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From the sun-soaked shores of the Sunshine Coast to the lush islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is one of the best places for whale-watching tours in Australia. To maximize your chances of spotting the majestic creatures, here are some tips for whale watching around Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Hervey Bay.

When to Go
Queensland’s whale-watching season runs from June to November, during the Australian winter months, when the east coast becomes a breeding ground for migrating whales. Hervey Bay is the unofficial whale-watching capital, hosting its annual Whale Festival in July and August, while the Gold Coast is a prime stop on the so-called “Humpback Highway,” the whale migration route that runs between Australia and the Antarctic.

What You'll See
An estimated 10,000 whales pass through Queensland’s waters during the annual migration, including humpback whales and minke whales. Whales can often be seen with their calves, especially later in the season, and you might also spot bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, dugongs, and even sharks. 

How to Go
Half- and full-day whale-watching cruises run from Brisbane to Surfers Paradise, Sea World, and the Gold Coast, aboard specially equipped boats with large viewing decks and underwater microphones so you can listen to the whale songs. Alternatively, cruise around Hervey Bay, Moreton Bay marine park, or Fraser Island on a catamaran excursion and stop to swim or snorkel along the way.
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11 results | All Gold Coast Tours

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Whale Watching by Sea World Cruises

Whale Watching by Sea World Cruises

star-5
51
Witness Humpback Whales on the Gold Coast. Cruise departs from Sea World in Main Beach and continues past South Stradbroke Island. Only 20 minutes to the nearby water of the Australian Whale Sanctuary. The Spirit of Migaloo II is Australia’s newest and most advanced whale watching vessel operating in the Gold Coast. With marine naturalists onboard, passengers can enjoy a front row seat to all the action from six external viewing platforms and tiered stadium seating from sea level to the sun deck. The spacious decks all around the vessel and smaller passenger numbers ensure that the experience is a personal one with the freedom to move around and enjoy uninterrupted views of the Humpback Whales wherever you are on the boat. Whale Watching Season is late May to early November.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.24
From
$64.24

Evening Rainforest & Glow Worm Experience

Evening Rainforest & Glow Worm Experience

star-4.5
102
Experience the nighttime enchantment of Mt Tamborine National Park on this unique 4WD rain forest walk and glowworm tour. At the mountain summit, stop for a light supper of cakes and hot chocolate, and soak up views of the twinkling Gold Coast from a lookout. Then, observe nocturnal wildlife by torchlight with a guided bushwalk through the rain forest, where you’ll come across an ethereal waterfall illuminated by glowworms.
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  • 4 hours
From
$71.46
From
$71.46

Gold Coast Sailing Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter

Gold Coast Sailing Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter

star-5
19
Discover the glittering waters and sandy beaches of the Gold Coast on this 2-hour luxury sailboat cruise. Sip a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and tuck into appetizers as you set sail along the Gold Coast Broadwater, passing waterfront landmarks like the Marina Mirage, Wave Break Island and Surfers Paradise. Alternatively, upgrade to include a delicious 2-course lunch on-board and indulge in a lavish seafood platter. This small-group tour is limited to 10 participants, ensuring an intimate experience.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.02
From
$57.02

2.5hr Gold Coast Kayaking & snorkelling tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

2.5hr Gold Coast Kayaking & snorkelling tour

star-4.5
44
Short on time? Sample the natural beauty of the Gold Coast on this outdoor tour. Hop on a sea kayak and paddle your way over to Wave Break Island to swim and snorkel amid tropical fish and colorful coral. Spot dolphins, stingrays, and sea turtles along the coast, and enjoy a snack before heading back to shore.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.80
From
$49.80

Swim with whales Gold Coast

Swim with whales Gold Coast

star-5
5
Cooly Eco Adventures uses the ‘soft in-water encounters’ approach which is a proven method to achieve a successful and sustainable whale swim. Every whale swim is unique and our highly experienced skipper and crew are on hand throughout to make this experience personal as well as professional. They have a wealth of knowledge and passion for whales and the stunning Gold Coast region they look forward to sharing with you.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$143.64
From
$143.64

Half Day Dolphin Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour

Half Day Dolphin Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour

star-4.5
130
Start your day off right with a half-day kayak tour to South Stradbroke Island. Enjoy a great vantage point on the beaches and wildlife of the Gold Coast as you paddle at a leisurely pace, stopping to snorkel off Wavebreak Island, visit secluded beaches, and enjoy a picnic breakfast on the beach. Your expert guide shares informative commentary about the region's ecology and animals, and provides full instruction on kayaking and snorkeling — making this tour suitable for both experienced paddlers and first-timers.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.24
From
$64.24

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Entry Ticket

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Entry Ticket

star-4.5
366
Enjoy a close encounter with Australia's native animals at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the Gold Coast. Your ticket includes admission to the park plus daily keeper presentations and animal shows. Admire critters such as the kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, koala, wombat, echidna and reptiles that live in natural-style bush and rainforest habitats. Walk through the stunning 5-acre forest of the Lost Valley and see unique flora and wildlife such as lemurs, red pandas, capybaras and other exotic reptiles.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$36.05
From
$36.05

Full-day Springbrook National Park Tour from the Gold Coast

Full-day Springbrook National Park Tour from the Gold Coast

star-4.5
22
Exploring the Gold Coast Hinterland can be a challenge if you don’t have your own transport, but this full-day tour from the Gold Coast offers the perfect introduction. Discover the natural wonders of the Springbrook National Park, stopping to take in the views of Mt Warning and the Numinbah Valley, and admire landmarks including the Natural Arch, Rainbow Falls, and Goomalarah Falls.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.92
From
$76.92

Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour

Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour

star-4.5
69
Journey into the hinterlands on this 5-hour afternoon tour of the Springbrook National Park from the Gold Coast. Explore the UNESCO-listed Goondawanna rainforests by coach, stopping to walk through the jungle, peek into ancient caves and enjoy views of Mount Warning from the Best of All Lookout.  Visit natural wonders like Purling Brook Falls, Numinbah valley and Rainbow Falls, and soak up the scenery from the Canyon Lookout. This small-group tour is limited to 16 people for a personalised experience, and includes hotel pick-up and afternoon tea.
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  • 5 hours
From
$71.46
From
$71.46

Aquaduck Gold Coast 1 hour City and River Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Aquaduck Gold Coast 1 hour City and River Tour

star-4.5
219
Experience the Gold Coast’s beautiful Surfers Paradise on a tour aboard an amphibious Aquaduck. Bring the kids and hop aboard this unusual dual-purpose vessel for a jaunt along the area’s picturesque beaches and past local landmarks like Palazzo Versace and Marina Mirage. Then, enjoy a thrilling river cruise past the glitz of millionaire’s row as the Aquaduck transforms from a bus into a boat.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$28.87
From
$28.87

Gold Coast Sunset Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter

Gold Coast Sunset Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter

star-5
46
Go sailing on the Gold Coast Broadwater at sunset aboard a luxury sailboat. Glide past landmarks such as the Southport Yacht Club, Marina Mirage, Wave Break Island and Surfers Paradise on this romantic and relaxing 2-hour sunset cruise. Travel in a small group with a maximum of 10 people, and enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and appetizers during your sunset cruise. Have the option to upgrade to include a gourmet dinner featuring fresh Australian seafood.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.02
From
$57.02

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