Gold Coast Whale Watching is an absolute must during your visit to this beautiful oceanside city on Australia’s east coast!
There is no better way to get up close and personally with these humble giants than hopping onboard a 2-hour Gold Coast whale watching cruise which will take you out to sea to spot humpback whales showing off their acrobatic skills during their annual migration.
In this post, I have put together a complete guide of a Gold Coast whale watching experience including where to book, when the Gold Coast whale watching season is and what to expect on the tour.
Also, at the bottom of this Whale Watching Gold Coast guide, I have included some useful information on where to stay on the Gold Coast, the best time to visit and other points of interest on Australia’s east coast.
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WHERE TO BOOK WHALE WATCHING GOLD COAST
There are several Gold Coast whale watching tour operators to choose from, though it can be tricky trying to decide which one is the best.
I personally went whale watching in Gold Coast with a tour operator called Sea World Cruises and can’t recommend them enough as they are the most reputable and affordable.
Not only does Sea World Cruises offer whale watching in Gold Coast but they also have many other cruises available such as sightseeing cruises, lunch cruises, sunset cruises and more!
Gold Coast whale watching tours operate out of Sea World which is located at the northern end of the Gold Coast near The Spit.
WHALE WATCHING GOLD COAST PRICES:
- Adult: $89 AUD
- Child: $59 AUD
- Family 2 Adults, 2 Children: $296 AUD
Click Here to check availability and book online in advance.
Sea World Cruises – Gold Coast Whale Watching
Jump-on point for Gold Coast Whale Watching
GOLD COAST WHALE WATCHING SEASON
The whale watching season Gold Coast starts in April and ends in November.
Every year, these humble giants migrate from Antarctica traveling north along Australia’s east coast at the beginning of winter and then travel back towards the southern ocean at the beginning of spring.
During this time is the best opportunity to see the annual migration and acrobatic displays from these majestic humpback whales as they cruise past the coastlines of NSW and Queensland.
RELATED ARTICLE → 3 DAY GOLD COAST ITINERARY
Gold Coast Whale Watching
GOLD COAST WHALE WATCHING – WHAT TO EXPECT
Whale Watching Gold Coast is truly an incredible experience and I guarantee you will not regret jumping on board this 2-hour boat cruise.
The tour starts at the Sea World Cruises where you will board the Gold Coast whale watching tour boat at the Sea World Cruises pier and from here it’s a 15-minute cruise along the Broadwater and out through The Spit till you reach the open ocean.
As the boat cruises out through the Broadwater, you’ll have spectacular views of some Labrador, Southport and Surfers Paradise. The boat will then cruise past South Stradbroke Island before reaching deeper waters and to where humpback whales can be spotted.
The duration of the Gold Coast whale watching tour is 2 hours which allows plenty of time on the water to be on the lookout for the playful humpback whales. Be sure to bring your camera to capture all the magic!
Apart from spotting whales on the Gold Coast Whale Watching Tour, you’ll also get a close encounter with pods of dolphins that like to cruise at the front of the boat.
OTHER FEATURES ON THE TOUR:
- History on migrating humpback whales
- Spectacular views of the Gold Coast
Gold Coast Broadwater
On the lookout for humpback whales
Whales Watching Gold Coast
Whale Watching Gold Coast
A friendly humpback – Gold Coast Whale Watching
View of the Gold Coast
PIN LOCATION OF GOLD COAST WHALE WATCHING
WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
The Gold Coast is a thriving tourist hub with no shortage of accommodation options and most people want to be by the beach as often as possible. (I don’t blame them)!
RELATED ARTICLE → WHERE TO STAY IN GOLD COAST
I recommend basing yourself in Burleigh Heads which is pretty much the halfway point between the north and south points of the Gold Coast.
See below for the best places to stay in Burleigh Heads with options suited for small families, budget backpackers and luxury travelers:
Luxury: Luxury Beachfront Sky Home
Centrally located in Burleigh Heads and a stone’s throw from the beach. This 5-star accommodation features an outdoor swimming pool, garden, fitness centre and free wifi. The apartments are spacious and include a fully equipped kitchen, living and dining room, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, hot tub, flat-screen tv and ocean views. Perfect for families and couples.
Mid Range: Outrigger Burleigh
The best and most affordable hotel in Burleigh Heads. The Outrigger is a two-minute walk from Burleigh Beach featuring an outdoor pool, hot tub and ocean views! The rooms are spacious, air-conditioned, equipped kitchenette, living room, private bathroom and balcony. Close to supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars and public transport. Perfect for couples and families.
Budget: Komune Resort & Backpackers
Komune Resort is located south of Burleigh Heads in Coolangatta and it’s one of the cheapest and best backpackers on the Gold Coast! Located a stone’s throw from the beach, Komune Resort features a beach club, outdoor pool, table tennis, hammocks, pool bar and nightclub. There are dorm rooms and private apartments available, perfect for friends and solo travellers.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY, SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOLD COAST
The Gold Coast is one of the only places on the East Coast of Australia that sees glorious sunshine almost all year round.
If you want the best of the best conditions weatherwise, I recommend visiting between May and October (Autumn – Spring) which is most ideal for beach bumming, nature walks and water sports.
Summer on the Gold Coast is between December and February which sees hot temperatures and a lot of rainfall.
AIRBNB GOLD COAST
Another great option for accommodation on the Gold Coast is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals! Use the search box below to find all of the best Gold Coast Airbnb’s.
OTHER GOLD COAST ATTRACTIONS
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many things to do on the Gold Coast you could spend months here and not run out of things to do.
This Gold Coast itinerary is a list of my personal recommendations, but I understand that you might like to see some other attractions which I have not included in this guide.
See the list below for some other Gold Coast tourist spots that you may want to add to your itinerary of Gold Coast:
- Gold Coast Theme Parks (Movie World, Sea World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Dream World)
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Aquaduck Safari
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Tamborine Mountain
- Indoor Skydiving
LONELY PLANET – AUSTRALIA
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Australia Travel Guide!
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BEST GOLD COAST TOURS
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MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES
The coastline and hinterland areas along the east coast of Australia boast countless beaches, lakes, waterfalls, hikes and many more fun-fuelled adventures waiting to be had!
This is what Australia is all about and what I love to share with you in my detailed destination guides.
Click on the links below to see more related posts:
- Crescent Head: 9 Things To Do In Crescent Head
- Kiama NSW: 3 Awesome Things To Do In Kiama
- Forster: 7 Things To Do In Forster
- Port Macquarie: 7 Best Beaches In Port Macquarie
- Byron Bay: Things To Do In Byron Bay
- Gold Coast: 3 Day Gold Coast Itinerary
- Springbrook: Springbrook Waterfalls
- Brisbane: Things To Do In Brisbane
- Fraser Island: Fraser Island Day Trip
- Sydney: Things To Do In Sydney
- Melbourne: Things To Do In Melbourne
WHAT TO PACK FOR GOLD COAST
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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Before you go from this Whale Watching Gold Coast post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF GOLD COAST WHALE WATCHING
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Whales Watching Gold Coast, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!