Archive for the ‘Fraser Coast’ Category

Whale Watching at Hervey Bay – La Saison des Baleines

October 5, 2012


Hervey Bay- 200km north of Brisbane – is touted as the “whale-watching capital of the world”. After fleeing the Antartic winter to mate and calve in the warmer waters off northeastern Australia, the humpback whales cruise into Hervey Bay’s sheltered waters for a few days before returning to the deep south. Humpback are showy acrobats, you’ll see them waving their pectoral fins, tail slapping, breaching or simply ¨blowing¨. Whales are curious creatures, and many will roll-up beside the whale watching boats with one eye clear of the water, making those on board wonder who’s watching whom (text rom the Lonely Planet guide)

typical whale watcher

whale spotters

It took a while, but we finally spotted a couple of whales, in this case a mother with her child

and then we spotted some more, thanks to our experienced captain/guide

Fraser Island (côte ouest) au loin

humpback whale

baleine curieuse / curious whale

baleine joueuse / playing whale

almost passed under our boat / est presque passée sous notre bateau

splashing whale

suddenly jumping just in front of the boat, fascinating – Wanda managed to capture the moment /sautant soudainement à quelques mètres du bateau, fascinant – Wanda parvient à capturer le moment avec sa camera

goodbye / au revoir

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water. Males produce a complex song, which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time. The purpose of the song is not yet clear, although it appears to have a role in mating.

Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi) each year. Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter. During the winter, humpbacks fast and live off their fat reserves. The species’ diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net feeding technique.

Like other large whales, the humpback was and is a target for the whaling industry. Due to overhunting, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a whaling moratorium was introduced in 1966. Stocks have since partially recovered; however, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution also remain concerns. There are at least 80,000 humpback whales worldwide. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpbacks are now sought by whale watchers, particularly off parts of Australia, New Zealand, South America, Canada, and the United States.


From Rainbow Beach to Noosa

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

with Bruce

Le canyon rouge

Noosa à l’horizon

arrivée à Noosa