Whale Watching Cairns, Australia

Get ready for the big splash in Cairns as the northern dry season approaches along with the 5,000 or so Humpback and Dwarf Minke whales that migrate to the warmer waters of Cairns each year along the east coast of Australia. Each year these Humpback and Dwarf Minke Whales leave the frozen climes of the southern oceans and are in transit 8,000 km each year to get all the way from the Antarctica to the warmer waters of tropical Cairns, Australia to either find a mate or to give birth to their calves in the saftety of the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Sightings of these massive but gentle creatures during Australia's winter months is a big sightseeing attraction for both locals and tourists. They are protected so boats can't come too close of these gentle giants, however each year reef trip goers are report whale sighting making their reef trip the most unforgetable part of their Tropical North Queensland holidays. Amongst these gentle giants one has particularly caught the public's attention: Migaloo the white Humpback whale. Book your reef trip on 1300 761 612.

Whale Watching Cairns

Whale Watching in Cairns - Call 07 4059 5959

Cairns Great Barrier Reef whale watching season is so predictable that one particular vessel has even guaranteed whale sightings and if not they will give you a free pass for a trip out again for another day to ensure you get to see a Humpback Whale or a Dwarf Minke Whale on the Cairns Great Barrier Reef and Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef. If just observing and photographing the whales from above the water is not enough, then how about swimming with them?

Swim With the Dwarf Minke Whales off Cairns Australia - Call 07 4059 5959

There are many boats throughout the world that allow for whale watching from a distance but few that actually have the rare permits that allow visitors to swim with the inquisitive Dwarf Minke Whales. Cairns Great Barrier Reef is lucky enough to have Great Barrier Reef boat operators that allow for swimming with the Dwarf Minke Whales. Under strict adherence to a Code of Practice, however all three of these boats' main purpose is for a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling or diving experience however they focus highly on trying to get their passengers into the water to swim with these magnificent creatures when the opportunity arises.

  • Silversonic - permit to swim with the Minke Whales
  • Poseidonpermit to swim with the Minke Whales

The skipper will be watching closely for the Dwarf Minke Whales and upon spotting them, will stop the boat, make the announcement and the crew will assist 10 passengers at a time into the water as quickly and safely as possible. A rope is attached to the boat so that the guests have something to hold onto while they experience this once in a lifetime magical experience of Dwarf Minke Whales swimming around them. Keep in mind these are wild creatures and swimming with them is not guaranteed.

A private Whale Watching charter can also be organised. Travel to the reef with a select group of friends, fanily or colleagues.

Some often wonder "Is this safe?" The answer is yes - for more information about the Dwarf Minke Whales, please read on.

Cairns Dwarf Minke Whales, May to September.

Dwarf Minke whales are the second smallest of the baleen whales (pygmy being the smallest). With a size of up to 6 to 8 meters & weight of 4 to 14 tonnes at maturity, they can swim in bursts at speeds of up to 12 knots. They are black/grey in colour and can live up to 60 years. The Dwarf Minke Whales have no teeth but instead a series (between 240 and 360) of baleen plates that hang from both side of their mouth that are used like a filter to trap their food. These whales are rare in the world, and to date the yearly recordings of Dwarf Minke Whales visiting the Great Barrier Reef annually is only around 200 per year and they travel in small groups. Reserachers from the world over are fascinated with these particular whales as they have only been recognised and recorded in the last 12 years or so and they have no idea where they come from or where they retun to after their annual migration. Permits have been given to some Port Douglas boats that go out to Agincourt Ribbon Reefs to assist the researchers to observe the interactions that these whales really encourage and enjoy with human beings. These whales regualarly follow the boats and interact underwater with divers and are very inquisitive with the snorkellers swimming up close and looking you in the eye. Tourists come out of the water with tears in their eyes and say it was the most amazing thing they have ever done its as though the whale was looking into their minds. They spy hop and swim all around you putting on a little showy display.

Humpback Whales are considered the "show-off's" of Australia's Great Barrier Reef as they love breaching their huge bodies out of the water, sticking their tails out of the water and sounding off to each other you can hear them in the hull of the boats. They are by far the noisiest of all marine life with their constant loud vocals, some even say that it sounds like singing. They undertake yearly migrations between sub Antarctic waters where they feed and tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef where calves are born in the safety of the surrounding coral reef structures away from marouding shark. During the the mother and calves stay she will feed little all the time showing her new calf how to keep up with her and put on weight for the journey south to the southern waters for the coming summer and melting of the ice and the abundance of krill that follws. Female Humpbacks are larger than the male and can reach lengths of 15 meters and weigh over 40 tones. Humpbacks have the largest flippers of all whales up to one third length of bodies. Only the males sing and do this mostly during mating season reaching up to 20-9,000 Hertz. Humpback whales live between 45-55 years of age. The humpback whale is an endangered species with only 35,000 worldwide.

Migaloo is a male hypo-pigmented white-humback whale originally discovered in Byron Bay in 1991. The name Migaloo originates from the aboriginal term "white fella". He is part of the east Australiam humpback whale population which includes 11-13000 whales. This herd migrates each year to Cairns to give birth in the tropical waters. Cairns welcomes Migaloo each year with open arms as we feel lucky to have such a unique creature in our waters. Some think that Migaloo comes to Cairns looking for love... Migaloo is protected under special Queensland and commonwealth government legislation as he was struct by a trimaran in 2003. The good news is that this whale loves to put on a good show and turns up on a yearly basis to entertain and show off to the tourists of the Cairns and Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef

These Whales travel 8000 km per year just to get to Cairns. Don't miss out on this animal lover dream experience of seeing the Cairns whales!

More information about the Cairns Great Barrier Reef

Outer Great Barrier Reef boat tours from Port Douglas in Queensland Australia

From AUD

$245.50

Book Now See Details
Dive Trip Port Douglas | Dive & Snorkel Cruise | Swim With Whales | MV-SS
  • Departs From: Port Douglas Marina Mirage
  • Duration:

    08:30 - 16:30

Take a snorkel or dive trip out to the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas on our stabilised vessel that has a licence to swim with the Dwarf Minke whales. These inquisitive mammals are here from around June for a short few months and love to come alongside and mingle with snorkelllers. Read more here and book your seat!

From AUD

$245.50

Book Now See Details

From AUD

$3750.00

Book Now See Details
MV-MOA III Private Charter Whale Watching
  • Departs From: Cairns Marlin Marina

Book your very own private charter whale watching tour from Cairns Queensland Australia. Book for a day charter to watch the giant Humpback Whales for a total of 12 guests or an overnight private charter for 6 guests during the months of June to September. Read more here!

From AUD

$3750.00

Book Now See Details
Swim with Dwarfe Minke Whales on Great Barrier Reef

From AUD

$1770.00

Book Now See Details
Luxury Liveaboard Expedition Dive Tours Great Barrier Reef | MV-SOF
  • Departs From: Cairns
  • Duration:

    Choice of 3, 4 or 7 Days

A liveaboard scuba diving tour on Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the best way to see more whales during whale watching season. Choose from 3, 4 and 7 day scuba diving adventure.

From AUD

$1770.00

Book Now See Details
Cairns Best Scuba Liveaboard | Giant Potato Cod

From AUD

$1908.00

Book Now See Details
Fly Dive Cod Hole | 3 Nights/12 Dives | MB3NTS
  • Departs From: Mike Ball Office, Cairns
  • Duration:

    3 Nights

Dedicated 'swimming with whales' expeditions, from 3 to 7 nights, this is one of a lifetime experience not to be missed.

From AUD

$1908.00

Book Now See Details
Swim With The Minke Whales | 4 Nights Liveaboard Great Barrier Reef Trip

From AUD

$1860.00

Book Now See Details
Cairns 5 Day / 4 Night Liveaboard Trip | Minke Whales Expedition | June July ONLY | DD MV-OQ
  • Departs From: B Finger, Cairns Marlin Marina
  • Duration:

    5 Days 4 Nights

    Please note on the 5th day is the return trip to Cairns

Four nights on the Great Barrier Reef with a maximum of 36 guests - only available in June & July during whale season.

From AUD

$1860.00

Book Now See Details
Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns