Whale watching on the Gold Coast | A guide for the 2021 season
Here's where and when to spot these magnificent creatures on the Gold Coast.
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Queensland’s Gold Coast is a prime location 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 as places to see 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.
Our top picks: Whale watching cruises you can book on the Gold Coast right now
Half-Day Whale Watching and Canal Cruise from Viator
Best for: Views
- Watch humpback whales at play
- Small group sizes with a guaranteed rail-side position
- Glide along the Gold Coast canals past luxury homes
2.5-Hour Whale Watching Tour on Spirit of Gold Coast from Groupon
Best for: Value
- See majestic humpback whales in their natural environment
- Receive a free return voucher if whales are not sighted
- Chance to view dolphins, birds, sea turtles and other marine life
Why you can trust our recommendations for whale watching on the Gold Coast
- We compared whale watching on the Gold Coast options with top brands like RedBalloon, Adrenaline, Viator and Groupon to find the top experiences.
- We put ourselves in your shoes and considered what most people would look for when booking experiences, whether it's location, price, inclusions or availability.
- When possible, we'll include first-hand reviews of our whale watching on the Gold Coast experiences.
Whale watching on the Gold Coast: Compare experiences, locations and inclusions
|Experience||Departs from||Duration||What's included||Price (from)||Where to book|
|Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching Tour||Main Beach||2.5 hours||$49 per child|
$59 per adult
|Half-Day Whale Watching and Canal Cruise||Surfers Paradise||3.5 hours||$59 per child|
$79 per adult
|Whale Watching Cruise||Surfers Paradise||2.5 hours||$59 per child|
$89 per adult
|Whale Watching Yacht Cruise||Main Beach||2.5 hours||$39 per child|
$69 per adult
|Luxury Whale Watching Charter||Main Beach and Paradise Point||3 hours||$1,690 for eight people||Adrenaline|
Where can I book a whale watching experience on the Gold Coast and in surrounding areas?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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Latest deals on whale watching on the Gold Coast
Up to 54% off Gold Coast whale watching catamaran cruise
Available until 17 October 2021 for a 2.5-hour cruise with morning tea.
Things to do in Gold Coast from $15
Available on select travel dates and activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, wine tours, jet boat rides, whale watching cruises, attraction passes, surf lessons and more.
Up to 30% off Gold Coast activities
Available on select travel dates on activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, whale watching cruises, jet boat rides and more.
Up to 50% off Australia experiences
Available on select travel dates for activities including skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing, high tea and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.
Up to 40% off things to do in Australia
Available on select travel dates on activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, sightseeing cruises, whale watching cruises and dining experiences. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne and more.
Get $5 off Gold Coast whale watching cruises
Available on select travel dates when you buy 2 or more vouchers. T&Cs apply.
Get $10 off activities with code
Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Sunshine Coast and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
Get $5 off activities with code
Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 42% off activities for kids
Available on select dates, including school holidays, for activities like sandboarding, whale watching, jet boat rides, indoor skydiving, cruises, swimming, go karting and much more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and more.
5% off first time experience
Available on select dates on activities like tours, sightseeing cruises, skydiving, hot air balloon experience, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Adelaide and more.
Activities for kids from $17 + an extra $5 off with code
Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include day tour cruises, zoo experiences, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 15% off local activities
Available on select travel dates on activities including day tours, skydiving, hot air balloon flights, transfers, quad biking, attraction passes and cruise. Destinations include in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 44% off Gold Coast experiences
Available on select travel dates for activities including tandem skydives, hot air balloon flights, zoo and wildlife interactions, sightseeing cruises and more. T&Cs apply.
Frequently asked questions about whale watching on the Gold Coast
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 work out when the whales will pass Byron Bay and the Gold Coast is to keep an eye on when they pass Sydney.
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