Whales in Paradise
Last weekend, my family and I headed out with the fantastic crew from Whales in Paradise on the Gold Coast. They are a whale watching operator taking 3 tours each day from the centre of Surfers Paradise.
We were waiting on the pier for the 11am tour and I must admit, I was feeling a little anxious. It would be just my luck that we don’t see any whales today and my children were just so excited that I didn’t want to let them down. As we boarded the catamaran, the staff had great energy and were so upbeat as they were telling us about their whale encounters from the morning trip. I started to wish I had booked on the early trip instead…
Whales in Paradise claim to have 100% whale sightings each day and they didn’t disappoint. Within 10 minutes of reaching the open water, we came across our first whale. We weren’t the only ones viewing that whale and soon it was surrounded by recreational boats. Our captain made the decision to head out into deeper water and before too long we met a humpback and her new calf. We were in absolute awe watching them frolic and play as the mum was teaching her calf how to breach. It was certainly a site to behold and I was even quick enough to snap a few photos of them in action.
During our time at sea, the captain and the crew provided educational facts and constantly kept us updated as to the whales’ whereabouts. They were more than happy to answer questions which was a good thing as my 8 year old had plenty of those!
A highlight for me was seeing a spyhop which is where a whale vertically raises it’s head out of the water to view its surroundings. It was the first one that the crew had seen this season and we were lucky enough be there. I snapped it on my camera and although it is a little blurry, it is a photo that I will cherish for a long time. I am an amateur photographer and came away with some fantastic photos which you can see here.
In our 3 ½ hours at sea, we encountered approximately 12 whales including 3 calves which were on their journey north to warmer waters. It was more than I had expected and it seemed like this was just like any ordinary day out for the Whales in Paradise crew.
I felt that my 4 and 6 year old were a little too young to fully appreciate the beauty of what they were witnessing but my 8 year old took it all in and loved every moment. The only thing that could have made it better was if I was able to jump off the boat and snorkel with them!! Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and I would certainly recommend it for a family day out.
For more information, please visit http://whalesinparadise.com.au/
Whales in Paradise
Dates: 3 trips per day, 7 days a week from June 1, 2015 – October 31, 2015
Times: 7.30am – 10.45am, 11.00am – 2.15pm, 2.30pm – 5.45pm
Location: River end of Cavill Avenue
Cost: Adults – $99, Children (3-14) – $69, Family Pass (2 Adults + 2 Children) – $267
Transfers: Available from the Gold Coast for $10 pp each way, and Brisbane for $15 pp each way
Below are related whale watching activities for kids.
Sea Animal Puppets Printable
Travel kit for long car trips
More details on this whale-theme kit Kelly did for her kids here.
Easy sea-themed play scene for play at home
See how to put it together here.
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