The First Calf Sighting For Our Gold Coast Whale Watching Season – Say Hello to ‘Hsiao Buddha’

It’s always a joy when the mother whales return with their newborn babies, and on our morning whale watch last Wednesday (15th of July) our passengers and crew were in for an absolute treat.

A beautiful one-week-old calf was spotted by our crew relishing its new life in the water, and already seemed to have its tail slapping down pat. It playfully cruised alongside the Mahi Mahi, whilst mum and dad swam alongside. Occasionally, the newborn broke away from its parents and explored the ocean solo, but the older humpbacks were never far behind!

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And baby makes three!

It's prime time to start spotting whale calves for the Gold Coast whale watching season, as some of the frontrunner humpbacks begin migrating back down south – having travelled north to give birth in the warm waters of the tropics. The baby whale calves have spent the time they need enjoying their mother’s milk and fattening up in the warm waters, so are able to withstand the cooler temperatures as they make their way back down south for the Gold Coast whale watching season with their parents!

One of our guests, photographer Lynn Spinnato captured these incredibly beautiful images of the calf playing in the water. Hailing from the US, Lynn is a well known “photographer, cinematographer, produce and director, and has been behind the camera, professionally, for more than thirty years.” What luck to have such a great artist on board to capture such an amazing moment out on our whale watching tour.

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Little 'Hsiao Buddha' saying hello.

As Lynn is believed to be the first person to document the newborn calf, she is able to chose a new name for the little one! So, whale watchers, say hello to ‘Hsiao Buddha’, which translates to ‘Little Buddha’ – one of the first newborns of the Gold Coast whale watching season.

If you'd like the chance to experience the magic of humpback newborns playing alongside their parents this Gold Coast whale watching season, and also the older humpbacks breaching and tail slapping in the clear waters of the coast, our tours leave 3 times a day, every day. Feel free to give our reception staff a call on +61 7 5538 2111 or book online here.

Also, if you'd like to check out more of Lynn’s stunning photography work, check out her gallery on to see some seriously beautiful photos of her travels. We feel lucky to have been a part of Lynn’s work!

- The crew at Whales in Paradise