Hervey Bay is a superb for whale watching
By Dallas Sherringham
Whale watching at Hervey Bay and a swim on Fraser Island is a “must see” day out when you visit this bustling region just north of the Sunshine Coast.
I recently a day tour on the purpose built whale watching boat Tasman Venture skippered by owner, former motocross champion Lloyd Burgess…and what an exhilarating day it proved to be.
Now, I have been on half a dozen whale watching cruises on the NSW coast, but they were nowhere near as good as the Hervey Bay experience.
As Lloyd explained, this because the whales are playing, relaxing mating and calving in the Bay, whereas they are mostly travelling when you see them further south.
The day started at the impressively named ‘Great Sandy Strait Marina’ in Buccaneer Dr after we were picked up from our accommodation.
A cup of coffee and a quick ‘hello’, and I was soon chatting with a group of Queenslanders on the sunny top deck who were experiencing whale watching for the first time. The COVID-19 outbreak had forced thousands of Banana Benders who normally went overseas or cruised, to go see their own state.
Our tour host on board, Vicki, starred in a National Geographic documentary called ‘the Whale Whisperer’ a few years ago and has been with Tasman Venture for 20 years.
And I can see why they chose her. She is an amazing host, full of enthusiasm and knowledge and she calls the whole whale experience like a live TV telecast.
Vicki buzzed around the decks, chatting with the tour members, helping with photographs and genuinely making a superb day out into a brilliant life afforming experience.
“This is one of the best we have had for a while,” she told me as she served lunch.
We watched a female humpback in a “heat run” with two male whales and she was playing particularly hard to get, ducking under out boat, playing-hide-and-go-seek and popping up occasionally for a look at our passengers.
Vicki said the whales loved to communicate with humans and were obviously intrigued by us.
Sitting on the front of Tasman Venture, I watched the huge ‘arms’ of the mammals smashing the water as they tried to dislodge barnacles….or were they just showing off?
Then one of them disappeared briefly before bursting into a magnificent double leap out of the warm waters of the Bay.
After lunch, we went for a swim at pristine Fraser Island and took to canoes to explore one of the beautiful, isolated freshwater lakes.
To say was extremely impressed by a great day out, is an understatement. If you go to Hervey Bay be sure to look for the Tasman Venture tour.