Humpbacks and Highrises update – Migaloo returns!

Over the past two weeks we have seen the peak of the southern whale migration, with volunteers surveying over 31 individuals over 6 trips out with Whales in Paradise, the highest number of surveyed whales so far.

Volunteers on board counted a total of 656 blows and many surface behaviour like pectoral slaps. A heat run was observed, with 5 Humpback whales likely following a female, and two pods had calves present.

Whales in Paradise

Our skipper, Aaron Miller sure knows how to take a great whelfie!

On the 14th Β of September we had one calf rolling next to the boat. An amazing behaviour to witness so close. The calf was likely feeding when disappearing a few times underneath its mother. The calf was seen rolling regularly towards the mother with common dolphins frolicking nearby.

We also encountered the resident Bottlenose dolphins at the outside of the seaway where they have been observed over a couple of weeks now, often feeding on the shallow sand bank to the south of the seaway.


One of the highlights was Migaloos return to the Gold Coast on the 16th September at around midday when he was seen from Burleigh Heads.

The last sighting of the big white whale was off Mission beach on the 18th August. Seeing Migaloo making use of the Gold Coast bay again shows the importance of the Gold Coast as a resting and calving ground for Humpback whales. He appeared to have skipped aggregation sites in the Whitsundays and Hervey bay just to make his appearance again on the Gold Coast like he did in early July during his northern migration.


We hope for his return next year. With Migaloo going south we know the southern migration is in full swing. Now is the best time to see our beautiful Humpback whales from the shore and at sea.


We hope you enjoyed the latest update from HHR, for more information on Humpbacks and High-Rises, or you would like to volunteer, head on over to their website.

And you can also help support their research by donating on their page..