Top five personal encounters with Queensland's marine life
From the Tropical North to the islands of the Whitsundays, Queensland has over 7400km of coastline inhabited by hundreds of species of marine wildlife. A trip down under is the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with these unique creatures, such as the colossal humpback whale on the Fraser Coast or century old turtles at Mont Repos beach in Bundaberg. Here is an animal lover's guide to exploring Queensland's marine life:
Humpback whales on Fraser Coast
Seven thousand Humpback whales migrate over a 3,700 mile journey from Antarctica through the Fraser Coast each year. Their pods can be spotted in the shallow coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef but are best seen in the protected waters of Hervey Bay, known as the Whale Watching capital of Australia.
Kingfisher Bay Resort (kingfisherbay.com) on Fraser Island offers packages from AUD $379 per person, including 2 nights hotel accommodation at Kingfisher resort, return ferry transfers and a half-day whale watch cruise.
Dolphin feeding on Tangalooma Island
Take a relaxing cruise from Brisbane across Moreton Bay to the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort on Moreton Island. Take your pick of personal encounters with feeding in-shore dolphins as they swim up to the beach or joining the marine eco cruise journeying south along the western coastline of Moreton Island in search dugongs, dolphins, green sea turtles, sea cucumbers and stingrays.
Tangalooma Island Resort (tangalooma.com.au) offers a Dolphin Adventure Tour for AUD $175 for an adult, including transfers from Brisbane, wild dolphin feeding, desert safari tour and buffet lunch. Tours are available year-round.
Turtle encounters in Bundaberg
Queensland is home to a large variety of turtles such as the loggerhead, green, leatherback and flatback, with some as old as 200 years. From November to March every year, you can witness one of the true wonders of the natural world up close as hundreds of turtles return to the bountiful waters of Australia's best known and most accessible sea turtle rookery, Mont Repos, just 15 kilometres from Bundaberg in the south.
Tours depart at 6:45pm from the Mont Repos information centre and cost AUD $10.20 (£6.36). Visit bookbundabergregion.com.au. See the Turtle timeline to learn more about the turtle's lifecycle.
Swim eye to eye with dwarf minke whales in Cairns
Experience the nature of the seven-tonne dwarf minke whales in an environment that is both awe-inspiring and educational. It is not unusual for these gentle giants to come within a metre of snorkelers for an eye to eye encounter.
Eye to Eye Marine Encounters (marineencounters.com.au) offers four to six day dwarf minke whale expeditions over 6 weeks in June and July. Join founder John Rumney and his team of dedicated guides with over 15 years reef experience, to swim with and study these extraordinary animals.
Find Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef
Explore the Low Isles of the Great Barrier Reef, home to the famous clown fish Nemo and his friends from the 2003 film Finding Nemo. Spend a day swimming and snorkelling and learning of the unique marine life and soft coral gardens at the water's edge.
Quicksilver tours (quicksilver-cruises.com) from AUD $155 per adult and includes return coach transfers from Port Douglas or Cairns; morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea; reef presentation, guided snorkelling tour and beach walk by marine biologist; all snorkelling equipment. Tours are available year round.
For more information on Queensland wildlife experiences, visit experiencequeensland.com.