Spy Hopping – Where the Whales Watch You!

Spy Hopping - Where the Whales Watch You!

Spy Hopping - Where the Whales Watch You!

Sometimes, whales are just as interested in watching us as we are of them – spy hopping is the perfect example of this. Spy hopping whales are an amazing sight, as it really shows the whales are watching you as well! When a whale spy hops, it pokes its head vertically out of the water, slowly bobbing until they sink back down into clear waters of the Gold Coast.



Check out this amazing shot one of our Skipper’s Aaron caught of a whale ‘spy hopping’ on our Gold Coast whale watching tour!

So, now the obvious question - why do whales spy hop? The reason is pretty self-explanatory– the whales are having a quick sticky beak at their surroundings above the water, having a look at what’s happening around them. You can usually see the Humpback whales’ eyes resting just above the water on either side of their head.

Spy hopping behaviour next to whale watching boats is pretty common behaviour, as naturally the whales are quite inquisitive about who’s coming to see them. Hence why our crew has been able to get lots of great spy hopping photos, as well as great action shots of breaching, tail slapping and other common whale behaviours we see on our whale watching tours.

One of the amazing things about Humpback whales is how easy it is for them to move through the water, considering their size. When spy hopping, the whales are only using their pectoral flippers to keep themselves afloat, much the same as humans do when treading water. What’s even more amazing is when they breach, they only need to beat their tail twice to launch themselves out of the water – when you see one happen right next to our boat the Mahi Mahi, you realise how gravity-defying that really seems for such immense animals!


Synchronised spy hops, snapped by the crew on the Mahi Mahi

Spy hopping is just one of the many entertaining behaviours we see on a daily basis during our tours, and right now the beautiful Humpback whales are as active as they’ve ever been. That includes the newly born baby whale calves we've been spotting cruising along with their mother Humpbacks.

If you’d like to experience these majestic creatures as they migrate past the Gold Coast this whale watching season, book online or give us a call on +61 5538 2111. Only a few months left before the whales head back down to Antarctica, so be sure to catch them before they're gone!

- The Crew at Whales in Paradise