Whale Watching Tour.
From $85.00 (June to October)
Duration: up to 2.5 Hours (approx.)
Location: Hollywell, QLD
AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME
This 2-2.5h Gold Coast whale watching adventure tour is an absolute personalised experience on a smaller vessel with a maximum of either 6 or 12 participants. The spectators can look forward to closer and longer encounters as humpback whales do not feel intimated by a smaller vessel. The outer tubes of our semi inflatable vessel are only 50cm above the water surface which even allows to submerge your water proof camera on passing whales for some great underwater shots for those lucky enough.
Whilst no vessel is allowed to approach whales closer than 100m, our experience shows that the whales are usually approaching us whilst our engines are turned off and the vessel drifts through the water. For this very reason, our vessel is frequently chartered by research groups to conduct field surveys and sampling. This Gold Coast whale watching cruise departs ex Runaway Bay Marina.
- Up to 2.5h return whale watching cruise in a small group
- Departs up to 3 times per day including at sunrise
- Currently limited to 6 participants
- Great for photographers
- Closer whale encounters possible
- Whale sightings guaranteed*
- Knowledgeable staff
- Participate in whale research activities (optional)
- Waterproof jackets provided
Our whale watching tours depart up to 3 times per day on selected days. Check our website calendar for live availability and times.
- 6:30am – Sunrise Tour (usually the calmest sea conditions of the day and best lighting for photographers)
- 9:30am – Morning Tour (the most popular choice for locals)
- 1:00pm – Afternoon Tour (ideal for those with longer commutes)
Please note that departure times can vary and are subject to change on short notice. Please check your booking reminder emails for time changes or check our calendar for the latest times and availability. From there, you can also book and pay online.
Our whale watching vessel is small hence you will need to pay a little premium to make this experience possible.
- Base Price – $95pp (all ages)
- Group of 5 to 8 – $85pp
- A small booking fee is charged on check-out by the booking system provider.
- This tour is conducted on a smaller vessel. Boarding and disembarking as well as holding on whilst underway requires a moderate level of fitness and mobility.
- Any person with a serious medical conditions including pregnancy or physical disability should chose a larger vessel instead. If unsure please email us beforehand or consult your treating doctor.
- Whilst we try our best to plan tours around sea conditions, participants must be prepared to maybe get partially wet due to sea spray. We do provide spray jackets and these events are rare. We usually cancel and reschedule tours for comfort reasons if wind forecasts exceed 15 knots however sometimes forecasts aren’t 100% accurate.
- Minimum age is 10 years for boating safety reasons e.g. life jacket sizes etc. Families with smaller children should chose a large whale watching vessel.
BASIC ITINERARY (9:30 AM Cruise*)
- 9:15am – Meet us at the marina, use the toilets and get ready.
- 9:30am – Safety brief, put on spray jackets and PFD’s.
- 9:40am – Depart marina and cruise through the Broadwater.
- 9:50am – Enter the open ocean to find and watch the whales.
- 11:30am – Commence return cruise to the Marina whilst watching whales.
- 12:00pm – Arrive back at Runaway Bay Marina.
*Sunrise cruises or afternoon cruises follow the same itinerary but with a different departure time as advertised.
Our primary whale watching vessel is Blue Manta, a 6m long, semi-inflatable, rigid hull adventure boat with a capacity of 8 guests. Whilst spectators are more exposed to the elements, the vessel provides an incredible intimate feel of closeness to the water. Due to its small size and quiet engine, whales love to check out Blue Manta up close. Our second vessel (back-up), Blue Manta 2 is a 9m aluminium hull boat. It can carry up to 12 guests and offers more sheltered seating however, Blue Manta 2 is still very small and GoPro sticks can still reach the water. Blue Manta 2 is only used on occasions if wind strength and wave height are borderline for our smaller vessel.
BOOKINGS & PAYMENT
- Select cruise date and time
- Hit the book now button
- Enter your personal details
- Enter promo code or voucher code if you have one
- Check-out and receive our booking confirmation via email
- A small booking fee is charged by the system provider on check-out
- All of our tours must reach a minimum of 4 participants to depart
PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH (optional)
You can also (optional) participate in research activities such as filling in survey data sheets and using the hydrophone to listen to underwater sounds. Each participant will receive a print brochure with a summary of information about humpback whales and what options there are to get involved. Alternatively, you can simply sit back, relax, take photos enjoy the experience.
WHAT TO BRING
- SunSmart clothes (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen etc.)
- Warm clothes as it can get cold
- Drinking water (no glass)
- Waterproof bag for phones etc.
- Camera (splash-proof cameras recommended)
- Seasickness medication if needed (take well before departure)
- Meet us at Runaway Bay Marina, non front of the Marina Office (not inside).
- Your confirmation email and reminder emails will include a map and a hyperlink for directions.
- Please be on time as we have to depart on time.
*WHALE SIGHTING GUARANTEE
If whales are not spotted on a designated whale watch tour between the months of June to September, each passenger will be entitled to a ’stand-by ticket’ enabling them to return on another subsequent tour date subject to availability as per our online calendar. Refer to our terms and conditions to read the full details about our sighting guarantee.