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Whale watching 101: A handy guide to spotting whales

Whale Watching

Spotting and identifying whales is extremely fun, especially when you know what to look for. Our crew at Whales in Paradise are experienced and expert whale spotters, and our tours have a 100% whale sighting guarantee, so don’t sweat it! But if you do want to take your whale watching experience to the next level, we recommend reading our handy whale spotting tips below.

1. Know your whales

Learning about common whale behaviour can be a tremendous help when it comes to both spotting and identifying whales on our tours. Look out for the telltale ‘blow.’ That is, the water sprayed into the air as the whale exhales at the surface. This is the easiest way to spot a whale. Sometimes, you can even identify the whale species by its blow. For example, southern right whales blow in a noticeable V shape, while sperm whales spray forward and to the left. Another way to spot them: if you see a big splash, then you probably just missed a breach! Luckily for us, whales, and in particular humpback whales, are famed for their magnificent acrobatic displays.

Humpback whale breach

2. Mind the weather

If you have the choice, head out on a clear and calm day. Whale blows and splashes are best spotted in calm seas with little to no white caps. On a day where there’s no white caps, almost any disturbance that’s not a boat is going to be a whale. But if you have a day booked and locked in, never fear! Our amazing crew will help you spot whales and ensure you have a day like no other.

Beautiful conditions on the Gold Coast

3. Pack good gear

Make sure you wear warm clothes and a jacket, comfortable shoes and bring your camera. Bonus points if you pack some binoculars! You’re going to spot more whales without the binoculars, but once you do spot them, the binoculars will help you get a closer look. Most importantly, pack some patience. As we are spotting animals in the wild, patience is key! But don’t worry, the anticipation is what makes whale watching so incredible.

Staying warm

4. Know that you have chosen a responsible tour provider!

By choosing Whales in Paradise as your whale watching tour operator, you are contributing to the protection of humpback whales! We are a responsible company and we take conservation, environmentalism and sustainability very seriously. The most helpful whale spotting tip is to protect them! This will ensure our whale populations continue to grow and flourish. More whales means more opportunities to watch them in awe!

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