays either to breed or to give birth. Their gestation period lasts 11-12 months, and once every 2-3 years, they deliver a single live calf.

Alongside the humpback whale, the Dwarf Minke Whale also migrates through the protected waters of the Whitsunday Islands. Discovered only in the mid-1980s, their passage through the Great Barrier Reef remains the world's sole predictable aggregation. These whales spend most of their adult lives pregnant, giving birth to a single calf each year after a 10-month gestation period. Remarkably, newborns enter the world at the size of a baby giraffe.

For nature lovers and adventure seekers alike, the opportunity to witness whales in their element off the coast of Camp Island is a highlight of any Whitsundays getaway.