Welcome whales

Humpback whales are now making their annual migration along the east coast, with Rainbow Beach the perfect viewing platform.

Sean Permezel from Epic Ocean Adventures said, “We generally start to see signs of whales migrating north around the Double Island area from June to August and again heading south September / October.

Sean said it is mostly humpbacks we will see, however the National Parks website states

Pygmy sperm whales, sperm whales, Melon-headed whales, False killer whales, Minke and Dwarf Minke whales, Bryde’s whales, Pilot whales, Southern Right whales and Pygmy killer whales have also been sighted! So keep your eyes peeled.

In fact, more than 25,000 whales are expected to swim past Queensland from now until November, as the whales travel from, and return to, the southern ocean.

You can spot them from our viewing platform and lookout, Sandblow, and off the headland at Double Island Point and sometimes our beach.

Humpbacks swim along the coast day and night at this time and can surface without warning, and are known to nudge boats and also to slap their tails when close to vessels, or leap out of the water when breaching.

Senior Marine Scientist, Dr Justin Meager said, “Department of Environment and Science wildlife officers and marine park rangers will be out and about as the whales arrive in Queensland waters, reminding recreational boaties and commercial tour operators that while wildlife watchers celebrate, it’s also a time for boaties to exercise great care.

“We want to protect these beautiful marine mammals, but we also want to protect our boaties – humpbacks are unpredictable, up to 40-tonne mammals and you don’t want to get in their way.”

Dr Meager said special regulations and restrictions apply with penalties for non compliance.  

Unfortunately, whale migrations also mean occasional whale strandings – they should be reported as soon as possible to the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.

If waiting for expert help to arrive for a stranded whale, people should take care of their own health and safety first, and not attempt to push a stranded whale back into the water. This adds to the whale’s distress and potentially places people in danger.


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