Whale & Dolphin Watching Things To Do

Whale Watch & Dolphin Watch Tours

Whale watching tours - the experience of a lifetime!

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Whale watch & dolphin watch tips

Undeniably one of the most incredible experiences you can have with nature, a whale watching tour or dolphin watching tour is a breathtaking experience for nature lovers of all ages.
When responsibly conducted, eco-tours play a huge role in educating and inspiring humans to act and behave in ways that help preserve and protect whales, dolphins and other marine life and their natural environment.
We've compiled this comprehensive list of whale watching and dolphin watching tips to ensure your experience is as eco-conscious as possible!

1. Find a responsible operator

We only work alongside whale watch and dolphin watch operators who are as passionate about protecting these beautiful creators as we are.
Not only do they stick to local guidelines, whale watching and dolphin watching tours are also lead by knowledgeable crew, who prioritise education over sensation.
This means they prioritise letting the whales and dolphins decide what happens by not forcing interactions and keeping a respectful distance from the species.
Whale watching Gold Coast specialists, Cooly Eco Adventures, are on of these responsible operators, with a mission to be the most environmentally conscious, informative and fun seafaring adventure company in Australia with their experiences...including swim with whales!

2. How to take precautions when on a tour where you get to swim with whales/dolphins
This all depends on the experience - including the location and the operator.
On this swim with whales Gold Coast experience, there are rules and regulations to follow in regard to watching and swimming with whales. For example, the operator must stay at least 100m from a whale and allow a 30m approach for swimming. Luckily though, the whales never get a copy of these regulations, so if they want to come to you, which they often do, that’s fine!
Other precautions include not touching the whales, not swimming 'at' the whales but rather 'with' them...especially mother whales and their calves.

Also, know your limitations. If you're not confident in your swimming ability, you may want to consider partaking in a whale watching experience...rather than swimming with whales.



3. What to wear

As whale watching and dolphin experiences generally occure during the cooler seasons, be sure to dress accordingly. Make sure you wear multiple layers as it gets a lot colder out on the water, for example: Aong sleeve shirt, a jumper and a jacket. Be sure to take sun protection as well...including a hat, suncream and sunglasses! 



4. Prepare for motion sickness

Seasickness is a common disturbance of the inner ear - affecting your sense of balance and equilibrium. If you think you’re prone to seasickness or motion sickness, consult your doctor or pharmacist and bring along your own seasickness tablets prior to embarking on a whale watching tour or dolphin watching tour. If you forget, some operators have seasickness tablets available for purchase.



5. Best times to go whale and dolphin watching

This all depends on the location. Generally speaking, the cooler months are when whales begin their migratory journey. For Australia and New Zealand, whale watching season typically runs from June to October, while in America, March through May is the ideal time to observe infant gray whales, while the largest living creature on earth—the blue whale—is likely to make an appearance between May and October.



Whale watch and dolphin watch FAQs

What is the best time of day to see whales and dolphins?

Due to factors like less wind resulting in smoother, calmer seas, the morning generally presents the best ocean conditions for spotting whales and dolphins. When conditions are 'calm' or 'flat', it makes it easier to spot these beautiful creatures from a distance, with more opportunity to see a fin, fluke, or flop of a whale from a distance.

Do you get wet while whale watching?

Seeing as though you'll be out in open water - yes, there is a chance of getting wet while whale watching.

Ocean spray is inevitable, so to keep yourself warm and dry, wear a waterproof jacket with a hood and layer up! 

When can you see whales in Australia?

At the tail-end of summer, so around February/March, whales begin the long journey north from Antarctica to warmer waters for their breeding and birthing season. Usually between May and November, you can spot southern right whales journeying to the temperate breeding waters off South Australia and Victoria, while humpback whales continue north to the Great Barrier Reef orcas congregate off the southern coast of Western Australia. 

Where are the best places for dolphin watching?

Port Stephens in Australia, Auckland in New Zealand and Oahu in Hawaii are three of the best places to spot dolphins in the wild.

Port Stephens' rocky coastal headlands and long white beaches provide ideal vantage points to spot just some of the 140+ bottlenose dolphins that call the region, home.

Over in Auckland, the Hauraki Gulf or Tīkapa Moana is the expanse of water bounded by Auckland coastline, the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki Plains and Aotea/Great Barrier Island.

Covering over 1.2 million hectares, this is one of the most abundant and diverse marine parks in the world with over 25% of the Southern Hemisphere’s marine mammals having been seen in the Marine Park...including hundreds of dolphins.

While in Oahu, there’s always a chance you’ll see a pod of dolphins while playing in the ocean - with spinner, bottlenose, spotted and rough-toothed dolphins known to frequent the area.


What should you not do around dolphins?

Both humans and dolphins are mammals and although sea water acts as an effective disinfectant, interaction with wild dolphins may result in disease transfer. Understandably, this may present serious health threats to dolphins and humans alike. 


Have more questions? Our team is here to help! CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US.

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