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

Half-Day Whale Watching and Canal Cruise from Viator

Best for: Views

    Highlights:
    • Watch humpback whales at play
    • Small group sizes with a guaranteed rail-side position
    • Glide along the Gold Coast canals past luxury homes
    View details
    2.5-Hour Whale Watching Tour on Spirit of Gold Coast

    2.5-Hour Whale Watching Tour on Spirit of Gold Coast from Groupon

    Best for: Value

      Highlights:
      • 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
      View details

      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

      ExperienceDeparts fromDurationWhat's includedPrice (from)Where to book
      Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching TourMain Beach2.5 hours
      • Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits on arrival
      • Photographic keepsake booklet
      • Kids under three free of charge
      $49 per child

      $59 per adult

      Groupon
      Half-Day Whale Watching and Canal CruiseSurfers Paradise3.5 hours
      • Complimentary coffee and biscuits
      • Commentary from a marine naturalist
      $59 per child

      $79 per adult

      Viator
      Whale Watching CruiseSurfers Paradise2.5 hours
      • Six viewing platforms to spot whales
      • First class seating
      • Receive a return cruise for free if whales are not spotted during your trip
      $59 per child

      $89 per adult

      RedBalloon
      Whale Watching Yacht CruiseMain Beach2.5 hours
      • Morning tea on arrival
      • Cruise on a luxury yacht
      $39 per child

      $69 per adult

      Adrenaline
      Luxury Whale Watching CharterMain Beach and Paradise Point3 hours
      • Private charter cruise ideal for events and large groups
      • Complimentary glass of wine, beer or soft drink for each guest
      • Sound system and smartphone connectivity
      $1,690 for eight peopleAdrenaline

      Where can I book a whale watching experience on the Gold Coast and in surrounding areas?

      Name Product Voucher validity Is there a sign up discount? Is price matching available? Can I book exclusive experiences? Where to book
      RedBalloon
      RedBalloon - Whale Watching in Gold Coast
      5 years
      $10
      Yes
      Yes
      Adrenaline
      Adrenaline - Whale Watching in Gold Coast
      5 years
      No
      Yes
      Yes
      Viator
      Viator - Whale Watching in Gold Coast
      Depends on the individual experience
      No
      Yes
      Yes
      Experience Oz
      Experience Oz - Whale watching in Gold Coast
      1 year
      No
      Yes
      Yes
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      Compare up to 4 providers

      Latest deals on whale watching on the Gold Coast

      CudoCudo

      Up to 54% off Gold Coast whale watching catamaran cruise

      Ends

      ViatorViator

      Things to do in Gold Coast from $15

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      Everything AustraliaEverything Australia

      Up to 30% off Gold Coast activities

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      AdrenalineAdrenaline

      Up to 50% off Australia experiences

      Everything AustraliaEverything Australia

      Up to 40% off things to do in Australia

      RedBalloonRedBalloon

      Get $5 off Gold Coast whale watching cruises

      Ends

      RedBalloonRedBalloon
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      Get $10 off activities with code

      RedBalloonRedBalloon
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      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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