Have a whale of a time in Moreton Bay – your guide to whale watching in Brisbane

Get up close and personal with majestic humpback whales as they pass by the South East Queensland coast to the warm, tropical waters of Queensland. 

Whale-watching tours

To see their antics even closer, Brisbane Whale WatchingTangalooma Whale Watching Cruises and Aria Cruises offer tours in Moreton Bay Marine Park and guarantee a sighting.

Tangalooma Whale Watching Cruises

Tours kick off on 1 June departing from Holt Street Wharf at Pinkenba. Cruise-goers have the option of a 7am or 10am departure, with a 75-minute ferry ride taking you across the bay to Moreton Island. For those who would like to see more of the island, book the 7am departure as this allows about 3.5 hours to spend on the island before setting off on the three-hour whale-watching cruise. A light lunch is served on board and expert commentary is provided. 

Transport to Holt Street Wharf is by taxi, or paid hotel pick-up by bus operated by Australian Day Tours. Limited spaces are available for hotel pick-ups so it is best to book in advance. 

Brisbane Whale Watching

Brisbane Whale Watching

The season begins on 11 June, departing from Redcliffe Jetty at 10am, and it's just a 30-minute drive north of Brisbane. For those without their own vehicle, pick-ups are available from selected Brisbane and Sunshine Coast hotels at an additional cost. 

Enjoy the four-hour cruise around the bay, which includes morning and afternoon tea, and a full buffet lunch. A fully licensed bar, snack and souvenir counter are available. You will be a whale expert once you've stepped off the boat, with highly entertaining and informative commentary provided by skipper Kerry and her team of experts. 

Aria Cruises

If the idea of spending your whale watching time on a boat makes you queasy, Aria Crusies offer land-based whale watching on North Stradbroke Island. You'll be whisked over from Raby Bay on a purpose-built sailing catamaran to Straddie, where you'll enjoy a buffet lunch while watching the whales frolic. Tours are running until August, so get in quick. 

Land-based whale watching

Point Danger, North Stradbroke Island

In just under an hour you can witness one of the greatest natural experiences on Earth, viewing the passing parade from Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island, Queensland’s most easterly point for land-based whale watching. Sea turtles and a large pod of bottle-nose dolphins also call Point Lookout home and can be spotted almost all year round. 

To help you find the best vantage points, our friends at Discover Stradbroke have pulled together a great map with all the best whale-watching spots. Click here to download.

Cape Moreton on Moreton Island is also another great spot for land-based whale watching. While whales can only be seen from June to November, dolphins, sharks and turtles can be spotted all year round.

Fun whale facts


• Growing to up to 16m in length and weighing up to 40 tonnes, a single whale can be equivalent to 11 elephants or 600 humans.
• Whales are very active creatures, regularly performing a variety of behaviours like pectoral slapping, tail flapping and breaching.
• They generally live to at least 48 years, but it is likely to be higher and probably closer to 100.
• Whale songs are only sung by the males and can last from a few moments to an hour and travel for hundreds of kilometres. These sounds are about 170 decibels!
• A whale's cruising speed when moving leisurely is 3.5 to 5 knots but when chased they can reach speeds of 9 or 10 knots.
• Their annual migration from Antarctica to Queensland covers 10,000km (5000km each way) from May to November.

Get back to nature...