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See whales in Noosa

See whales in Noosa

Visit Noosa

With record numbers of humpback whales (30,000+) migrating up Queensland’s coast and back to Antarctica through Noosa’s waters between July and the end of October, there are many wonderful sightings of these amazing mammals. If you’re lucky enough to see (or hear) a whale, it’s something you’ll never forget.

Here are some of the ways you might enjoy this incredible experience in Noosa and nearby:

  • See them from the land at vantage points around Noosa
  • Take a kayak tour from Noosa and keep a look-out
  • Join a whale-watching boat tour from Mooloolaba, Brisbane or Hervey Bay – all are just a day-trip away and you can be back in Noosa for dinner
  • See them from the air on a scenic flight
  • Swim with them.

Spot whales from land
Whales and their newborn calves can be spotted from vantage points along the eastern beaches from Sunshine Beach to Sunrise, Peregian and Coolum, where a coastal boardwalk provides great viewing.

Whales can also be seen from the Noosa National Park headland if they are in close. Just look for the spray of water into the air as they “blow” when they rise to the surface to breathe. Or look for a splash anywhere between the offshore buoys and the horizon as they poke their head, fin or tail out of the water. There will also be a gigantic splash as they breach, launching their whole bodies out of the water.

Tours from Noosa
Noosa Ocean Rider and Noosa Thriller are jet boat thrill rides that tour the waters around the Noosa National Park headland where they often see dolphins - and whales at this time of the year.


Epic Ocean Adventures (pictured above) do guided kayak tours to Double Island Point from Noosa, and often have stunning, close-up encounters with whales.

The winter water clarity is incredible and SubSurface Scuba are now also offering whale watching and snorkelling tours from Noosa and Mooloolaba, along with their usual snorkelling and diving tours to Sunshine Coast reefs for beginners to experienced (pictured above). Being underwater offers the chance to hear the whales’ song which can carry for many kilometres.

Boat tours from Mooloolaba

Just 30mins south of Noosa, Sunreef (pictured above) and Whale One (pictured below) do whale-watching tours from Mooloolaba to the warm Sunshine Coast waters.

Boat tours from Brisbane
Brisbane’s Moreton Bay, less than 2 hours south of Noosa, also has whale-watching tours with Brisbane Whale Watching.

Boat tours from Hervey Bay
The whales spend time with their young in the calm waters of Hervey Bay, about a 2.5hr drive north of Noosa, and there’s a great range of half-day or full-days boat tours that take you close to the whales. Get up close on-board Tasman Venture (who also have a swim with the whales experience), Spirit of Hervey Bay, Whalesong Cruises or Freedom Whale Watch & Charters, and be back in Noosa for dinner!

See whales from the air
Flights over Noosa, Fraser Island and the Sunshine Coast also offer the chance to spot whales. Air Fraser Island have day tours and overnight experiences to the World Heritage-listed island on Noosa’s doorstep, while The Recreational Flying Co also offer scenic and charter flights over Fraser, Noosa and Rainbow Beach.

Airborne Solutions have scenic helicopter flights, or join Paradise Seaplanes for a flight in their Wilga Warbird. Or keep a lookout during a spectacular scenic flight over Sunshine Coast beaches with Helitec.

Swim with the whales
Sunreef Mooloolaba were the first in Australia to offer the chance to swim with humpback whales – you can’t get much closer than that! Tasman Venture in Hervey Bay also offer an incredible swim with the whales experience (pictured above).

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