Humpbacks and Highrises Update – there she blows!

Whale, whale, whale.. What a month August has been!

A beautiful Humpback Whale can be seen just below the surface next to our vessel, Kaiala, on a tour with Whales in Paradise. Source: Jess McCann


Take a deep breath because there has been a lot going on with our whales on the Gold Coast. HHR counted a total of 484 blows for 7 different pods, with a total of 26 whales in the past two weeks, including a large amount of other surface behaviours.

Two Humpback Whales break the surface for air after a big exhale, also known as their blow. Source: David Williams

August is usually the turn of the season for the whales with the majority of whales still in the Northern tropical waters and the first whales travelling south. However, this year we have seen an early change over from travel directions, with the past two weeks seeing a rapid increase in whales travelling south.

It has also been observed that some of the whales are staying in the Gold Coast bay displaying courtship behaviour and having heat runs with up to 6 whales per pod. On many occasions, surveyors saw head rises and rolling indicating that the whales are socialising.

A curious and playful Humpback Whale rolls around on the surface during a tour out with Whales in Paradise. Source: Aaron Miller

Surveys have also indicated that the whales are much further offshore than seen in previous years, in particular the southern waters of the Gold Coast.

At the start of the month we had exciting news that False Killer Whales had entered the Gold Coast bay and we were lucky enough to record their vocals just before they moved on. We also had sightings of a Southern Right whale and Dwarf Minke whale all in the same week. Again, more evidence that the GC bay is home to many other amazing marine mammals.

An usual encounter happened on the 23rd August when we witness a sea snake surfacing. So far the first time in many years we have managed to get photographic evidence. As they say you never know what you will find out there.

A sea snake was seen swimming at the surface during a tour. Source: Humpbacks and Highrises

We also took record of 22 Bottlenose dolphins often interacting with the Humpback whales.

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..