Moreton Bay:
Your guide to whale watching

18 JANUARY 2023

Like clockwork from June to November, majestic humpback whales swing by South-East Queensland on their 10,000km trek to the warm, tropical water up north. Spot these gentle giants from a land-based tour or spend a day on the water to get up close and personal to witness these beautiful creatures for yourself. Let's have a WHALE of a time!


Tangalooma Whale Watching Cruises 

Departing from Holt Street Wharf at Pinkenba, whale watching tours start from June continuing through until November. Cruise-goers have the option of a 7 am or 10 am departure, with a 75-minute ferry ride taking you across the bay to Moreton Island. For those who would like to see more of the island, book the 7 am departure as this allows about 3.5 hours to spend on the island before setting off on the three-hour whale-watching cruise. A light lunch is served on board and expert commentary is provided.   

Transport to Holt Street Wharf is by taxi, or paid hotel pick-up via a bus operated by Australian Day Tours. Limited spaces are available for hotel pick-ups so it is best to book in advance. 

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Brisbane Whale Watching 

Departing from Redcliffe Jetty at 10 am (a 30-minute drive north of Brisbane), join Brisbane Whale Watching to witness epic marine life for yourself. Pack your camera and tick an unforgettable adventure off your bucket list. Enjoy a five-hour cruise around the bay, which includes a delicious buffet lunch featuring tiger prawns. A fully licensed bar, snack and souvenir counter are also available on board. You will be a whale expert once you've stepped off the boat, with highly entertaining and informative commentary provided by the skipper Kerry and her team of experts.   

For those without their own vehicle, pick-ups are available from selected Brisbane and Sunshine Coast hotels for an additional cost.   

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Couple sitting on North Gorge at North Stradbroke Island
North Gorge, North Stradbroke Island / Minjerribah

Aria Cruises 

If the idea of spending your whale-watching time on a boat makes you queasy, Aria Cruises offers land-based whale watching on North Stradbroke Island/ Minjerribah. You'll be whisked over from Raby Bay on a purpose-built sailing catamaran to North Stradbroke Island/ Minjerribah, where you'll enjoy a buffet lunch while watching the whales frolic. Tours run from June until August, so get in quick.   

North Stradbroke 

In just under an hour, you can witness one of the greatest natural experiences on Earth; viewing the passing parade from Point Lookout on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Grab your binoculars and look out to sea as you’re at Queensland’s most easterly point for land-based whale watching. Sea turtles, manta rays and large pods of bottle-nose dolphins also call Point Lookout home can be spotted almost all year round.   

Cape Moreton 

Cape Moreton on Moreton Island is also another great spot for land-based whale watching. While whales can only be seen from June to November, dolphins, sharks and turtles can be spotted all year round.  

Looking to stay a little longer? Extend your whale viewing time of these majestic creatures from Moreton Island, here’s where to stay.

A distant shot of a couple sitting on a tree trunk on a beach