Why do Humpback whales migrate?

Why do Humpback whales migrate?

Why do Humpback whales migrate? Every year we’re blessed enough to watch these beautiful Humpback whales cruise past the Gold Coast, from May to November. At the start of the season, we’re captivated as the pods make their way up into the warmer waters of the North, and even more thrilled when they return back down south with their brand new baby whale calves in tow!

We are so wrapped up in actually spotting and observing these majestic creatures that we often forget why the whales are doing what they do best – migrating – in the first place! It can’t just be for a change of scenery, right?


When the water is crystal clear, the underside of the Humpback Whales is luminescent - making them easy to spot!

First and foremost, Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to the waters near North Queensland, in order to give birth to their baby whale calves. (As if giving birth wasn’t hard enough, the round trip to get there and back home is 10,000kms!) The water in Antarctica, where Whales spend their summer months, is just too cold for newly born baby whale calves to survive, whereas they can withstand the warmer temperatures in the northern waters. They use their time up north to get nice and fat on their mother’s milk, which allows their little bodies to build up their strength and withstand the colder waters on the journey home.

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This is your last few weeks to catch the Humpback Whales displaying behaviours like tail slapping!

If the beaches up north are so warm and beautiful, you’re probably wondering why the Humpback Whales would ever leave their tropical paradise. The answer is simple – and worth swimming 5,000kms back down for – food! Antarctica is teaming with delicious krill, and the Humpback Whales spend their summer feeding and building up their strength for their winter migration. By the journey’s end, the baby whales are strong and large enough to withstand the colder temperatures, and also enjoy the krill buffet Antarctica has to offer.

As it’s later in the season, we’re spotting the whales as they make their way back down to Antarctica. We’ve had many sightings of baby whales travelling with their mothers, as well as an increased number of fully-grown Humpback Whales (thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers are skyrocketing!)

Our whale watching tours are still running three times a day, everyday until our final tour departs on the 8th of November but they won’t be around much longer, so if you’d like to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat and enjoy a fun time out on the water, book now! 

- The Crew at Whales in Paradise