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Hervey Bay: Why Whale Watch Anywhere Else?

Who is watching whom? These Humpback Holidaymakers love a spot of people watching off Fraser Island Who is watching whom? These Humpback Holidaymakers love a spot of people watching off Fraser Island © Kingfisher Bay Resort

FRASER ISLAND: Hervey Bay is one of only two places in the world where Humpback Whales take time out of their epic migration to socialise in the calm waters on the lee side of the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.

The broad appeal of this natural phenomenon – which runs from 1 August til the end of October – was not lost on Skipper Brian Perry who, together with wife Jill, pioneered the Whale Watching experience in Hervey Bay some 23 years ago.

But it's not just the Humpbacks that are on show in the calm, protected waters of the Great Sandy Strait. The 2013 Hervey Bay Humpback season started with the appearance of Migaloo the white whale on the eastern side of Fraser Island and continued with a pod of wild orcas and a Southern Right Whale and calf in the Great Sandy Straits. Turtles and the always-friendly Indo Pacific Humpback dolphins also make regular cameos.

This year Captain Brian has again paired with Kingfisher Bay Resort to run daily eco-accredited excursions direct from Fraser Island through the calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait, just north of the resort to where the whales wallow.

Tracking and staying with a whale is an acquired skill and Brian is happy to put his years of experience into action in the quest to give Kingfisher guests a 'whale of a time' aboard his much-lauded Quick Cat II vessel. In the early days a spotter plane would drop toilet rolls in to the Great Sandy Strait for the boat to follow, but these days it's a more precise science and, once found, it's up to these most active of whales to put on a show for the assembled flotillas.

"The Humpback is a curious creature, and it's really a beautiful thing when they come along side of the boats and display photo-worthy surface behaviours or we capture them swimming on the underwater cameras," Captain Brian said. "We also have an onboard hydrophone to listen to their song in the water - it's pretty amazing."

Half-day trips depart daily from Kingfisher Bay Resort from 8am during the season (August 1 until 31 October). Tickets are priced at $110 for adults and $70 for kids aged 4-14.  Each ticket sold includes a levy which assists local marine park management, education, ranger patrols, whale monitoring and research.

Longer stay packages start from just $379 per person and include two nights at Kingfisher Bay on Fraser's western side with a BONUS third night free, hot buffet breakfast daily, return passenger ferry transfers ex River Heads and a half-day whale watch cruise with Captain Brian.

To book visit our dedicated page or call 1800 072 55. You call also follow the Humpback action on Facebook.

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