Whale Experiences

Whether you’re a local or just visiting Mooloolaba, you can’t go past whale experiences as one of the most memorable things to do on the Sunshine Coast!

Getting up close to these majestic creatures is breathtaking, and what’s even more thrilling – getting into the water with them!!

The Wharf Mooloolaba is proud to be home to Whale One and Adventure Rafting – both of which offer spectacular whale experiences where you can get up close and personal with these beautiful beasts during their annuals migration – which is one of the longest in the World!

Typically, the whales migrate north from June to July; and south from September to the end of October. This means that here in Mooloolaba, we witness whales migrating both north and south in August and September during what’s known as the”crossover period.”

The reason we are so lucky to witness them locally is that humpback whales migrate up to this area to breed. This is where they stay until their newborn calves have grown and accumulated enough blubber to endure the icy waters of Antarctica when they return south.

Whale Watching Mooloolaba

With both Whale One and Adventure Rafting, ocean lovers will have the chance to not only witness humpbacks but also an array of other marine life influencing dolphins, rays, turtles, jellyfish, and much more.

Tours are educational and informative and give adventure lovers an immersive yet natural experience as operators don’t coerce the whales into coming near the boats. While this type of practice is used elsewhere in the world, locally, the tour operators ensure this is an entirely organic experience.

Whales Ahoy

When whales are sighted, boats will pull up a safe distance away from them, following strict guidelines and protocols. The professional tour operators will use this initial encounter to simply observe the behaviours of the whale. The team at Whale One tell us, “sometimes, the whales will be curious enough to come right up to the vessel and even swim underneath”.

To tell you a little about these gentle giants, humpback whales feed on shrimp-like crustaceans – such as Krill – and other small fish. When they’re on the surface, humpbacks may roll onto their side or back and slap the water’s surface with their fins. This slapping is a type of communication, but you may also hear moans, grunts, blasts, shrieks and groans.

If you are onboard Adventure Rafting’s new vessel Coastal Express, you will be excited to learn they have HD underwater cameras, which live stream underwater vision to monitors installed on the back of the seats; meaning you can watch the whales in real-time. These boats have state-of-the-art hydrophone which allows people to listen to the whales sing under the water!!

Swimming with Whales in Mooloolaba

Whale One at The Wharf Mooloolaba allows you to even SWIM with whales, which is a pretty wild experience, to say the least.

Every Swim with Whales experience is entirely different from the next, and the opportunity is always fully organic.

The team at Whale One ask that everyone who joins them on these tours understands that these are wild animals, and there will be days where the whales want to interact with people and days where they are uninterested in saying “hey” to the humans. No matter what the whales are doing that day, the Whale One team is focused on respecting nature, and they hope their guests will understand this and do the same.

Whether the whales are near or far, getting in the water with these beautiful creates is guaranteed to leave you breathless and stay with you for life as one of the most memorable natural encounters you will ever experience.

Again, when swimming with whales, there are strict rules and regulations in place, which are for both the safety of passengers and for the protection of the whales. One of the rules is around tour numbers which are limited to help ensure a safe distance between whales and humans. This also means your swim with whales experience is more personal.

Book Today

Now that you know just how fantastic whale watching and swimming with whales in Mooloolaba can be, it’s time that you booked your tour!

Visit Whale One (Sunreef) for both whale watching and swimming with whale experiences, and Adventure Rafting for whale watching. We encourage you to read up on both operators and tour options to learn more about which vessel and experience you and your family would enjoy best.

While you’re here, want to learn more about diving a missile destroyer turned reef?

Mooloolaba Wharf