Record number of whales make their way up coast

Those in need of a good news story this year need only look to Australia’s humpback whale population.

Southern Cross University director of marine research Professor Peter Harrison said estimations indicated more than 35,000 humpback whales were making their way up Australia’s east coast.

“We now have a record number of whales migrating towards the Great Barrier Reef from Antarctica in a 10,000km stretch of ‘whale highway’,” Prof Harrison said.

“The absence of whaling over the past few decades has allowed the species to recover and now they are thriving.”

And the lucky thing for Australians is that as population grows, so does the season – meaning more whales to be spotted for a longer period of time.

Hervey Bay in Queensland is arguably the best place in the world to spot a humpback whale.Source:News Corp Australia

The arguably best place to spot a humpback whale is on Queensland’s Fraser Coast at Hervey Bay.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said the warm shallow waters were an ideal place for migrating whales to rest and nurse their calves.

“Mothers will often push their whale calves right up to the boats – it’s extraordinary,” Mr Simons said.

Experts say more than 8000 whales will make their way to Hervey Bay, newly named a World Whale Heritage Site, each year.

Blue Dolphin Marine Tours operator Peter Lynch said it was still the early part of the season, but there were already several whales in Hervey Bay

“There’s continual movement of whales from then end of July to October,” Mr Lynch said.

“Later in the season you will see more calves – from about mid-September onwards.”

“Humpback whales are one of the better species to watch. When they breach it’s spectacular – they’re garish and like to put on a show.”

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