This winter, whale watchers leaving Kingfisher Bay Resort on the daily whale watch cruises with Captain Brian and his Quick Cat II crew, will be able to take their whale watching in the calm waters off Fraser Island to the next level.
The State Government has just given the approval for Captain Brian and three other local operators to trial an immersive experience that will see guests swim and interact with these giants of the deep right up close - one of the first experiences of its kind with Humpbacks in Australia.
The product is so new that whale watching captains are currently developing guidelines around the swim experience that will be respectful and safe for people and the holidaying Humpbacks - and resort guests will be in the box seat to take part.
Hervey Bay is one of just two places in the world where whales actually take time out of their migration schedule to wallow and socialise in the safe sanctuary of the Great Sandy Strait. A two-decade long research study published earlier this year confirmed the region is the world's most important habitat for endangered Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and whale watchers flock each year to see these giants of the deep in the protected waters on the lee side of Fraser Island.
The research, published by Southern Cross University Researcher, Trish Franklin, shows 95 per cent of whales return on a yearly basis – to the calm waters off Fraser Island - because the bay provides a safe haven for mature females and their calves.
Here on Fraser Island, the Humpback Whale Watch season runs from 1 August til the end of October with some of the most prolific calm-water whale spotting in Australia.
Soccer superstar Harry Kewell's taken the plunge with the Hervey Bay Humpbacks - check it out! Swim experiences are dependent on the whales and can be booked aboard the Quick Cat II.