Whale Watching From Points And Headlands
Another example was the day I took the photos at the top of this page. It was Australian
Father's Day - the first Sunday in September.
We went on a family outing and found ourselves at Point Danger. Whilst we were minding our own business up on the point, sitting and enjoying the sunshine the kids noticed some whale spouts in the ocean.
We watched the whales pass right by for about an hour we were transfixed! They spouted, and breached and played as they slowly made their way south.
I took photos, but my little camera was just not a match for the distance away from us they were. I remember saying: "I wish I had the binoculars with us".
Whale Watching From The Beach
Another great spot where I have often spied the whales frollicking is at the strip of beach between Main Beach and Surfers Paradise right over the road from the Macintosh Island Bridge.
At this point the road meets the beach. You are up a few meters from the beach so you get a good view. And you can park right there on the road. Or it's a short walk up the beach from Surfers Paradise.
O have stopped many a time there to see the whales just off shore
That is one of the many beaches you could do some land based whale watching from. Pretty much any beach is fair game at the right time of the year. Remember what I said about the whales off Mermaid that I spied from the high
Southport Surf Life Saving Club at Main Beach is another place where I have sat on the balcony enjoying a breakfast and watching the whale spouts out to sea! It isn't the only SLSC that has great views and great food, try Kurrawa SLSC at Broadbeach.
Be Prepared For Land Based Whale Watching
Now, as I said before, this isn't a patch on being on the water and right up close with the whales.
I do understand there can be very good reasons why you cannot go on a whale watching tour:
- Budget - it can be expensive taking the whole family on a boat tour.
- Time - with so much to do in the Gold Coast, and only so much time, a half day tour may not work for you.
- Fear of boats or bad seasickness - this happens. I have my moments too! My mother would LOVE to watch whales, but I know she would find it hard to overcome her fear of being on a smallish boat.
- Accessiblity - perhaps it is hard for all your party to get on a boat.
Whatever the reason, it doesn't mean you won't see whales. Just a little preparation could save the day.
- Take a camera with you wherever you go. Video camera too. The bigger the zoom the better!
- Take binoculars with you. If you are going on a
boat you will want waterproof binoculars.
- Keep your eyes peeled.
Vantage Points For Land Based Whale Watching
Point Danger (Coolangatta/Tweed Heads border) is a pretty good spot to see the whales from land.
Another good spot for land based whale watching is Byron Bay. Byron Bay lighthouse is the most easterly point in Australia. If you walk up to the lighthouse there are posters and museum with information about the whales.
The last time I went, they were recording the whale songs and there was a local university research student who was telling us all about what was going on and what we could hear.
It was actually live whalesong being recorded from the whales that were passing. Fascinating stuff.
That day, there was a lot of whale activity and we stayed at Byron Bay just enjoying the atmosphere for hours.
South Stradbroke Island
Although you are not high up on South Stradbroke Island you can be lucky with whales coming in close to shore on the ocean side. The beach is pristine there, so even if you don't see whales you can enjoy the solitude of the beach.
You can usually join a whale watching tour from Couran Cove Resort during the season.
North Stradbroke Island
I haven't been there yet during whale watching season but I understand that there can be some good whale watching from the northern tip of North Stradbroke Island. I have been in the summer and seen dolphins surfing the waves! So there's definitely marine life around here.
You can self drive to Cleveland and take a ferry across to Dunwich and then drive about 32 kms to the point. There's some great cafes there too.
North Stradbroke Island has an aptly named resort right at the point: Whale Watch Ocean Beach Resort!
I hope you have enjoyed these tips on land based whale watching. If you have any more tips or ideas you can leave your comments below and with your permission I can even add them to this list!
Please come back often, share this with your friends or even give us a plug on your social network.
Enjoy your Whale Watching,
PS: If you really want to get close to the whales you can't beat a whale watching tour.