Whale Season on the Southern Great Barrier Reef | Southern Great Barrier Reef

Whale Season on the Southern Great Barrier Reef

Each year from July to November, the warm waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef are home to majestic southern humpback whales. These incredible creatures undertake an epic yearly migration from Antarctica up the southern coastline of Australia to feed, mate and play in the warmer temperatures of the reef.

Quick Facts

  • Up to 10,000 whales make the journey north each year to the warm, shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef to breed and have their calves.
  • Whales are renowned for their unique methods of communication. They possess the ability to utilise echo location where they bounce sound waves off objects to determine what and where they are.
  • Humpback whales, dwarfe minke whales, false killer whales, killer whales, short-finned pilot whales, sperm whales and various beaked whales are all species that can be found in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The humpback whale is the most commonly sighted species of whale on the Great Barrier Reef and can be seen from June and September.
  • Humpback whales measure around 15 metres in length and can weigh anywhere up to 45 tonnes. They are considered to be giants of the oceans.
  • Humpback whales have an intriguing ability to ‘sing’ underwater. Songs are used to communicate with other humpback whales and some can last for up to 30 minutes.
  • The humpback whale migrates from the cold Antarctic waters in the south to warmer climates in the north at around eight kilometre per hour.
  • Humpbacks can grow approximately 15-18 metres long and can weigh a whopping 30-40 tonnes – that’s 11 elephants or 20 cars!
  • Humpback whales are a favourite among whale watchers, as they are incredible acrobats. From breaching (jumping out of the water) to slapping the surface with their fins, tails or heads, these magnificent mammals will ensure unforgettable memories

How to see whales on the Southern Great Barrier Reef

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