Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Did You Know?

Fun facts and information about whales

Every year the humpback whale leaves the cooler waters of the Antarctic, from which they travel up through the warmer waters of tropical Queensland and up as far as the great Barrier reef.

The Gold Coast whale watching season runs between June and November each year.

During this period, it is estimated some 20,000 humpback whales migrate north up past the Gold Coast.

Over the past few years the Gold Coast has earned a growing reputation as a whale watching capital as thousands of international tourists now head to the Gold Coast just to be able to get up close and personal with these giant mammals of the ocean.

“Often, many of our guests are fortunate enough to witness displays of varying types of behavior of these magnificent animals at play, as they breach, tail and pectoral fin slap the water. It is not uncommon to see these inquisitive animals and theirs carves approach the boat, swimming around on the surface making eye contact whilst staying with us for some time. Our guests are often treated to some truly awesome up close and intimate experiences”

Experts believe humpback whale numbers have been increasing by some 10% each year due to the ceasing of whaling and greater awareness and education surrounding the species in general.

With this in mind, we are expecting the 2020 season to be our most active and best season ever.

Some Fun Facts

The Blue Whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth; it is larger than any of the dinosaurs. The biggest recorded blue whale was a female in the Antarctic Ocean that was 30.5 m long (more than 3.5 times the length of a double-decker bus and as long as a Boeing 737 plane) with an estimated weight of 144 tonnes (almost the same as 2,000 men). The tongue alone of a blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant and an entire football team could stand on it!

The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a VW Beetle car and weighs up to 450kg. The aorta, a major blood vessel for the heart, is big enough for a human child to crawl through.

Whales are marine mammals, and like all mammals, whales breathe air into lungs, are warm-blooded, feed their young milk and have some (although very little) hair. Their bodies resemble the streamlined form of a fish, while the forelimbs or flippers are paddle-shaped. The tail fins, or flukes, enable whales to propel themselves through the water. Most species of whale have a fin on their backs known as a dorsal fin.

Whales are mammals, and as such, they have hair—though very little of it!

Beneath the skin lies a layer of fat called blubber. It serves as an energy reservoir and also as insulation. Whales breathe through blowholes, located on the top of the head so the animal can remain submerged. Baleen whales have two blowholes, while toothed whales have one


Different Whale Behaviour

When a humpback whale lifts its giant fluke or tail out of the water and throws it back into the ocean it’s called a Tail Throw. This is performed many times by female humpback whales that may be attempting to attract the attention of male hump- backs interested in mating.

The humpback whale floating vertically in the water and lifting its whole rostrum or head out of the water is a Spy Hop. This allows the whale to see out of the water and view their surroundings. Watching a 45 ton 45-foot humpback whale poke its head out of the water is epic.

Mugging is when a humpback whale approaches our boat closer than 100 yards on its own. Our boat is non-threatening, which encourages these curious, gentle giants to swim right up to our boat and check you out!

The female humpback whale will raise her giant pectoral fin or arm fin out of the water and repeatedly slap it back down on the surface of the water. This is also believed to draw in the adult male humpback whales in the area who may be interested in mating.