Whale Watching - Large multi level luxury catamaran - Whale One

Whale Watching Cruise on Whale One

Whale Watching on Whale One

See one of the ocean’s largest mammals on their great migration to breed and mate.
This is an educational and informative tour that will give you an immersive experience to learn more about one of nature’s most magnificent migrations.

Duration: Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours depending on time of season

Meeting point: Sunreef at The Wharf, Mooloolaba

Price: $75 adults, $55 children (4-14 years old), under 4 years old free. Family pass $219.

We give these whale watching tours a 100% guarantee on whale sightings, so if there are no whales at all that day you will have the chance to go again on a free return trip.

What you can expect

Check in at Sunreef starts at the time outlined on your confirmation email or text. When you arrive, we will see you at our check in desk so we can give you your boarding pass and ensure all the names on the booking are correct.

We will then direct you to line up at a designated area prior to boarding. 

On departure, we will give all our guests a thorough boat briefing as we exit the Mooloolaba River. The trip out of the Mooloolaba takes around 15 minutes. After exiting the Mooloolaba river mouth we will begin to search for whales using our sight. To help us sight the whales, your whale watching crew on Whale One will ensure that you know what you should be looking for in particular when whale watching.

We will be looking out for mainly blows or major surface activity from the humpback whales, however it’s not uncommon for us to also end up spotting dolphins, turtles and other amazing animals on our trips.

After spotting whales, what we experience is all completely left up to the whale.

This is a completely organic experience, in no way do we control these animals or their behaviours. They may show surface activities, we may see them swim right under or beside Whale One, and sometimes they may just swim away.

Either way, it will be an experience we’re sure you’ll remember. We will always do everything in our power to respect the whales boundaries and environment.

You will be on the water for anywhere from 2.5 to 3 hours. Please see below for what to bring, parking recommendations, and more.

While you’re whale watching with us, you will be able to purchase hotdogs, snacks, soft drinks and alcohol (alcohol after 10 am). We have indoor and outdoor, upstairs and downstairs seating on our vessel. There are two marine toilets. 

Read more about humpback whales on the Sunshine Coast.

Whale Watching customers, please read the following

Trip confirmations: Your confirmation of the trip will depend on the sea conditions and weather. We will monitor this closely and if the weather or sea conditions are unsuitable, we will let you know as soon as we can. We will send out an email and text message the day before your trip around 3:30 pm to inform you of the status of the trip and its departure time.

*Please note that while the weather may look great on the beach, it doesn’t mean the conditions offshore are safe for watching. If we have to cancel a trip due to poor sea conditions it is for our customer’s safety, and we will either rebook or refund you for this.*

Eligibility requirements to board the Whale One vessel for Whale Watching:

  • Children under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, we unfortunately cannot take you on this tour.
  • Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access available on any of our vessels.

What to bring: Warm clothes, appropriate footwear, and jumper. Please ensure you have your personal medications with you e.g. asthmatics, heart disease, anaphylaxis, etc.).

No drones are permitted on board. 

NO alcohol is to be taken on or carried off the vessel.

Prams / strollers: If you would like to take your pram / stroller, its wheels need to be able to be locked. We will gauge whether or not you will be able to take your pram on depending on how many passengers we have on board and if there are any other prams on board, so you will need to wait until we give the final call to see if it’s okay. If you bring a pram on board, you must choose a spot downstairs to use as your designated seating area. You can still walk around, but please do not leave your pram unattended. You are responsible for your pram.

Dress code: Dress appropriate for the weather, bring layers. You can bring a warm jumper or jacket for the wind chill on the water, and something lighter if you are in the sun. Please remember to be sun safe. Polarized sunglasses will help a lot when spotting whales and looking at the ocean. There are open air, protected and enclosed areas available, but no air conditioning.

Seasickness: This is in open water and we suggest you consider seasickness tablets to minimize the risk of seasickness affecting your trip. We will not issue any rebookings or refunds for being seasick.

Parking: The Wharf complex has 4 hour parking available, however you will need to find suitable parking for the tour you are on as some of our trips will be over 4 hours. There are some unlimited parking spaces available outside of The Wharf Mooloolaba / SEA Life car park, however please keep in mind especially if you are on an 11:30 am or later trip that parking can get very busy. Please give yourself at least 15-20 minutes for parking. You can find a parking map of The Wharf Mooloolaba here.

At Sunreef, we do everything we can to provide an amazing experience from start to finish with all our trips. As we outlined above, these are wild animals that we do not have control over. Some whales may not want to socialise with us, and we appreciate your respect and understanding when this happens. We give these whale watching tours a 100% guarantee on whale sightings, so if there are no whales at all that day you will have the chance to go again on a free return trip.

Whale Watching 

live calendar below

Our Responsibility

All our staff at Sunreef take your safety, and respect for nature very seriously – it’s our top priority so we expect all participants to follow the directions of our staff at all times.

The Sunreef crew is very experienced in guiding these in-water activities and follows all relevant safety guidelines.

All encounters are conducted in accordance with the Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching (2017) as well as our own strict Code of Practice which has been developed with whale researchers and experts to ensure the protection of the whales.

We are also working with the University of the Sunshine Coast on a coordinated research project to increase the knowledge around these amazing creatures. Our commitment includes recording information about every whale sighting and offering spots on every boat for the researchers to get out into the field to collect their own data. Our guests can also participate, if they wish, using our whale spotting sheets.