Day trips/whale watching from Brisbane?

Sep 7th, 2004, 01:25 AM
  #1  
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Day trips/whale watching from Brisbane?

Hi, I will be travelling to Coolangatta for a conference at the end of September and have decided to take an extra 5 days before the conference for sight-seeing etc.

I am thinking of staying in Brisbane and going out on day trips. Am particularly interested in Whale Watching. Is the Moreton Bay area good at this time of the year or should I plan to travel?

Also, are there any fairly easy walks that I could do as day trips to any of the local nature reserves? And is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary any good or is it very artificial?

Finally, any advice about warm clothing for someone flying in from tropical Singapore ('tho I've lived in London for years before this)?

Any advice much appreciated.

Meadowlark is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 04:14 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Meadowlark,

The best place for whale watching trips is definitely Hervey Bay it is north of Brisbane but definitely doable. I have done a few whale watching trips out of Hervey Bay and they have always been spectacular.

The end of September is getting close to the end of the season so you would be advised to call ahead and see what the season is doing this year. The link for the whale trips is:

http://www.whalewatching.com.au/crui...aycruises.html

I would suggest that you overnight in Hervey Bay and that way you could do an afternoon trip and a morning trip before heading back to Brisbane.

Cheers

Paul_S
Paul_S is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:30 PM
  #3  
 
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As far as clothing is concerned the temperature should be about 28 at that time, seeing yesterday was 27, so I doubt you will be needing warm clothing - perhaps a cardigan in case there is a cold blow from Antarctica and you are out at night.
As so Whale Watching is concerned I do think that it is nearing the end of the season so I would suggest talking to the Queensland Tourism Centre in Brisbane about that - a quick call will give you that information.
Regarding the the nature walks and Currumbin Sanctuary perhaps our whiz kid Tropo will answer that for you as everything he knows about on the Gold Coast is artificial and not worth seeing and he sure knows lots 'cause he's been there a couple of times.
lizF is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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Meadowlark, I live in Hervey Bay, and whale watching season seems to go right through to the end of October. We had friends up this way, last weekend, and they whale watching, saw a whale & calf. They had a whale of a time. We are taking relatives this coming weekend.
You can fly from Brisbane to Hervey Bay with "Sunshine Express" a partner airline with Qantas. Their is plenty of accommodation in H/Bay, you just have to watch out for school holidays, which is 17th September to 4th October.
Here are some websites for whale operatorsbr /> * Tasman Venture (www.tasmanventure.com.au)
* Whalesong (www.whalesong.com.au)
* Quick Cat 2 (www.herveybaywhalewatch.com.au)
(the latter has its own spotter plane)
* Wildlifecoast cruises (www.whalewatch.net.au)
* Whale Planet (www.whaleplanet.com.au)
The Hervey Bay Tourist Booking & Informaiton Centre is Phone/Fax 07-4242-6911, or email: [email protected]
We don't hear about whales hear in the bay, it is such a common thing, and just about every cruise comes across Whales on the day.
Hope this helps
tropo is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:47 PM
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Meadowlark, I forgot to mention Sunshine Express fly to Hervey Bay around 3 times a day, and the flight is about 1 hour & 10 minutes. Its an unusual plane, made in Ireland I believe. We call it the "flying bus", if you do get to see it, you will understand.
You can do a "morning" or "afternoon" whale cruise, so its possible to fly up in the morning, do the afternoon cruise, stay 1 night, then return to Brisbane, the next day, or visa versa, fly the day before, stay 1 night, do the morning cruise, and catch the 4pm flight back to Brisbane.
Another interesting detour, would be to take the Lady Elliott Island plane out to the island, for a "Day Tour", which includes, lunch, diving, return airfairs, etc.
P.S. I think I will just continue to IGNORE the remarks of a certain other member of this board. With comments of hatred, they are not worth conversing with. (Sorry Meadowlark, I'm not talking about you, hope my information helps. If there is anything else I can help you with, just say so, and I will follow it through, Regards)
tropo is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 09:29 PM
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Regarding Tropos comments about Lady Elliot, pls note that you can only snorkel if flying in for a day tour. If you wanted to dive you would have to overnight on Lady Elliot. www.ladyelliot.com.au
All the whale boats Tropo have recommended are good quality vessels and offer a range of 1/2 and 3/4 day trips. Another good half day boat is Spirit of Hervey Bay, which is $80 for adults and $50 for children. Contact No. is 1800 642544.
fraser01 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:15 PM
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Fly up from the gold coast. see
http://www.ozhorizons.com.au/qld/gc/seair/sea.htm
johhj_au is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 11:13 PM
  #8  
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Wow - thanks for all the info! It all looks really useful and I will take your advice and plan a trip up to Hervey Bay - don't want to miss a chance to see the whales.

I will be in the Brisbane area from the 21st to the 26th Sept (conference 26th-30th) so will probably run afoul of the school holidays but will still try to get something organised quickly.

Thanks very much everyone!
Meadowlark is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 04:10 AM
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Hi, Meadowlark,
We had heard so much about the Currumbin Wildlife Sancutary that we too wondered if it was any good. However, we decided to check it out for ourselves and really enjoyed the day there. Just couldn't get over the beautiful birds in Australia. One of my 9-year old pupils has just this week returned from Surfers, and on my suggestion the family visited Currumbin. Parents as well as the 3 children really enjoyerd it, as have other families I have suggested Currumbin to.
Enjoy your time in Brisbane. Check out www.queenslandholidays.com for some ideas for walks. We are doing a trip to North Stradbroke Island for the day, and hope to see some migrating whales while there, although I am aware of the fact that it might just be a tail fluke waving goodbye! Worth it though.
dotty is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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Meadowlark, I think I mentioned in one of previous posts, that I would be going on a whale watching cruise. Well my brother in law, and his wife drove up from Brisbane, and we all went out on Quick Cat 2, on their morning cruise, they left Hervey Bay Marina around 8am, and returned at 12midday, it cost $75 per person, which also included morning tea. All in all, we saw 8 whales, in various pods and various locations, which I thought was fantastic, especially, as there were heaps of calves. The skipper told us that one pod we saw, which consisted of 3, was a mother, calf and an "escort", as he called it. They stay the "required distance" from whales, but you so close, you think you could touch them. Sometimes, the boats stay stationary, and whales will come right up to the boat, and eye off the passengers (didn't happen with us, but it does happen). One thing we did get to see, was whales breeching, just fantastic!!!
Whilst watching one pod of whales, a large green sea turtle came up close to the whales. The colour of the water, out near the Banks (large sandbanks) is just stunning, also the very white sand of fraser island nearby, combined with the blue water, was just so unforgetable. The skipper told us that during the week, one whales was sighted down the Great Sandy Straits, almost near the Mary River outlet. (they don't normally go that far down the STraits, they usually stay well out in the Bay.
The skipper told us, the whale watching season in H/Bay goes right through to the first week in November. He said that a lot of people from outside of Hervey bay, think the whale watching season closes in September, when in fact, its just to starting to hot up as they say.
Anyway, Meadowlark, I've seen whales in Sydney Harbour, from headlands on the NSW north coast & south coast, but what I saw yesterday, blew me away. I highly recommend a trip on a whale watching boat out of H/Bay.
tropo is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 06:41 PM
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Wow, thanks Tropo - sounds fab. I have finally managed to book my flight up to Hervey Bay and will enquire with the Quick Cat 2 for availability.

Am really looking forward to it, although my credit card is feeling somewhat deflated now... ;-)
Meadowlark is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 02:39 AM
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Hi Meadowlark,

I concur with Troppo, you will definitely have a great experience. On one trip we did we had a very inquisitive whale, she really wanted to get a good look at everyone onboard and kept bobbing up all around the boat and I mean she came right alongside and put herself so far out of the water that she could eyeball us.

She stayed with us for about 1.5 hours and really entertained us.

I just did another whale trip out of Port Stephens in July and I saw the most spectacular sight when a full grown hump back launched its entire body out of the water about 20 meters from our boat. It was absolutely breath taking to see it.

Anyway I hope you have a great time on your trip.

Cheers

Paul_S
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