Humpback whales and calves migrate south through Mooloolaba this Spring

Mum-&-calf-upclose-2_MG_3389Credit Migration Media - Underwater Imaging.jpgAs the weather warms up the Humpback whales that have been playing of Queensland’s coastline will migrate through Mooloolaba over the next month as they head south towards the Antarctic for summer.

Over 20,000 whales make the journey north to Queensland every year arriving in June and then making their way south in spring as the water heats up.

Sunreef Whale Encounter supervisor, Dan Hart said at this time of the season there are many humpbacks that have bred and/or had their babies and are making their way slowly home to the Antarctic.

“Mothers and calves making the move always put on a show and are extremely playful making the encounters one not to be missed.

“This season we’ve been lucky enough to have one of the best years when it comes to whale encounters with plenty of up close mother and calves sightings,” Dan said.

Sunreef has put a lot of time and planning with Whale researchers into preparing to be able to offer customers the opportunity to swim with Humpback whales and have developed the swimming with whales experience with a strict Code of Conduct to protect both the whales and the participants.

Dan said he is excited for the tourists who will be on the Sunshine Coast in the September school holidays, it is a great opportunity to get out on the water, do some whale watching and a swim with the whales encounter together as a family,” Dan said.

“It truly is a once in a lifetime experience and sharing that with your tweens or teenagers really just adds to those life long memories you make as a family together.” 

Sunreef were the first operators in Australia to offer the Swim with the whales experience commencing in 2014. The Sunreef Swim with the Whales experience runs from July to October each year.

Dan said Sunreef provide a full briefing on what to expect and safety procedures as well as providing all required equipment.

“When on the Sunreef Swim with the Whale experience participants can expect that once a whale is sighted, the boat will be put into neutral 100m or more away from the whale, and if the conditions are determined safe by our trained crew, swimmers will be allowed into the water holding on to the floating line attached to the boat.

“From this point it’s all up to the whale – it is a natural experience and it is 100% on the whale’s own terms,” Dan said.

Sunreef is also working with the University of the Sunshine Coast, reserving two seats on every boat for researchers. 

“Researchers are studying the whale behaviour as well people’s attitudes about whale and environmental conservation before and after their experience,” Dan said.

“It’s really important to us to help spread the word about these magnificent creatures and to help ensure their preservation through education.”

Sunreef Mooloolaba, based in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is the longest established dive centre on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) with roots starting back in 1976.

Sunreef is a 5 Star PADI Training Centre and offers accredited dive courses for all levels of divers as well as local reef dives, snorkelling trips and diving on the ex-HMAS Brisbane. Sunreef also plans and guides international dive trips and travel as well as dive equipment sales and servicing.

The whale swimming and watching operations work out of Mooloolaba in the heart of Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast.

For more information on Sunreef and swimming with the whales visit www.sunreef.com.au or call 07 5444 5656.

Photo by Migration Media - Underwater imaging.  More high-res images available for download in the Media photo gallery.