Take a walk through the Noosa National Park to Hell’s Gate from May to October, and you’ll undoubtedly see pods of magnificent whales, mothers and calves. Enormous splashes are a sign they’re breaching up and out of the ocean, though the tell-tale plumes of water are also an oft-sighted indicator the whales are moving past. If you’re lucky, you might see one close enough to see a flash of their white underbelly as they propel themselves out of the water… wouldn’t it be amazing if you could see one close enough to count the barnacles on their head (or rostrum)? Luckily, you have a few options within breaching distance of Noosa Pacific Resort…
Over on Gympie Terrace is Noosa Wave Boating Adventures, a purpose-built boat used for exploring the beautiful Laguna Bay and beyond. They offer two great whale experiences between June and November: their Noosa Whale Watching tour and the much more interactive Swim With The Whales tour. With over 20 years’ experience skippering in the waters off Noosa and a boat you can move freely around fitted with an onboard toilet, sun canopy and the latest safety devices, this is a wonderful way to get up close with these gentle sea creatures. Most tours last for 2 hours (slightly longer for Swim With Whales) and depart from just up the river. You can even charter the entire boat if you’re staying with friends and family at Noosa Pacific! Age restrictions apply (5 years and up for watching, 16+ for swimming).
Noosa Ocean Rider
For a more high-octane thrill ride with some whales thrown in, the Noosa Ocean Rider is a great option. Departing from the Noosa Marina and with slightly higher age restrictions (7+), you’ll be catapulted out from the river mouth and around the Heads in no time, searching for whales. Don’t worry- the speed slows significantly once marine life has been sighted. With only 12 seats available, this 2-hour whale watching tour is another excellent option for those holidaying in larger groups at Noosa Pacific.
A 50 minute drive away in the Mooloolaba Wharf precinct is Whale One, a luxurious two storey purpose-built whale watching craft. These guys are serious about their whale watching and have some amazing photos to prove it! Tours last for 2.5 to 3 hours, with toilets and the option of purchasing light food, snacks, drinks and alcohol on board. Whale One also provide Swim With Whales experiences on their smaller boats for up to 3 hours.
Booking is highly recommended on all three providers (prices are similar), with the proviso that each tour is weather dependent. If you are pregnant, restrictions apply.