One of the most majestic places to immerse yourself in nature, the Gold Coast presents a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse of whales migrating.
A prime location for spotting whales, the Gold Coast offers a spectacularly intimate experience for you to witness the journey of whales moving up and down the coast. A ritual that happens every year, the efforts undertaken are for breeding and birthing calves.
Between April and November, the coast transforms into a Humpback whale highway, as whales journey north from Antarctica to breed and birth their young in the warmer climate of Australia.
The beginning of April will see the longest mammal migration take place, where young males lead the pack, followed by pregnant females and young calves thereafter. Spotting a whale on the Gold Coast begins from May to August as they head into Queensland waters with the destination of travelling north to Cairns. The trek back home to Antarctica happens from September to November.
And while a whale watching cruise is a magnificent experience to get up close and personal with these majestic beasts, there is a romantic appeal to being in control of your schedule while still being able to spot whales from land.
We’ve listed our favourite vantage points for spotting whales on the Gold Coast without having to jump on a cruise.
Point Danger Lookout
Nestled on the border of NSW and QLD, the Point Danger Lookout features a Captain Cook Memorial Statue along with magnificent views both north and south. The area is known for spotting whales and has its very own public binoculars to catch the whales playing in the ocean.
Kirra Hill Lookout
A fantastic place for spectacular views that includes whale watching, Kirra Hill is located in Coolangatta and is just 1.8 kilometres north of Point Danger. Watch the whales jump out of the water as they make their way playfully to North Queensland. Admire the outlook of Kirra Beach beneath and Bilinga Beach to the north, as well as Rainbow Bay to the south.
What makes Kirra Hill Lookout stand out is the facilities that come with it. Featuring barbecue pits, public amenities, good shade, and amazing vantage points, not many other places in the Gold Coast can beat this whale watching spot on shore. You should also head here during sunrise and sunset for some unbeatable Gold Coast sceneries, and don’t forget to bring a camera.
Rainbow Bay Lookout
A popular local spot that is perched between Greenmount Beach and Rainbow Bay, the Rainbow Bay Lookout makes for a great place to spot some humpback whales. Offering unparalleled views of both the beach and the bay, the relaxed atmosphere is soothing and serene for the ultimate whale watching experience.
Rainbow Bay Lookout also gives you the advantage of witnessing spectacular surfs that make Coolangatta renowned for surfing, and swim in the secluded beaches within the area. Both Greenmouth Beach and Rainbow Bay are ideal for families looking for safe swimming spots as they aren’t known for any dangerous rips.
Whale watching cruises
If you’d rather see these magnificent water creatures close up by boat, tag along with the Coolangatta Whale Watch team departing from Tweed Heads, NSW. Cruises run 6 days a week, every Wednesday to Monday, at 8.20am to 11.30am NSW time.
Sunrise cruises and afternoon cruises can also be scheduled with the team, but are customer dependent and do not run daily.
Completing your whale watching experience
When in Coolangatta, the only way to complete your whale watching experience is to explore the area just like a local would.
And there’s no better place to call home in Coolangatta than the Cooly Hotel. Featuring amazing live entertainment lineups from both local and international artists, there’s always something that will suit your tastes going on at the Cooly Hotel.
The restaurant and beer garden serve up some of the most delicious foods you’ll find in the Gold Coast, with classic Australian meals, fresh caught seafood, premium meats grilled to perfection, and an international cuisine including Italian favourites and Asian fusion delights. Needless to say, the professional chefs that head the kitchen will satisfy your cravings, just the way you like it.
Having a beer garden on-site means that the drinks available are spectacular with local favourites, national gems, and international goodies up for grabs. Fresh beer on tap and a wide range of beautiful wines mean great food pairings are to come.
It’s time to make your whale watching experience truly magical by getting a flavour of the local area at Coolangatta. Unwind, relax, and have a whale of a time at the Cooly Hotel.
Banner image credit: Gold Coast Australia