Humpback whales

Humpback whales pass Mooloolaba on their journey north to Hervey Bay. There they will calve before again heading south to their feeding grounds.

No fewer than 10,000 of these magnificent creatures will pass off the shores of Mooloolaba. The season begins in mid-June.

The calves are usually born in Hervey Bay and they are then seen on the journey south later in the year. The increasing populating is directly attributable to the ban of commercial whaling in most countries.

A few cool facts about humpback whales include:

  • these amazing creatures leave their main food source (krill) when they migrate and survive off their blubber (fat stores) for up to 6 months.
  • They can hold their breath for over half an hour.
  • Each whale has individual markings on its tail. This is how we humans can tell them apart.
  • They do not have teeth, they have large plates of baleen that act like a seive for the small creatures they live on.
  • They are the most acrobatic of the great whales.

Four of their more famous moves are BREECHING, THE TAIL SLAP, THE PEDUNCLE THROW and THE SPY- HOP.

Breeching is when the whale jumps high out of the water, slapping as it comes back down. Is it for fun or is it to loosen skin parasites?Either way, it’s a spectacular sight. The tail slap is when the whale slaps its tail with full force into the ocean. This results in an intense sound and draws attention to the size and strength of the whale. The peduncle throw is when a whale converts its forward momentum into a crack-the-whip rotation, pivoting with its pectoral fins as it drives its head downward and thrusts its entire fluke and peduncle out of the water and sideways. What is the peduncle of a whale? It is the area from the dorsal fin to the tail. The spy-hop is when a whale pokes its head out of the water and takes a look around. Usually, this lasts for about 30 seconds.

Here in Mooloolaba there are a few available for whale watching:Whale One, Fish’n’Crab, and the opportunity to get really close with Sun Reef Dive Services.

Each offers a unique opportunity to watch whales and to see these magnificent creatures in their own marine environment. With Sun Reef you can swim with the whales for a close encounter.

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