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Queensland

Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Queensland Dolphin & Whale Watching

Hervey Bay: Turtle Discovery Eco Tour & Cultural Experience

1. Hervey Bay: Turtle Discovery Eco Tour & Cultural Experience

Dive deep into the indigenous culture while cruising the bluest shallows and exploring the wildlife and unique beauty that surrounds the Great Sandy Straits on this turtle discovery tour. Begin your eco-tour at 10:30 AM onboard a 10-meter glass-bottom vessel. Travel through the spectacular waterways of the Great Sandy Marine Park, with stops at Round Island and Big Woody Island, and coral reefs for snorkeling and viewing through the glass panels. Enjoy time spent on the islands where you can swim or snorkel in crystal clear waters, play a game of beach cricket or take the opportunity to relax on the sandy beaches. Immerse yourself in the Butchulla culture with our local Indigenous guide. Gain a whole new perspective and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. Fully immerse yourself in the captivating stories from your guide. Or choose to relax and take in the views. Prepare to be transported to another time and place as your guide explains how they were taught to look to the elements, and further afield, to the stars for signs. It’s a breathtaking moment that will live on long after your gentle journey back to the dock. Snorkel and see if you can spot turtles, dolphins, dugongs, sea birds, and other marine life. Sneak off to your own private corner of a picture-perfect beach. Walk where the crystal blue water meets the white sand and spinifex grass. As you travel through the Straits, join the search for fish habitat amongst the coral reef, turtles, dolphins, sea bird colonies, and possibly a reef shark or dugong.

Hervey Bay: Half-Day Whale Watching Experience

2. Hervey Bay: Half-Day Whale Watching Experience

Hervey Bay has a reputation as one the best places in the world in which to observe Humpback whales, enjoy this excursion with the guarantee of seeing these wonderful animals. See these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat on this enthralling half–day tour.  Depart from your hotel or accommodation in Hervey Bay and travel to the marina to begin your aquatic adventure. Travel across the beautiful blue, clear water of Hervey Bay and take in the stunning views. Spot humpback and other majestic species of whales as they frolic in the water. Look out also for birds, turtles, dugongs and 3 different species of dolphin. While you watch whales and a whole host of wonderful sea creatures, the friendly crew will serve morning tea and lunch (on Extended Morning cruise) or afternoon tea and dinner (on Afternoon and Sunset cruise).

Airlie: Adventure Jet Ski Tour From Airlie Beach

3. Airlie: Adventure Jet Ski Tour From Airlie Beach

Get your adrenaline rushing with a 1.5-hour jet ski adventure from Airlie Beach. Delight in the informative and entertaining commentary provided by your qualified tour guide, and spot sea turtles in the turquoise waters. Depart from Airlie Beach and drive your latest model Sea-Doo jet ski out to view the Whitsunday Islands from the protection of the coastline. Explore Airlie's beautiful bays and the picturesque world heritage Whitsunday Island Marine Park. Keep your eye out for the area's famous turtles, as well as dugongs, seabirds, and seasonal humpback whales from July to September. Take home memories of your experience with free of charge photos provided on Facebook after your tour. No license is required for this tour, and no experience is necessary.

From Airlie Beach: Two-Island Safari

4. From Airlie Beach: Two-Island Safari

Hop on a free shuttle bus in the Airlie Beach area and head out on a guided jet ski adventure. Explore the area around the Whitsunday Islands, encountering the diverse native wildlife and enjoying the sun and the sea.  Meet your qualified tour guide and head out on a worry-free jet ski ride where no previous experience or license is necessary. Listen to your guide's informative commentary as you cruise down the scenic waterways around Daydream and South Molle Islands for two hours. Learn about the diverse wildlife native to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Whitsunday Island Marine Park. Spot sea turtles, dugongs, seabirds, and seasonal humpback whales (July–September). Take home loads of memories with the photos of your adventure shared with you for free on Facebook.

Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

5. Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

Experience a day on board 'Reef Goddess' to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Begin your adventure at Clump Point Boat Ramp where you'll board MV Reef Goddess. After an introduction and safety briefing from your captain, depart Clump Point and head off to the East sitting on 17 knots reaching your first reef location in under 1 1/2 hours. In the water at the first Outer Great Barrier Reef location (locations are determined on the day to suit weather conditions), you'll have an hour exploring untouched reefs with the crew on hand to assist with your gear and getting going. A free snorkel briefing will cover what to do and what not to do to ensure your safety and enjoyment at the reef. Depart for a 1/2 hour cruise to the second snorkel location and lunch preparation. Arrive at the second location where your friendly crew will serve lunch with cold cuts, fresh prawns, salads, and fresh tropical fruit. After your well-earned lunch, jump in for another hour of learning, exploring, and experiencing one of the world's natural wonders. After more snorkeling or diving, your crew will 'up anchor' and head for home back to beautiful Mission Beach.

Mooloolaba: Whale Watching Cruise

6. Mooloolaba: Whale Watching Cruise

Cruise from Mooloolaba Wharf for the chance to see whales on this boat tour. Hear the song of the whales with the onboard hydrophone. Sail on a fast boat to ensure that you get as much time with the whales as possible.  Embark from Mooloolaba Wharf and enjoy panoramic views of the coast as you head to the whale watching location. Relax in a comfortable seat with a high back. Feel the power of the engine as you speed to your destination.  Listen to commentary from you skipper to learn about these mysterious creatures. Watch as the whales breach, slap the water with their massive tails, and perform spy hops and peduncle throws.

Hervey Bay: Sunset Cruise to Great Sandy Marine Park

7. Hervey Bay: Sunset Cruise to Great Sandy Marine Park

Relax on a tranquil evening cruise from Hervey Bay into the Great Sandy Straits Marine Park. This is the perfect appetizer for your evening ahead. Nothing beats watching the sunset at sea and the experience of returning to the port at dusk. Enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne as you soak up the changing colors of the bay. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and other wildlife that frequent the Marine Park at dusk. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset. Early evening is a special time to be on the water as marine wildlife of the harbor comes out to play. You will find the peacefulness of the water perfectly reflecting the evening light, and the lights of Hervey Bay twinkling in the distance mesmerizing.

From Brisbane: Tangalooma Day Trip with Whale Watch Cruise

8. From Brisbane: Tangalooma Day Trip with Whale Watch Cruise

Start your day with check-in at the wharf, and travel from Brisbane to Moreton Island on a scenic ferry ride. Choose to enjoy a complimentary beverage either on the boat ride over or the return journey. Arrive at beautiful Moreton Island after approximately 75 minutes and make a short stop at the resort before heading out on the whale watch cruise at approximately 12:00 PM. Board a smooth-sailing comfortable catamaran, the perfect vantage point to spot whales in the water. Enjoy full commentary about the habitats and behaviors of these amazing creatures. Sit down for a light lunch and refreshments served on board. Then, if you choose, enjoy the Discover the World of Dolphins presentation at the Eco Centre at 3:15 PM. Throughout the day, enjoy full access to the Tangalooma resort facilities including pools, restaurants and bars. Depart from the Tangalooma jetty at 4:00 PM and return back to the Brisbane wharf at 5:15 PM.

Rainbow Beach: Kayaking with Dolphins and Beach 4WD Tour

9. Rainbow Beach: Kayaking with Dolphins and Beach 4WD Tour

Begin your 3-hour adventure with a 4WD beach drive in the Great Sandy National Park. Head to the spectacular Double Island Point to enjoy scenic views of Fraser Island and the colored sands of Rainbow Beach. Afterward, head out on a relaxed kayaking tour around the headland as you admire the beauty of the natural surroundings and take in the Double Island Point Lighthouse from a unique perspective. Keep an eye out for the curious bottlenose dolphin pods who are often seen in this area, feeding on large schools of fish. Also, see local and migrating wildlife, including humpback whales (June-November), turtles, manta rays, stingrays, soldier crabs in their thousands, and migrating sea birds.

From Brisbane: Tangalooma Dolphin Feeding Day Cruise

10. From Brisbane: Tangalooma Dolphin Feeding Day Cruise

When you check in at the wharf, the staff will communicate all tour times of the day to guests. Then travel from Brisbane to Moreton Island on a scenic ferry ride. You may choose to enjoy a complimentary beverage either on the boat ride or the return journey. Arrive at beautiful Moreton Island after approximately 75 minutes and spend some time exploring at your own leisure. Have full access to the various pools, cafes, restaurants, bars, and, of course, the beach! If you have selected the desert safari tour, travel by 4WD vehicle to the Tangalooma Desert. With this thrilling and bumpy 4WD bus tour, getting there is half the fun. When sand tobogganing, you can reach speeds of up to 40km per hour. If you have chosen the marine discovery cruise, you’ll journey along the coastline in search of dolphins, dugongs, green sea turtles, rays, and more. The purpose-built discovery boat provides unobstructed views of Moreton Bay’s intriguing marine life. Enjoy full eco commentary, provided to explain the habitats and behaviors of the local marine creatures. The "Discover the World of Dolphins" presentation at the Eco Centre at 3:15 PM is optional. Watch this or simply explore the island at your leisure until sunset. Then, make your way to the jetty for the wild dolphin feeding program. Witness a majestic pod of dolphins visiting the shallow shore and see them play together until it’s time to be fed. Follow an expert into the shallow water and hand-feed fish to a wild bottlenose dolphin. You will be assisted by the Dolphin Care Team, consisting of Eco Rangers and dedicated staff who operate under strict guidelines to ensure the protection of the dolphins. At approximately 7:00 PM, leave the island and travel back to Brisbane, arriving at 8:15 PM.

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What people are saying about Queensland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 97 reviews

We were very lucky the weather was supposed to be terrible but wasn't and the whales were pleased to see us. Three or four pods came together at various times and put on quite a show . We were out about an hour and half before we saw much activity but from then on it was all go. The staff and the food were great too making it a great day out.

Staff were friendly. Not overly busy the day we went. Weather was good and sunset spectacular. Bar prices were reasonable. Cruise was in sheltered areas so pretty smooth sailing. A beautiful, relaxed afternoon.

Skipper Phil and kate we're a pleasure to talk to and the sun set was beautiful. It did have some rings in thou lol, a pod of dolphins .

We had an awesome morning out. Found lots of whales. Amazing experience. Highly recommend.

Very amazing experience. Felt very comfortable & happy.