Sunreef Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are in their third season of whale swims and are the pioneers of swimming with humpback whales in Australia. They offer four hour tours of up to 20 people, and once a whale is sighted, if the conditions are determined safe, swimmers will be allowed into the water. The whale swimming operations work out of Mooloolaba in the heart of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Water temperatures range from 17 to 23 degrees celsius (62 to 73 degrees fahrenheit) and visibility is regularly up to 30 metres (98 feet).
Hervey Bay joined the ranks for the 2015 season, with local operators offering swim tours. The calm waters on the lee side of the island provide protection from the elements, making it a great location for this experience. Like all tours, swims are dependent upon conditions, visibility and the temperament of the whales on the day (you're looking for inquisitive humpbacks without much tail or fin slapping action).
Key locations: Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay
Getting there: To get to the Sunshine Coast, you can either fly into Sunshine Coast airport in Marcoola or into Brisbane airport (more info). For Hervey Bay, daily flights operate from Brisbane to Fraser Coast (more info).
When to go: July to October
Sunreef Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
Quick Cat 2 - Hervey Bay Whale Watch, Hervey Bay
Blue Dolphin Marine Tours, Hervey Bay