If you would like to donate to the PWF MAUI DISASTER RESPONSE FUNDS  – created by the Pacific Whale Foundation to support staff, the local community and ongoing research and outreach operations – please click here. Thank you so much for your generosity in supporting our brothers and sisters across the Pacific!


Pacific Whale Foundation Australia and our ecotour operations, PWF Eco-Adventures Australia, are registered Australian charities set up to promote the mission and vision of our parent company Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF). PWF is an international NGO with a mission to protect the ocean through science and advocacy and inspire environmental stewardship. All profits from our ecotours and retail sales go towards supporting this mission here in Australia.

Early pioneers (1980’s) in non-invasive whale research, our scientists began offering educational whale watches on the weekends, after studying whales and their ocean environment during the week. The trips were a means to share our findings, educate the public about whales and our ocean environments, and raise the needed funds for our Research, Education and Conservation work. This model continues to this day, with expanded whale watch eco tours and retail sales.


Hervey Bay is the Whale-Watching Capital of Australia and the first whale heritage site on the planet. If you want to watch whales in the wild, no other destination can rival the sheer number and quality of whale encounters you’ll experience here. But, what makes Hervey Bay whale watching so unique?

During whale season, thousands of humpback whales make this calm, protected and relatively small area a popular stopover on their journey to Antarctica. So many “big fish (mammals, actually) in a small pond” makes the likelihood of sightings almost certain.

Hervey Bay’s whales also tend to stay a while, 10 days on average. All age groups of whales can be found in our waters, including mothers and their calves, as well as juvenile and adult males that can often be heard “singing” underwater.

Experience with us the awe of watching organic behaviours of ocean wildlife in their natural environment as we share the waters of the Great Sandy Marine Park with whales, dolphins, turtles and an ever-increasing diversity of marine life.

We acknowledge the Butchulla people, the traditional owners of the land and sea on which we operate, and pay our respects to their elderspast, present and emerging.

Our Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation

Pacific Whale Foundation Australia recognises and honours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First Peoples. We pay tribute to the deep and unique cultural richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the positive and valued contribution they make to the communities in which we all live. We acknowledges the contact history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and its impact on lands, kin, languages, cultural identity and families.



Selecting a whale-watching tour from the plethora of options you are likely to discover online, or the brochures you find in your local hotel or tourist office, is not easy.  Your final choice may be based mostly on proximity and convenience, but hopefully after visiting the IWC online Whale-Watching Handbook, you will also want to ensure that you choose a responsible whale-watching experience. Here is a quick checklist that you can use to help you identify a responsible whale watch tour operator, and a handy acronym (SCORE) that will help you to remember the key attributes of a good tour. Look for an operator that prioritises:


    Choose an operator should provide life jackets, conform with local permitting and licensing regulations, have good communications with shore, and conduct a safety briefing for passengers before departure.


    Choose an operator should contribute to conservation of whales and dolphins in some demonstrable manner.


    Choose a tour that includes opportunities to learn about whales or dolphins from a guide or interpreter.


    Ensure that the operator follows regulations in place to protect whales and dolphins.


    Choose an operator that demonstrates a commitment to the environment and the local community.

You can evaluate a tour operator’s SCORE by asking questions when you visit their office or phone to book a tour. But you can also use the SCORE acronym to evaluate and compare the information that operators present on their websites if you are booking a tour online. Look for signs of their commitment to these principles.

For more information consult the IWC/CMS online whale watching handbook.


If you want to watch whales in the wild, no other destination can rival the sheer number and quality of whale encounters you’ll experience in Hervey Bay.

What makes Hervey Bay whale watching so unique?

The humpbacks of Hervey Bay are the most active, playful and inquisitive whales found anywhere in the world. Whale “muggings” are common, when one or more of these curious creatures approaches and stays close to the boat for an extended period of time. Whale “muggings”, when one or more of these curious creatures approaches and stays close to the boat for an extended period of time, are common.

Other fascinating behaviours often on display include breaches, tail slaps, fluke up dives, and what we at Pacific Whale Foundation call “spy hopping” – when a whale raises its head just above the water at eye level. It makes you wonder who’s watching whom?

For an up close and personal encounter with a humpback whale, there’s no better place than Hervey Bay – and there’s no better ecotour than when you go with the experts at Pacific Whale Foundation.

Join the Experts

Pacific Whale Foundation!

  • We offer the only whale watch based on over 30 years of whale research in Hervey Bay.
  • Three departures daily at 7:00am, 11:00am, 2:30pm
  • Trip duration approximately three hours
  • Check in at Shop 1 Great Sandy Straits Marina
  • Your ticket to adventure will HELP SAVE WHALES!

Ultimate Whalewatch


  • EXCLUSIVE! Interaction with onboard whale researcher
  • Expert commentary from certified marine naturalists
  • Underwater hydrophones to listen to live whale songs
  • FREE snacks, soft drinks & Whale watch Guide
  • Whale sightings guaranteed (July 16–Oct 9) or get a FREE return ticket