The Amazing Humpback Whale Migration

The annual migration of over eighteen thousand humpback whales from Antarctica to the east coast of Australia is one of nature’s most amazing sights. These large, stocky mammals are slow swimmers but cleverly use their long pectoral fins to manoeuvre themselves north to warmer waters and offer visitors the most amazing opportunity to catch a glimpse of them at play.

The migration path of humpback whales

Each year, between May and November, humpback whales depart from their summer feeding home in Antarctica, and travel north to their breeding and birthing homes in the Pacific. Their migration route passes Brisbane and then takes the world’s largest mammals up to the Great Barrier Reef.

Humpback whales are warm-blooded animals. With the onset of cold weather around March, feeding opportunities diminish in Antarctica so they travel in pods to warmer waters in search of the perfect breeding ground. Survival of calves is considered to be the primary reason for this annual migration because at birth, humpback whale calves do not have much body fat and therefore would not be able to survive the ice-cold waters in the Antarctic.

Breeding and birthing in the warm northern waters on the east coast of Australia, guarantees their survival. In November, the whales return south to spend the summer feeding in the Antarctic, in preparation for their northern migration the following year.

Whale watching opportunities

The annual humpback whale migration has become an exciting tourist attraction and from as early as May, visitors to southeast Queensland can spot whales swimming and frolicking along the coast.

Moreton Bay, known to be one of the of the finest whale watching destinations in Australia, offers the most amazing opportunities to see these creatures do what comes naturally. If you are lucky, you may even be able to spot the most famous whale, Migaloo, the all-white humpback whale.

For an up close and personal experience watching these amazing mammals, contact Brisbane Whale Watching. Witnessing the natural phenomenon of the humpback whale migration is a life changing experience.

For guaranteed sightings, book a whale watching tour today.

Kerry Lopez

Captain of the Eye Spy
08 July 2015