The breathtaking North Gorge Walk at Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island is more than just a great scenic walk. It is also the closest place to Brisbane where you can enjoy land based whale watching. With an elevation of 30 metres above sea level, there are numerous whale spotting vantage points along the 1.2 kilometre boardwalk. Just grab a pair of binoculars and look out to sea.
So what’s with the whale migration?
Humpback whales feed only in summer, in the polar waters of Antarctica, and then migrate to tropical or subtropical waters of Fiji and Australia to breed and give birth in the winter. This is because over time, their feeding grounds and their breeding grounds have become separated, resulting in thousands of humpback whales swimming past Australia’s east coast between late May and early November each year. Our whales undertake some of the longest migrations, between their food source and safe breeding areas, in the animal kingdom.
The northern migration takes place between late May to mid-August. First to join the migration party is the juveniles. These cheeky chaps are full of energy & social antics – lots of breaches, tail slaps and pec slaps. Next on the migration journey north are the adults, meaning the males and non-pregnant females. This stage of the migration will be full of competition pods, ranging anywhere from 3 to 10 individual whales, all competing for the affection of a lucky lady.
Last, but certainly not least are our beautiful pregnant mummas-to-be. The site of a near term pregnant humpback whale is special. She carries extra width all the way to her peduncle (tail stock). If you’re lucky, you might even spot a newly born calf traveling north. Usually born in their warmer water breeding grounds, researchers with @the_fat_whales_project are seeing more and more calves being born further south. These “bubs” will already be 3.5-4m in length!
Cheers to that!