Young, playful southern humpback whales are on their way to Moreton Bay, swimming ahead of the more than 30,000 gentle giants who are expected to travel along our coastline in the coming months.
Brisbane Whale Watching tours begin tomorrow, June 11, and Captain Kerry Lopez says an entertaining start the season is expected with her southern counterparts reporting plenty of lively activity.
“The juniors are coming through first and they like to play around a lot. They’re clowns,” Kerry says.
“There’s a lot of breaching, tail slapping and peck slapping.”
She can’t wait to reconnect with the whales she knows, after 26 years running whale watching tours in Moreton Bay, and meeting young characters she hasn’t encountered before.
“It’s so awe-inspiring. The whales know Eye-Spy and they trust the boat. They play around the boat and engage with us. All the years of hearing the engine hum … they trust the boat,” Kerry says.
The crew often see the same whales each year, giving them the chance to watch them grow and reunite each season.
“When the whales and the dolphins play together, it’s really special,” she says.
“On the last day last year, we had one young whale who played around the boat. It was as if he knew it was the last day. That was a pretty cool day.”
Despite the disruption of COVID-19 lockdowns last year, her 25th season was a good one with favourable weather and plenty of whales to see including super pods of about nine whales at a time.
“We’re hoping to see that again this year. They have such a wonderful presence right beside you. We had that on several occasions last year. It was sporadic throughout the season – during the northern and southern migration,” Kerry says
She and her team will be keenly observing if the trend continues this year and watching to see what impact warmer water temperatures will have on the length of time whales spend in Moreton Bay.
“They might just stay here as opposed to continuing up to the hot tropics,” she says.
Kerry says while there is still silt in the bay, due to the recent floods, water quality is good and it’s the best time of year to be out on the water.
|“The sun is shining, it’s school holidays soon … what better thing to do than whale watching in Moreton Bay,” she says.|
“We’re hoping for a bumper season. The boat has been repainted, is ready to go and back at Redcliffe Jetty.
“The staff are trained and really excited to go back out there and show everybody what a fantastic day it is seeing the whales, dolphins and turtles.”
The whale watching season coincides with the northern and southern migration of southern humpback whales to and from Antarctica.
As they make their way through Moreton Bay’s warm waters, they feed, mate and play.
Brisbane Whale Watching’s high-speed, airconditioned luxury catamaran Eye Spy offers the ultimate in ‘whale-friendly’ design and technology.
Built in Brisbane, it has environmentally friendly technology with low-noise propellers, and low-wash characteristic hull design.
Brisbane Whale Watching uses the aeroplane Sky Spy to provide the whales’ exact location reducing transit time while also providing guests with live whale behaviour commentary.
Kerry Lopez, is recognised as the only female captain to own and operate a whale watching venture in the south Pacific rim.
To book a whale watching tour, or buy a gift voucher, visit the website
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