Humpback Whale Facts

Learn more about Humpback Whale Facts with Australia Whale Experience. Humpback whales get their name from the visible hump that forms in front of their short dorsal fin. This dorsal fin is short and stubby when compared to the fins of dolphins and other whales. This hump is highlighted when they are getting ready to dive, rise, and flex their backs.

A typical humpback whale has a pale belly, dark back, and pleats on its neck. Megaptera novaeangliae or “Big-winged New Englander” is the scientific name given to this species, since it was well known to Europeans who swam in the waters around New England.

Size

Humpback whales can reach a length of 15 to 19 metres (roughly the length of a school bus) and a weight of 40 tonnes. Their large and unwieldy flippers (pectoral fins) are among their most notable and distinguishing characteristics. They have the largest pectoral fins of any baleen whale, measuring over 5 metres long.

Behaviour

Typically, humpbacks migrate in small groups of two to three whales, known as pods, rather than travelling in large numbers. Mom and baby whales even touch their fins as a likely gesture of affection while they are travelling together. Occasionally, they even assist each other in hunting or finding food.

A humpback whale’s typical route between its nesting and feeding areas can be as far as 3,000 miles (5,000 km). Among the longest migrations ever documented was a journey that spanned an incredible 11,706 miles (18,840 km) between American Samoa and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Whale Songs

These whales are recognised for their eerie, evocative cries or songs. The patterns of groans, screams, cries, and other sounds are extremely intricate, and they can last for several hours. Scientists are trying to figure out what these noises represent. 

Humpback whales sing to converse with one another and to attract possible mates, according to several experts. There have been reports of humpback calves “whispering” to their mothers. This might help them in avoiding predators and large males.

Conservation Status

The humpback whale population in the western South Atlantic has been reduced to approximately 450 individuals as a result of decades of intensive whaling industry hunting. Since the 1985 moratorium on commercial whaling, however, humpback whale populations have rebounded in a number of locations. Humpback whales face the greatest dangers now from ship crashes and fishing gear entanglements.

Conclusion

Humpback whales are truly magnificent creatures that exhibit complex behaviours. They are found in every ocean on earth and are recognized for their incredible acrobatic ability when it comes to breaching the water.

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Whale Watching Tours Bundaberg

For many people in Queensland, Bundaberg is their home. Every year, the green sea and loggerhead turtles return to this sanctuary to complete the cycle of life. The volcanic-rich soils give plentiful food for farmers and distillers. Manta rays seek sanctuary here, while humpback whales use it as a stopover on their annual migration.

The crystal-clear seas near Bundaberg welcome the beautiful southern humpback whales every year, from July through November. Whale watching tours allow you to follow them as they migrate from Antarctica to the southern coast of Australia. Be prepared to be awestruck as these enormous mammals graze, mate, and play off the coast of Bundaberg!

Lady Musgrave Experience

Take a four-hour trip on the luxurious catamaran ‘Main Event’ with Lady Musgrave Experience. The 360-degree viewing platforms offer breathtaking views of the southern humpback whales in action, with insightful commentary. The air-conditioned high-speed catamaran with four levels offers complimentary breakfast and meal.

Australia Whale Experience

Australia Whale Experience, a division of Lady Musgrave Experience, provides a four-hour whale watching tour in Bundaberg. Breakfast tea and a light meal are served as part of the excursion, which departs the port at 10 am and returns at 2 pm. Passengers on the 35-meter luxury catamaran ‘Main Event’ are treated to stunning views of the shoreline. Humpback whales can be seen playing in the open sea as you make your way out into the ocean.

Consider purchasing a season pass if seeing this breathtaking exhibition of leviathan just once isn’t enough. Whale-watching season passes are an excellent way to ensure that you never miss an opportunity to witness these amazing creatures up close. For a two-day package, you get a half-day whale-watching cruise and Lady Musgrave Reef snorkelling included.

When to Plan Your Bundaberg Trip

If you want to see humpback whales migrating through Bundaberg in the winter to the Whitsundays’ warm, subtropical seas to mate and give birth, you’ll want to schedule your trip from July to November. When it comes to weather, Bundaberg’s winters are mild, with July being the coolest month with a typical daytime temperature of roughly 21 degrees (Celsius). November marks the beginning of the warm season, with daily highs around 28 degrees.

Bundaberg’s whale viewing season lasts just for four months out of the year. Plan your Bundaberg vacation based on other places you’d like to go that are seasonally dependent on the area! Perhaps you’d like to combine your whale watching tour with the turtle-hatching season at Mon Repos?

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Humpback Whale Migration

Humpback whales can be found in all of the world’s oceans. Every year, they cover vast distances, making their annual migration that is considered the world’s longest for any mammals. Some species migrate 5,000 km from tropical breeding areas to cooler habitats rich in food. To maintain their enormous size, humpback whales use their baleen plates as a giant sieve to sift through vast quantities of ocean water to graze on krill and tiny fish.

Almost all humpback whale populations had been depleted by commercial whaling before the year 1985 when the practice was finally banned. Today, the main threats to the species include fishing gear entanglement, vessel hits, and vessel-based harassment, along with underwater noise.

However, in the Oceania subpopulation, which travels from Oceania to the Southern Ocean, there is a minimal indication of considerable population rebound. Only 3,000-5,000 animals remain in this critically-endangered subpopulation, which is less than one-fourth the size it formerly had.

Where Do Humpbacks Travel To?

To find more sources of food, North Pacific Humpbacks travel from northern Japan, across the Bering Sea, and all the way down to southern California, usually from spring to autumn. There are four primary areas in the North Pacific where they breed: Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, and some parts of Asia.

Humpback whales make long-distance migrations between feeding grounds in the higher latitudes and wintering habitats in the lower latitudes. A yearly migration from warmer subtropical seas to eat during the winter months allows these animals to reproduce and give birth.

These whales spend most of their time in the North Pacific Ocean, migrating to tropical destinations such as the islands of Hawaii, the Californian coast, the Gulf of California’s southern tip, and Costa Rica. Humpback whales from the Bering Sea and Western Aleutians go to the Northern Marianas Islands, Taiwan (China), Japan, the Philippines, and Korea.

When humpbacks are on the northwestern Atlantic coast, they can be seen at feeding grounds off Iceland and southern Greenland in the summer as well as off Norway and Svalbard on Canada and the US east coasts. From the southern Bahamas, this population travels to Grenada, the Grenadines, and Venezuela.

The Bottom Line about Whale Migration

Humpback whales can be found in all of the world’s oceans, including the Arctic and Antarctic. It is astounding how far and wide these whales travel every few months. During their seasonal migrations, some species travel 5,000 km between high-latitude summer grazing regions and tropical waters for mating and calving.

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Whale Watching Trips Queensland

Queensland is a clear winning destination for the best whale watching trips. Departing from Bundaberg, The Lady Musgrave Experience host incredible whale encounters for locals and international guest. 

The whale watching season in Queensland peaks from June to October, and these award-winning whale watching tours cant be missed. Only a 4hr drive from Brisbane airport with world acclaimed surf beaches to check out along the way our stunning new vessel the REEF EMPRESS is a 35M luxury high speed catamaran, accommodating around 220 persons over 3 levels of 360-degree ocean views as we journey towards Lady Musgrave Island. Australian Whale Watching Experience offers a variety of whale watching services and reef adventures to suit your budget and the experience you are wanting to achieve.

Australian Whale Watching Experience, has the right to boast about the number of guest that have witnessed this magnificent spectacular as the humpback whales come to migrate up the east coast of Queensland.

Bundaberg offers the perfect platform for excited whale watching enthusiast to access the majestic Great Barrier Reef ecosystem that’s filled with marine life and landscape beauty that cameras have troubles capturing the experience.

Come enjoy our VIP marine adventures with a professional crew that takes care of everything for you, providing a wealth of marine knowledge and stories along the way. Australian Whale Watching Experience offers something significant for everyone that’s affordable.

Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Glass Bottom Boats, and Bird Watching are just some of the attractions Australian Whale Watching Experience has on offer. We depart directly from the Bundaberg marina with a local shuttle service available to transfer you to & from your Bundaberg accommodation. Tours can be upgraded at anytime to ensure you don’t miss anything out. 

For exclusive group booking quotes and queries call us via our dedicated Whale Watching Tours hotline. 

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Where to go for Whale watching in Queensland

Every year from the months of June to November, Humpback whales migrate thousands of kilometres from the poles to warmer breeding waters near the Australian coasts of Queensland. While enjoying the warmer ocean waves they breed and give birth to baby whales and teach life skills to prepare them for survival in freezing Antarctica waters. As the mighty sea creatures make their way up the coast, at certain points they pass by various spots that make it convenient for Whale Watchers or tourists to experience sightings of interaction of the Humpback Whales up close.

Being one of the most common spots for these stunning interactions between the Whales makes Queensland as one of the whales watching capital of Australia with almost certain sightings on calm, serene as well as sheltered waters. If you traveling to Queensland for a vacation, we at Australia Whale Experience have exclusively curated a list of top 10 most popular as well as perfect destinations where you can go for a memorable whale watching experience in Queensland.

  • The Gold Coast
  • Bundaberg
  • Brisbane- Moreton Bay Marine Park
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Gold Coast high rises
  • Cape Moreton, Moreton Island
  • Point Perry, Coolum
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Hervey Bay
  • The North Gorge, Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island
  • Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay

For your next excursion to Queensland, book an exclusive day tour of Lady Musgrave experience on a luxury Cruise with air conditioning, leather seating, flat screen TVs. You can indulge in luxuries or simply enjoy the Queensland sun and air from the open-air foredeck seating or from the spacious upper-level sundeck.

We have exclusive packages to suit your needs. Bookings can be made online or by calling us via our dedicated Whale Watching Tours hotline. Make a booking now!

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