Whale watching on the Gold Coast | Deals and tips for the 2020 season
Where and when to spot these magnificent beasts on the Gold Coast.
Watching whales as they migrate along the east coast of Australia is a spectacle like no other. These beautiful creatures captivate us as they swim, lifting and slapping their tails and fins and blowing jets of water through their blowholes.
Queensland’s Gold Coast is prime for witnessing whales as they journey up or down the coast to breed and give birth to their calves. While seaside vantage points work a treat to catch them, there’s something unsurpassable about sailing alongside humpback and southern right whales while on a cruise.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, we know a few deals that can get you onboard to watch the migration affordably.
Best for whale watching and sightseeing:
Half-Day Whale Watching and Canal Cruise from Viator
- Watch humpback whales at play for just $99
- Listen to interesting commentary from a marine naturalist
- Small group sizes with a guaranteed rail side position
- Glide along the Gold Coast canals past luxury homes
Best for guaranteed whale sightings:
2.5-Hour Whale Watching Tour on Spirit of Gold Coast from Groupon
- See majestic humpback whales in their natural environment for $59
- Receive a free return voucher if whales are not sighted
- Chance to view dolphins, birds, sea turtles and other marine life
- Includes a whale photographic keepsake booklet to commemorate the experience
Best for learning about humpback whales:
3-Hour Whale Watching and Marine Research Adventure from Groupon
- Enjoy a three-hour trip for $69 looking for the world’s largest mammals
- Participate in research activities such as using the hydrophone to listen to underwater sounds
- Choice of a sunrise tour for the calmest waters or a mid-morning departure
- Take away a brochure with a summary of information about humpback whales
When is whale watching season on the Gold Coast?
While whale watching season on the Gold Coast runs from May to November every year, the best time to catch the migration is between June and October.
Between May and July you’ll find the whales making their way north to breed, and from August onwards you’ll see them heading back south with their young.
The most common breeds you’ll witness are humpback whales and southern right whales, though if you’re lucky you may also spy killer whales (orcas) or false killer whales.
What is the best time for whale watching on the Gold Coast during the season?
The peak periods of activity for whale watching on the Gold Coast are slightly before and slightly after breeding. If you’re looking to increase your chances of seeing them, mid-June to July and mid-September to October are the ideal periods to do this.
Another good way to see when the whales will pass by Byron Bay and the Gold Coast is to keep an eye on when they pass Sydney.
Whale watching cruise companies in Gold Coast compared
|Cruise name and length||Departure point||Inclusions||Price (from)||Book with|
|Gold Coast Dive Adventures 3-hour tour||Runaway Bay||$49 per child|
$69 per adult
|Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching 2.5-hour tour||Main Beach||$39 per child|
$59 per adult
|Whale Watching and Canal Cruise 3.5-hour tour||Surfers Paradise||$69 per child|
$99 per adult
|Whales in Paradise 3.5-hour tour||Surfers Paradise||$69 per child|
$99 per adult
|Gold Coast Adventures 2.5-hour tour||Surfers Paradise||$69 per child|
$99 per adult
|Sea World Whale Watching 2.5-hour tour||Sea World||$79 per child|
$89 per senior
$99 per adult
|Gift it Now|
Latest deals on whale watching in Gold Coast
Popular Travel coupon codes
|Last checked||Code description||Code|
|15 Jul 2020||Get $20 credit||FIN****|
|15 Jul 2020||Extra 8% off on hotel bookings||CLP****|
|13 Jul 2020||Extra $10 off site-wide with code||FDR****|
|22 May 2020||Extra 9% off hotel bookings||AUT****|
|27 Apr 2020||Up to 12% off worldwide flights||PAY****|
Ask an Expert