From April to November, Australia’s east coast transforms into a “humpback highway” as tens of thousands of whales migrate from Antarctica to give birth and raise their young in warmer waters. Coastal towns along the route, from southwest Victoria to the Great Barrier Reef, offer prime spots for whale-watching enthusiasts.
Embark on a mesmerizing road trip from Victoria to far north Queensland, tracing the whales’ annual pilgrimage. Stop at captivating locations along the way:
Experience the charm of this coastal city along the Great Ocean Road. Witness southern right whales calving at Logan’s Beach and explore the Warrnambool Art Gallery. Relax in geothermal baths or delve into the maritime history of the Shipwreck Coast.
Eden, New South Wales
Eden, once known for whaling, now celebrates whales during their migration from September to November. Enjoy free vantage points like Twofold Bay and Beowa National Park, or join a whale-watching expedition with Cat Balou Cruises. October brings the annual Whale Festival with markets, dining events, and tours.
Port Stephens, New South Wales
Discover the adventure playground of Port Stephens with its pristine shores. Witness whales from Barry Park or Birubi Beach, and take a tour with Imagine Cruises to explore marine life. Immerse yourself in the area’s Worimi Aboriginal heritage or indulge in oysters at Holberts Oyster Farm.
Mooloolaba, a sun-kissed beach town, offers unique whale-watching experiences with Saltwater Eco Tours. Aboriginal guides share cultural stories during tours. Enjoy the Esplanade, Pavilion Mooloolaba, and fishing in the river, ending the day with a picturesque sunset at The Dock.
Airlie Beach, Queensland
As the “humpback highway” concludes in the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach becomes the gateway to island and reef exploration. Join whale-watching, snorkeling, and diving tours. Explore Whitsunday Market, Conway National Park’s waterfalls, or relax at Balearica Beach Club, embracing the vibrant Ibiza vibes.