A whale of a time coming to an end
THE Tweed's three whale watching charters can boast on having a 100 per cent success rate as their season comes to an end.
The three operators - Aquatic Blue Charters, Tweed Whale Watching Adventures & Fingal Charters - agreed that the number of whales making the journey from the Antarctic to the warmer waters of the Great Barrier Reef to mate and have their calves had highly increased in numbers from previous years.
Malcolm Hennessy from Fingal Charters was lucky enough to be the first person on the Gold Coast to spot the world's only white whale “Migaloo” by chance on July 2 off Burleigh Heads.
“I have been in the business for about 15 years now, so to spot Migaloo was simply breathtaking, an experience and season I will never forget,” he said.
Aquatic Blue Charters owners Carol and Tony Hunt have been in the whale-watching industry for approximately nine years, having worked from both Merimbula and Port Macquarie and say that the Tweed and Gold Coast region is by far the best in Australia, as there are more whales and much more tourist demand.
While the season has been great for businesess and the tourism economy, it is coming to an end, with most companies operating last tours on the first weekend in November to ensure they can continue their reputation of having guaranteed sightings.
For a more personal experience, Erez Beatus from Tweed Whale Watching Adventures takes no more than 10 people at any given time. The small six-metre rigid inflatable boat called Sacred Spirit sits only 30cm above sea level.
Tours range in price from $49-$89 for 3 hour cruises including light refreshments on board and in some cases a barbecue lunch afterwards.