Moreton Bay Celebrates 25 Years of Whale Watching at Humpback Highway

Humpback Highway
Photo Credit: Andrea Holien/Pexels

Did you know that it’s been 25 years since humpback highway in Moreton Bay became a favourite tourist destination for whale watching? The region has recently re-opened this annual winter spectacular.

In early June 2021, Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe and State Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath joined Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery aboard the MV Eye Spy, one of the vessels from Brisbane Whale Watching, to officially open this year’s whale watching season. The vessel took the officials around Moreton Bay for some sightseeing and to potentially spot a trail of humpback whales in the water. 

Mr Hinchcliffe said that Brisbane Whale Watching, the only whale watching provider in the region, has been a shining example of resilience as Queensland rebuilds from the pandemic fallout. 

“It was terrific to see Captain Kerry take the first booking of our Brisbane Holiday Dollars initiative and then benefit from a further 650 bookings, as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan,” the minister said

Before the pandemic, humpback highway received over 1.5 million tourists a year both from international and interstate locations. With international borders still under restriction, Mr Hinchcliffe hopes that locals will take advantage of this opportunity to reconnect with the magnificence that happens in Moreton Bay every June to November.

On the other hand, Mayor Flannery said some 30,000-plus humpback whales are expected to turn out the coast. 

“We’re hoping for one of our biggest whale watching seasons yet. Moreton Bay waters off Redcliffe are the home-run on the east coast humpback highway and the place to see these wonderful creatures at their playful and entertaining best,” the mayor said. 

MV Eye Spy Captain Kerry Lopez said that the number of humpback whales has grown from 2,000 to 33,000 when they first started the tours in 1996.

“Seeing a whale on TV is nothing like the power of seeing these majestic animals in real life, we regularly get grown adults crying and saying it’s one of the best things they’ve seen in their life, it’s a real bucket list thing to do.”

Bookings are highly encouraged for the tours amidst COVID-safe circumstances. The tours depart from the Redcliffe Jetty.