Whale Watching is a MUST DO experience on the Gold Coast and you couldn’t be in safer or friendlier hands than booking a whale watching cruise with Spirit of Gold Coast.
Whale watching season usually runs between June to early November and each year, around 30,000 humpbacks make an epic 10,000 km return journey between Antarctic and Australia.
Our city of the Gold Coast is one of the best places in Australia to see humpback whales on this migration. Our Gold Coast highway runs parallel to another highway, the humpback highway.
The humpback highway is the annual migration route for thousands of humpback whales as they travel north for warmer waters every winter.
You won’t be in safer or friendlier hands than boarding the Spirit of Gold Coast’s Catamaran for a whale watching cruise that will take you to the humpback highway with stunning views of our Gold Coast coastline where you will see whales in their natural habitat, diving, spouting, blowing, fin and tail slapping, and if you’re lucky breaching.
When’s the Best Time To Go Whale Watching on the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast enjoys the longest Whale Watching season. No two whale watching journeys are the same, with an unforgettable experience occurring during the whole whale watching season.
At the beginning of the season you are likely to watch these amazing creatures as they migrate north to warmer waters to mate and give birth, whereas later in the season you are likely to catch them as they return south with their newborn calves.
Why Spirit of Gold Coast?
Last year Spirit celebrated 25 years of Whale Watching taking out more than 100,000 passengers to witness up close and personal the majestic humpbacks along the Humpback Highway on their annual migration up and down the East Coast of Australia. So they really know their stuff.
We also love that Spirit of Gold Coast is a family-owned business and their team are passionate and love what they do and it really shows and adds to the experience for all their visitors.
What happens on a Whale Watching Cruise with Spirit Gold Coast?
Spirit of Gold Coast offers whale watching cruises departing daily at 9.30am. There is also a second cruise offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays departing at 1.30pm in the afternoon.
Board the Spirit of Gold Coast 24 meter power Catamaran at Mariners Cove in Main Beach for your 2.5 hour whale watching cruise. Free parking is available at both Mariners Cove and nearby Marina Mirage. The super friendly team will welcome you aboard with complimentary tea, coffee, water and biscuits. There is a fully licensed bar onboard offering drinks and snacks. You are also welcome to bring along some light snacks for your children and family if you would prefer. No BYO alcohol.
Pick your spot to seat for the journey out to the humpback highway. The Spirit of Gold Coast Catamaran has excellent 360º viewing from both upper and lower decks. If you would prefer to travel out in the comfort of the inside cabin don’t worry you are able to move around the catamaran at any time to check the view from a different angle or move outside to get a closer look at the whales once you reach the highway.
To start you travel down the Broadwater towards the gold coast seaway and take in the unique waterside view of iconic Gold Coast attractions and landmarks including Broadwater Parklands, Seaworld, The Spit and much more before you travel through the Gold Coast seaway into the open ocean with magnificent view of the Gold Coast shoreline.
When you arrive at the Humpback Highway, the catamaran will drop its speed and all onboard will be on the lookout for the first sighting of the day of humpback whales. Don’t fear the Spirit of Gold Coast have a 100% guarantee of seeing whales. They have a 99% success rate finding whales for over 25 years. If by pure chance you found yourself in the unlucky 1% you will receive a free return trip if there are no whales sighted on your cruise.
Expect to see whales travelling along the humpback highway, diving, spouting, blowing, fin and tail slapping, and if you’re lucky breaching. This will be done from a distance that is both safe for you and the mighty and awesomely large humpback whales.
Throughout the cruise you will learn more about whales and their natural environment with detailed commentary from the knowledgeable crew including the onboard Spirit Gold Coast Marine Biologist.
When booking, use promo code SPIRITPM to receive a 30% saving on Adult tickets from Monday to Friday in the afternoon cruises.
I have wanted to go whale watching for sometime now. It is, after all, a MUST DO at some point, Gold Coast experience.
If it is something you also want to do, it is a great time to go, if you have children under 4 as they travel FREE with a paying adult on Spirit of Gold Coast.
I loved the experience from discovering the Gold Coast from the Broadwater, Seaway, and Ocean to learning more about Humpback Whales, and of course getting up close to these magnificent creatures and seeing how they behave in their natural environment. It was also lots of fun trying to be the next person to spot the whales as they resurfaced.
My husband and I got a lot from the experience. Fletcher (6 years) and Harper (4 years) enjoyed the overall adventure, being on a boat, watching the whales but there is also a lot of down time. The Spirit Crew came to our rescue with whale and ocean themed colouring-in sheets and pencils which kept the kids entertained especially in the travel time to and from the Humpback Highway. I would highly recommend bringing along tablets/phones, colouring, travel friendly toys, or other activities to keep littlies entertained during this down time. If your kids are like mine, and hungry all the time, bringing along your own snacks is also a great idea for the trip. For more ideas on what to take on your whale watching adventure check the what to pack box below.
I suffer from motion sickness so I made sure I took seasickness tablets at least 30 minutes before the cruise and I did still feel a bit queasy at points during the cruise. The crew were amazing and made suggestions to help ease the feeling. I found it eased if I was in the fresh air and looked at the horizon. We also gave our kids some tablets suitable for their age, just in case, and neither seemed phased by the movement during the cruise. If you are concerned about possible seasickness please talk to your doctor or pharmacist especially about specific medication for children particularly those under 2 years.
Our cruise was exactly like that described above. We didn’t see a whale breaching unfortunately but we did see lots of diving, blowing, spouting and tail slapping. We were lucky enough to follow a pod of 4 whales as they journey north up the Humpback Highway.
Our family whale watching adventure with Spirit of Gold Coast was amazing and will be a memory that will last all our lifetimes. One to add to your bucket list for sure.
What to pack (suggestions)
- Snacks & Water Bottles
- Hats and Sunglasses
- Wipes for spills and toddler clean-up
- Wear suitable shoes and bring a jacket/jumper and beanie (Conditions at sea can be windier and cooler than on the mainland)
- Tablet / phone, colouring, or travel friendly toys to keep littlies entertained for the journey out and back to the humpback highway
- Prams are allowed onboard just let the Spirit team know at booking time so they can assist you on the day.