Welcome to WhaleFree, the only way to explore, compare and book the most memorable whale-watching tours in Australia.
Who are we?
WhaleFree is a handpicked selection of unforgettable whale-watching experiences. We don’t just list every possible tour out there; we list only the best possible.
And we know our stuff. As an Australian business with both local and international staff who have actually been on these tours, and who are passionate about sharing our knowledge and experiences with others, we are THE place to go if you want to get up close and personal with these majestic marine mammals.
Here at WhaleFree, we want you to have the most relevant information, useful tools, and knowledgeable support so you end up with the ideal tour for you. Filter and compare tours based on preferred activities, destinations, departure cities and more, or call us on 1800 088 511 at any stage in your process and let one of our stellar staff help you.
We are your whale-savvy local guides. And the best part: our help is free.
Why book with us?
We’re in Australia and we’ve been there. WhaleFree is a proudly Australian part of the AdventureFree group servicing Australia’s adventure tourism industry and promoting Great Barrier Reef experiences, Fraser Island tours, outback and extreme adventures, and sailing charters. We’ve been to these destinations and tried the tours, so we know what we’re talking about.
After all, we love our country; we want you to, too.
We offer free, knowledgeable and personalised support. Think of us as your very own service to help with your decision making and booking. We know the tours inside and out, so our staff can take care of individual and group needs and things like accessibility concerns, tricky itineraries, or competing interests. And if you need to make changes, no worries!
We understand the uncertainties when booking a new activity or destination; our team is here to make sure the practical matters are under control, so you can focus on getting excited about the magic ahead! And if you’ve been before, we can help you find another amazing adventure.
We’re transparent. There are no booking or credit card fees, we have an independent rating system and customer reviews, and we make sure there are no hidden costs so you have the information you need to confidently make an informed choice.
We give you control. Search and compare tours to find those that meet your specific needs. Browse and book on your own or take advantage of our experts, who are available over the phone 1800 088 511 (Australia) or +61 7 3852 2575 (international) 6am to 10pm AEST. Alternatively, you can contact us online.
Why go whale watching?
You will always remember that moment you looked into the eyes of one of the most majestic and mighty mammals of the ocean and felt like you connected with mother nature on some primal level. Or when you were caught delightfully off-guard by a school-bus-sized whale playfully launching itself out of the water beside you.
Australia is known as one of the best places in the world to see whales as they make their annual migration north after a summer season feeding in the Antarctic. Humpback whales and southern rights are particularly partial to our waters, and can travel around 5,000kms along the east coast in search of the Great Barrier Reef’s warmer waters where females will give birth.
While you can spot humpbacks and whale sharks in Western Australia around the Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay from the beginning of September through to late November, it’s the east coast where most of the action takes place. Whale watching starts from around May in New South Wales and from July in Queensland; Hervey Bay even hosts an annual Ocean Festival to mark the beginning of the whale watching season! Since humpbacks tend to swim closer to the shore than most other species, it’s possible to spot them from land. However, nothing beats getting out on (or in) the water and experiencing them up close.
Hervey Bay is a particularly popular place to whale watch because on their migration south, humpback whales get “caught” by Fraser Island and enter the bay, breaking away from their migration zone. The south-easterly winds that grace the area mean Platypus Bay — the body of water between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island — is protected, which provides a perfect environment for whales and their calves to rest and play.
Between August and November, you’re guaranteed to see whales (with tours offering free re-cruises), and your experience could include adult male bulls, cows and calves breaching, tailslapping, eyeballing and fluking, as well as dolphins, turtles and seabirds.
Whale watching vessels are equipped with a hydrophone so you don’t miss the male humpback melodic songs (often originating from whales up to 30kms away) or the softer mother-calf conversations. They also tend to have underwater cameras and both indoor and outdoor viewing, and some will have underwater windows, lowering platforms, or even the opportunity to swim with whales. Almost all tours offer pick up from your accommodation, light refreshments and a licensed kiosk on board, and some include more substantial dining options. Vessels range from sailing boats to more stable larger catamarans (great for those who suffer from motion sickness).
- A day aboard the Tasman Venture, where you’ll visit the remote side of Fraser Island and swim, snorkel and relax
- An intimate full-day catered sailing experience from Hervey Bay aboard the Blue Dolphin, skippered by a former Seaworld marine mammal trainer
- A 3-hour Mills Charter sunset cruise from Perth, dedicated solely to spotting these majestic creatures
- For the more adventurous, slip into a sea kayak from Byron Bay for a few hours — the only kayak-based whale watching tour on offer — and cruise around the Cape Byron Marine Park
- If you’d like a longer experience, try the 4-day/3-night Kingfisher Bay and Fraser Island combination tour from Hervey Bay, which includes a half-day whale watching tour, a full day guided walking tour of Fraser Island, and the comfort of Kingfisher Bay Resort
No matter how much time you have or what other activities you’d like to take part in, there is a whale watching tour here for you. So go ahead, look through our library of future magical moments for yourself and then let us help you create the perfect adventure!
Phone: 1800 088 511 (within Australia) or +61 7 3852 2575 (for international callers) from 6am to 10pm AEST