Whale Watching


Gold Coast Whale Watching – now trading as Whales in Paradise – was registered in 2004 as the Gold Coast’s first whale watching company. We began operating in June 2005 running the first whale watching tours from Surfers Paradise to see the magnificent Humpback Whales off the Gold Coast.

Our first vessel “Sea Watch” was a 45-passenger catamaran, taking our first group of whale watchers out on the 4th of June, 2005.

In 2007 we changed our vessel to “Mahi Mahi” a 48-passenger luxury catamaran. The vessel Mahi Mahi proved to be much more conducive to whale watching. Closer whale encounters were noticed immediately – due to the quieter engines and a fibreglass hull which absorbed more acoustical noise than the noisier aluminium hulls.

Due to growth in the business in early 2008, Mahi Mahi was then upgraded to 69 passengers which is now the market leader in the competitive Gold Coast whale watching industry. With full walk-around decks and water-level viewing every customer is guaranteed the closest possible whale encounter along with old-fashioned personalised service.

Late 2008 also saw the introduction of Whales in Paradise’s second whale watch vessel Reef Ryder – a 20-passenger rigid inflatable operating three Adventure Whale Watch tours daily until the end of 2010 when the vessel was sold to a Sea Plane company in Cairns.

So what's happening in the future?

After the sale of Reef Ryder the team at Whales in Paradise (Gold Coast Whale Watching Pty Ltd) have busily been searching for their second whale watch vessel to run alongside Mahi Mahi. After a year of searching to no resolve, designs are currently being drafted for their new state-of-the-art 16.5m whale watch vessel that is planned to run alongside the 15m Mahi Mahi late in the 2014 whale watching season.

The vessels will feature underwater viewing windows and full walk-around water-level viewing decks – ensuring none of our passengers ever have to view a whale through a window. We want to provide the richest whale watching experience possible – a truly intimate encounter!

Over years of research it has been established that the slightly smaller design size of Mahi Mahi and our future vessel will always provide the ultimate whale watch experience as:

  • This reduces the number of passengers on board
  • It ensures personalised service
  • Reduces the effect of sea-sickness due to a lower centre of gravity and
  • It ensures the closest whale encounters as the Humpback Whale is not intimidated by our vessels’ size

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