Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the Gold Coast. Many of them come during winter to escape the cooler southern weather. Some just make the Gold Coast a quick stopover as they continue their journey north to warmer climes.
But not all these visitors are land based. Of course I’m talking about the hundreds of Humpback Whales who pass through the Gold Coast waters as they head for warmer waters.
Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can get to see these majestic creatures frolicking off shore. But if you want to take a closer look then I highly recommend going Whale Watching on the Gold Coast. I recently had the opportunity, along with some other lovely bloggers, to go Whale Watching aboard the Spirit of the Gold Coast.
SPIRIT OF THE GOLD COAST
Spirit Whale Watching is a family run business with over 20 years experience. In fact, they are pioneers of Whale Watching on the eastern coast of Australia. More than just tour operators they are also passionate about conservation and raising awareness of these magnificent creatures.
The Spirit of the Gold Coast vessel, is a purpose built 24 metre powered catamaran. With two levels and plenty of deck space, everyone is guaranteed a great view. There is also ample seating inside as well.
Spirit of the Gold Coast is located at the Mariners Cove Marina which is located next door to Marina Mirage. Tours depart daily at 9.30am, with boarding from 9.00am. Whale Watching season usually runs from June to November. An afternoon tour, departing at 1.30pm if sometimes offered if weather permits. Of course, all tours are dependent on the weather. Tours won’t run if bad weather is forecast.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly Spirit staff. You can have your photo taken just before boarding and this can be purchased later as a souvenir of your trip.
Complimentary tea and coffee is available on board or can purchase snacks, soft drinks or beer and wine. Most importantly, if you think there is the slightest chance that you may become sea sick, you can purchase some seasickness medication. As the water was a little choppy, I did end up taking something and I did note that there were a few people who were feeling unwell, but the staff did a great job of looking after them.
The view from the boat as we headed out through the broad water was pretty spectacular.
SEARCHING FOR WHALES
As we made for more open water, all eyes on board were peeled for any sign of whales. As we cruised out, we saw some pods of dolphins off in the distance which got everyone excited. A Spirit crew member climbed up onto the roof of the boat and then up into the ‘crows nest’ lookout. Everyone was keen to be the first to sight a whale.
As I was feeling a little ‘queasy’ I decided to head down to the lower deck. I found a spot in the corner against the railing and it wasn’t very long before our patience was rewarded with the flip of a very large whale tail. For a very large creature, they sure move quickly but I did manage to snap a couple of pics.
We continued our search and just when it was almost time to return to shore, we were rewarded with a second sighting. It was almost like she (or he) was racing the boat.
As our second whale swum off into the depths of the ocean it was time for us to head back in. Two and a half hours had passed so quickly and we had been so lucky to experience seeing these beautiful mammals up close.
A BIT OF LUNCH
On our return to shore we all decided to have lunch. We headed for the Gold Coast Seafood Market which is located within the Mariners Cove precinct and enjoyed a delicious lunch of fish and chips. The fish was beautiful and fresh and perfectly cooked. Gold Coast Seafood Market is also licenced so I enjoyed a cold beer as well.
If you want some more menu options I can also recommend the Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern. Or whilst you are in the area why not explore some more of The Spit.
WHAT TO BRING
There are a few things I recommend that you take with you on your Whale Watching cruise.
- Sea sickness tablets
- Sun hat and sunscreen
- A spray jacket
HOW TO BOOK
Bookings can be made on-line at Spirit Whale Watching. An adult ticket will set you back $99.00 but it is most certainly a once in a lifetime experience, so well worth it I think.
***We received a discounted rate on the purchase price of our ticket***