Want to know the best spots to go whale watching on the Sunshine Coast?
From June to November every year, these majestic giants of the sea pass by our slice of the world.
Generally speaking, the best time to spot whales on the Sunshine Coast is in July and August, because that’s when the largest numbers are passing by as they head north on their migration to the warmer waters of tropical North Queensland to breed.
From mid-August through to November the whales slowly head back south to Antarctica with their calves, often resting and playing along the way.
Whale One, which runs whale watching cruises out from Mooloolaba, estimates that during 2016 over 16,000 whales visited the Sunshine Coast’s waters.
This year is expected to be even better, with the population of humpback whales increasing by about 10% every year.
If you’re not lucky enough to get on a whale watching cruise to see these beautiful creatures up close, we’ve put together a list of the top spots along the coastline to relax and, hopefully, spot a whale or two.
WHALE WATCHING SPOTS:
DOLPHIN POINT, NOOSA NATIONAL PARK
Set in the Noosa National Park about a 1km walk from the park information centre, Dolphin Point is a prime spot for watching whales, turtles and, you guessed it, dolphins. The coastal track to Dolphin Point is paved and suitable for assisted wheelchair and stroller access. Wheelchair accessible toilets can be found at the day-use area near the information centre and at Tea Tree Bay.
You can also walk a further 1.7km along the coastal track to Hell’s Gates (although the track does become slightly more difficult), where whales, dolphins and turtles are also regularly spotted.
POINT PERRY, COOLUM
Point Perry is a 20-30m high rocky headland that forms the southern boundary of Coolum Beach. Also known as Wilkinson Park, the Point Perry Lookout has a viewing platform overlooking the ocean, along with a picnic shelter and public toilets in the park.
If it’s too busy for your liking, you can also try the newer viewing platform just a few hundred meters further south of the southern end of First Bay, although its view is slightly less panoramic due to Point Arkwright to the south.
POINT ARKWRIGHT, COOLUM
In between Coolum and Yaroomba sits Point Arkwright Headlands which has fantastic views. The Point Arkwright Lookout and Picnic Area looks out to sea and south towards Cotton Tree in the far distance. There is a car park and toilets. If you head north along the track from the picnic area at the top of the headland, you will come to another viewing platform with similarly spectacular views.
POINT CARTWRIGHT, KAWANA
Not to be confused with Point Arkwright, Point Cartwright is the point near the mouth of the Mooloolah River in Mooloolaba and is home to the iconic and active Point Cartwright Lighthouse.
Standing under that lighthouse you can enjoy views in a north-west direction, catching sight of Mooloolaba, Mount Coolum, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore Beach and the beginnings of Cotton Tree. Walk around the top of the headland to the other side and you can look down the coastline to Caloundra.
MOFFAT HEADLAND, MOFFAT BEACH
With easily accessible pathways, a series of viewing decks, perfectly positioned seats, car parking close by and a great view of the open ocean, Moffat Beach Headland is an ideal location to spot whales at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.