2021 Humpback Whale Research Expeditions

Whale Watching, Scuba Diving, Boat Hire, Gold Coast / Aqua Adventures

The 2021 whale watching season is going to be a big one! With humpback whale numbers consistently on the rise year by year, the Gold Coast Bay is the perfect location in South East Queensland for whale watching and research activities.

For the 4th year, Dr. Olaf and his team at Humpback and High-rises are running their 3 day humpback whale research expeditions with the help of Sea the Gold Coast. This unique program relies in 6 participants per tour to help funding vital research into these majestic creatures. Your participation will also involve hands on volunteering whilst at sea. Also, no prior research experience is required. You will be briefed and trained on all the activities on day one prior to embarking on our vessel Blue Manta for 2 days of field work.

Participants are typically getting involved in monitoring and recording whale behaviour. This is done by photographic records and log sheets, taking skin samples, using hydrophones AND witnessing the most incredible whale moments. If you like Gold Coast whale watching cruises and tours, then you will love this 3 day adventure of a lifetime. Due to the extended period of time out at sea, close encounters are just a matter of time. You will also witness how the size of a humpback whale is measured, using drones.

You don’t need to be a researcher or marine biology student to participate. Tours run once per month between June and October. Here is an approximate itinerary of the most comprehensive and intimitate whale watching experience on the Gold Coast.


Day 1 will see you arrive on the Gold Coast and meet with all other participants and Dr Olaf. You will participate in briefings and presentations, preparing you for the following 2 days.

Day 2 is where the fun begins. We are heading out to sea to find whales. Leaving at around 8am in the morning and returning by 3pm. Whilst this sounds like a long time, we can guarantee you that it will feel like 2 hours. At the end of the day we recap all our captures and data during a BBQ dinner.

Day 3 will follow on from Day 2 with a slightly earlier start (7am). You will return to the marina by 12pm. The second half of the day is spent analysing data and conducting shore based whale surveys from Burleigh Hill (typically).

If we have sparked your interest and you are keen to join us, click the link below to find out more and to book online. What we can guarantee is that you will take away the most amazing humpback whale pictures and establish a deep connection and fascination of our marine life.

Ready to explore, educate and protect? https://youtu.be/2JWY5XP3qF0 https://seathegoldcoast.com.au/3-day-humpback-whale-research-expedition-gold-coast/