The Amazing Humpback Whale Migration

When the winter chill starts to merge on the southern hemisphere, over 25,000 humpback whales will make their way up the eastern coast of Australian in search for warmer waters. Making the annual migration all the way from Antarctica, each pod will follow the same path their entire life as they head north to breed. Here’s what makes the humpback whale migration period so amazing.


Why Queensland?

While humpback whales do typically spend a lot of time in the freezing Antarctic waters feeding on the mass amount of krill, these animals have equally important reasons to make the long journey to the warmer waters found off the east coast of Australia.

First and foremost it is almost entirely for the survival of newly birthed calves. Even though humpback whales are warm-blooded animals and they can survive in cold temperatures because of their huge body mass, the babies in their early stages of life do not have enough body fat to survive like the fully grown do. Breeding and birthing in the warm northern waters guarantees survival, therefore the warmer climate in north Queensland provides an ideal breeding ground until the calves are big enough to make the migration back to the Antarctic.

Alongside the varying temperatures of the water, research has also discovered that the sub-tropical north Queensland waters are the chosen destination by humpback whales because of the smaller numbers of fellow sea life that are considered predators to the calves. With a smaller number of orcas and big ocean sharks, the whales can deliver their babies safely and without as much worry.

Whale Watching Opportunities

Due to this migration happening annually, it has become a very exciting tradition and tourist attraction for south-east Queensland. Seeing the gentle giants of the sea is already an exciting idea on its own but with humpback whales being the most active whales, there’s even more incentive to go and see their tricks. They are highly intelligent and love to put on acrobatic shows with their jumps and flips. Not only do they like to show off themselves, but some mother humpbacks have also been known to want to show off their newborn babies, offering an amazing opportunity to see how a mother interacts with their young.

Moreton Bay is known to be one of the best whale watching destinations in Australia. This area is a great place to witness these magnificent creatures do what comes naturally to them. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get a chance to spot Migaloo, the famous all-white humpback whale and his new offspring, Migaloo Junior (MJ).

For an unforgettable experience, contact Brisbane Whale Watching to get up and close and personal with the breathtakingly beautiful Humpback Whales.

Here is some other Humpback Whale Fun:

Meet our Humpback Whales

The Singing Humpback Whales

Magical Humpback Whale Rainbows

Big, Beautiful, Baby Humpback Whales

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Looking for more things to do and see? Pop into one of the region's Accredited Visitor Information Centres. The volunteers have a wealth of local knowledge.

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Acknowledgement of Country - We would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands and waterways of the Moreton Bay Region, the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi, Jinibara, and Turrbal people and pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise the ongoing connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the original custodians of this land.