What To Wear Whale Watching

What To Wear Whale Watching - Tips For Men and Women!

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Whale Watching Resources
For Gold Coast

Gold Coast Whale Watching Season is CLOSED FOR 2022!

2022 Whale Watching season is now CLOSED on Gold Coast.

Whale Watching Season from usually from late May and runs through to early November.

Check out the booking options for Whale Watching including current deals as they become available, often with huge savings.

Annie's What to Wear Whale Watching Tips!

What to wear whale watching?

I know this sounds like a typically female question. But let me assure you my husband was glad I told him to rug up when we went whale watching on the Gold Coast in August.

It's easy to look out of the window in the morning, see the blue sky and think I'll wear shorts! 10 miles offshore with a pesky cold westerley blowing right at you - you'll be glad you took the advice to bring some warm clothes!

Don't forget to check out my whale watching tour review and photos of our August whale watching trip.

Be prepared for the cold wind

June, July, August and September it can be quite cool on the water, especially if the wind is blowing. Actually it can be really COLD!

Of course you can duck inside the cabin of the boat to keep out of the wind, but then you don't get the same view of the whales, which is after all why you are on the tour!

It is really easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when you look out of your hotel window and see the bright blue sky.

In the winter on the Gold Coast, although the temperatures during the day can reach low to mid 20s Celsius or Centigrade (around 70 to 77°F), it is the wind that will make you feel cold.

It doesn't take much to pack some extra layers and a lightweight windproof jacket. Long trousers are my pick when it is breezy!

Layers are great because you can take them off and put them on at whim.

Whale watching tips for Gold Coast Australia

Memories of watching the humpbacks off Surfers!

Be Prepared For The Seering Sun

This is MANDATORY! Always be prepared for the sun in the Gold Coast!

Quite simply you will need:

  • Sunscreen (Factor 30 plus or stronger)
  • Sunblock or zinc
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Long sleeves (but you'll probably be wearing those anyway!)
  • Water bottle

You can get burnt by the sun in the winter in the Gold Coast. In fact more easily than in the summer because you are not prepared for it.

Invisible zinc is great for your face and don't forget your ears.

Hats with a brim are better than caps as caps leave the sides of your face, neck and ears fully exposed. I think ears are the most neglected part of most people's sun protection routine.

Don't let your ears burn!

Hats are difficult things on boats as they can fly away in the wind. I'll leave that dilemma up to you to work out!

You will be out in the elements for a good couple of hours. Don't overlook this even if it is cold and the winter.

Drink lots of water. It is easy to dehydrate.

Be Prepared For The Spray

This is one caught me off guard and a few others too.

As soon as catamaran starts getting up to speed there is spray. There is more spray the rougher the weather or the stronger the wind.

Of course, you can go inside! If, however, you are like me you will want to be outside. See my tips about motion sickness and seasickness

The other time when you may get sprayed but you won't want to go inside is when you are watching whales close by and they spray you with their whale spouts!

I thought whale spouts would be quite solid looking water spouts! How wrong was I! The reality is they are very fine sprays but very large sprays and they seem to be able to travel quite a distance.

A good waterproof jacket is an option.  It will also protect you against the wind too.

Be Prepared For Being On A Boat

I know this may sound obvious, but wear clothes that are appropriate for a boat.

You need to be in comfortable clothes that you can easily move around in. You don't want to be in short tight skirts or long flowing ones, ladies! The gentlemen may enjoy watching you spend the entire trip trying to keep from flying up! But you won't be concentrating on the reason you are there!

Sneakers or comfortable sensible shoes are the best options for boats as well.  You want to have sure footing as you move around.

What To Wear Whale Watching In Winter On The Gold Coast?

Personally, I would wear long trousers and take a pair of shorts to change into if I was pleasantly surprised by the weather in the winter.

I would make sure I had layers, a body warmer jacket is a good option and long sleeves. My old faithful waterproof and windproof jacket would be in my bag. If it was really cold I might even take a beanie or woolly hat that covered my ears!

All the usual sun protection and sneakers for my feet.

What To Wear Whale Watching In Spring On Gold Coast Australia?

By spring I mean late September and October for whale watching purposes. I would probably wear 3/4 (Capri-style) pants or shorts if it was really warm. I would still take a fleecy top, or something warm for the top. Layers! If it was windy I would probably wear or take long trousers just in case.

I always carry a spray jacket (you may know this as arain mac, cagoule or windcheater) in my bag.

Sun protection at this time of the year is an absolute must before leaving the house. Face, nose and ears need to be covered well. Sunglasses and a hat are a must have.

I'd probably throw in a swimsuit and towel, not that you swim off the boat, but when you get back to dry land if the weather is nice you can find a beach and go for a swim!

Other Items To Pack For A Whale Watching Trip

As well as knowing what to wear whale watching I've put together a quick checklist of items to remember for your trip:

  • Digital Camera with strap and bag
  • Video Camera with strap and bag
  • Binoculars
  • Lightweight water and wind proof jacket
  • Sunscreen and zinc
  • Hat 
  • Sunglasses
  • Jumper, sweatshirt or warm jacket
  • Shorts to change into
  • Sea Sickness remedy (I like Blackmores Ginger Tablets)
  • Water bottle
  • Snack - you'll be out for a couple of hours, although most boats have some small snacks for sale.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips on what to wear whale watching. If you have any more tips or ideas I'd love to hear them and with your permission I can even add them to this list!

Please come back often, share this with your friends, Like us on Facebook or Tweet this - you'll find the buttons at the bottom of the page to make it even easier!

Whatever you do, enjoy your Whale Watching,


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Check out our suggestions including some help in selecting the right one for you.

 Gold Coast Local Information 

Current Top Options Whale Watching In Gold Coast

Here's a selection of the best current deals at the moment for the whale watching in Gold Coast. Please check here for all whale watching options including Coolangatta option for those staying in southern Gold Coast.

  • Sea World Whale Watch Latest Deals

    Sea World Whale Watching

    This cruise is ALWAYS POPULAR with a well respected cruise operator.

    Morning cruise goes every day during season. Lots of parking close by and easy to get to using shuttle buses, or public transport.

    Sea World Whale Watch

    Great Value for Visitors

    Child (3-13)
    Family (2A 2C)


    Sea World Whale Watch

    Sea World Whale Watch Season Options

    Sea World Whale Watching Cruise

    This popular cruise is often fully booked, so it is worth booking ahead, especially during school holidays.

    Sea World Whale Watch is a popular option, because it is easily recognisable, it has a large boat and is backed by the professionalism of Sea World.

    Sea World Whale Watch Cruises are available in the morning from 10am to 12.30pm and sometimes in the afternoon from 2pm to 4pm (though you will need to check for dates and availability on the links provided).

    You will need to arrange transfers to get to the Sea World Cruise Terminal - which is in the car park of Sea World. You can use the standard Sea World theme park transfer for the morning cruise.

    This season there are two cruises daily. The morning cruise departs around 10am returning around 12.30pm. The afternoon cruise (not always available) departs around 2pm returning around 4.30pm. All cruises are dependent upon weather conditions, which is why I always recommend you plan your itinerary for your holiday beforehand and book in your cruise early in the vacation, in case it has to be rescheduled. It would be terrible to miss out on seeing the whales.

    Sea World offers the following guarantee: 'Guaranteed sightings or full refund will be provided except during the months of May and November'

    Sea World Whale Watching Cruise
    Adult $99
    Child (3-13 years) $79
    Family (2A+2Ch) $300

    Sea World Whale Watch

    Outstanding Value - no credit card or booking fees. Print your own vouchers. Mobile Vouchers Accepted.

  • Whale Watching From Surfers Paradise Great Season Opening Deal

    Surfers Paradise Whale Watching

    These cruises go from the heart of Surfers Paradise, so you don't need transfers! Departs 4 times per day - two in the morning morning, a midday and an afternoon departure.

    BE QUICK. Click for more info or BOOK NOW...

    Surfers Paradise Whale Watching
    3½ hours inc. Canal Cruise
    Great Value & Options for Visitors

    Child (0-14)
    Family (2A 2C)


    Surfers Paradise Whale Watch

    Whales in Paradise Cruising

    Surfers Paradise Whale Watching Cruises
    4 Cruises Per Day For Great Flexibility

    This is the only whale watching cruise that leaves from the centre of Surfers Paradise.

    If you are staying in Surfers, Broadbeach, Main Beach or even Southport, you can either walk (Surfers Paradise only) or take the new G:Link or a bus to this cruise. No need to use an attraction transfer for this one!

    If you need to drive, you can easily park across the road, under Circle on Cavill or Chevron Renaissance. Parking charges will apply.

    There are a couple of great advantages for this whale watch including the convenience of the departure location, a bonus canal cruise to see the houses of the rich and famous from the Gold Coast before you head out to see the whales and the flexibility to choose one of 4 daily cruises to see the whales.

    Cruises are just over 3 hours and depart at 8.30am, 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm daily. You need to be checked in at least 20 minutes before departure.

    This whale watching company offers the following guarantee: 'Guaranteed whale sightings or free return cruise.'

    All cruises are dependent upon weather conditions, which is why I always recommend you plan your itinerary for your holiday beforehand.

    Book your cruise before you arrive in Gold Coast and make sure it is early in the vacation.

    This is in case it has to be rescheduled due to weather conditions - it would be terrible to miss out on seeing the whales.

    BE QUICK. Click for more info or BOOK NOW.

    Whale Watching from Surfers Paradise
    Adult $99
    Child (0-14 years) $69
    Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $267


    Outstanding Value - no credit card or booking fees. Print your own or use mobile vouchers.

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