We're humpback whale watching on Queensland's Fraser Coast, courtesy of Kingfisher Bay Resort and, quite frankly, I'm hooked!
The official season splashes down in early August and runs til the end of October, and we're in the thick of things aboard the Quick Cat II with Skipper Brian Perry.
Brian, and wife Jill, pioneered whale watching in Hervey Bay and, some 23 years later, have teamed with Fraser Island eco-resort Kingfisher Bay to run whale trips direct from the island to Platypus Bay – where I'm told the whales like to wallow.
As we steam north past Yathlon, a sand dune that looks strangely like a whale tail, Skipper Brian draws comparisons between these sea giants and my good self.
Apparently their body stays at a constant temperature, much like humans; at some stage of their life they have some hair on their bodies; it's believed they have a similar bone structure and life span; and the female of the species can't hold a tune, which I reluctantly admit sounds all too familiar.
So too their circulatory and respiratory systems take in oxygen and transport vital substances around the body; their digestive system is of a similar type to mine; they give birth to live young; and, like me, they've chosen to take some time out on the Fraser Coast.
Lucky for me my weight, even with the rich holiday-diet, falls a long way short of forty tonnes – and it's here, thank goodness, that our similarities end.
During the course of the whale watching season, about four to five-thousand humpbacks will spend anywhere from a day or two to two weeks relaxing and nurturing their young in the sheltered lee of Fraser Island. I cannot but help draw a parallel to the large numbers of tourists that fill the resorts and camping areas on Fraser – relaxing and nurturing their young on the world's largest sand island.
For holidaymakers travelling to the Fraser Coast from August to October to whale watch, there is the added bonus of visiting World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and combining the best nature has to offer in one very convenient nature escape.
We're staying at Kingfisher Bay Resort, an eco-tourism haven conveniently secreted in a natural sand amphitheatre on the western side of the island. We've had a healthy dose of ecotourism, nature walks, bush tucker talks, four-wheel-driving on sand and track during our stay, and now, whales to boot.
The resort offers a 'Fraser Plus Whales' package which includes two nights' resort hotel accommodation, hot buffet breakfast daily, return ferry transfers and a whale cruise with Skipper Brian and co for just $379 per person twin share.
We also opted to take a full-day, fully-guided Beauty Spots tour of Fraser Island so we could exfoliate with Lake McKenzie's golden sands and snap a picture perfect shot of the Maheno shipwreck's rusting hulk.
We could spend weeks here on this utopian mass of sand with golden granules between the toes, surrounded by pure white sandy beaches, the blue, blue water of Lake McKenzie and those splendid humpbacks... but the temptation to leave some things undiscovered for the next trip is just as great as the desire to stay.
Qantas operates daily services from Brisbane to the Fraser Coast; direct flights are available ex Sydney with connections from other major cities. QR's Traveltrain run Tilt and Sunlander services to Maryborough West with Rail Link connections and there's secure parking at Urangan Boat Harbour for self-drivers.
For more information visit kingfisherbay.com.
This story may be reproduced without permission for editorial purposes. Please send an original copy to:
Kingfisher Bay Resort
GPO Box 913
Brisbane Q 4000