Sea World Whale Watch is committed to providing premium whale watching experiences while cherishing the twin values of hospitality to visitors and reverence for the natural world.
Sea World Whale Watch vessels are crewed by a friendly team of Skippers and Guides very experienced in interacting with Humpback Whales. They have expert knowledge of the Gold Coast’s marine wildlife and sea conditions and are fully trained in all aspects of safety. Sea World Whale Watch staff constantly monitor the weather and respond professionally to any changes. This may mean a tour is cancelled or safety restrictions placed on children or passengers with medical problems. Passenger comfort and safety is always our priority.
Sea World Whale Watch is operated by Whale Watch Australia, which in turn is owned by the legendary Whale Watch Kaikoura of New Zealand, the world’s largest and most awarded whale watching company. Kaikoura is a small but very scenic town situated two hours north of Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island.
Whale Watch Kaikoura is owned by the indigenous Kati Kuri Maori people of Kaikoura and was created in 1987 at a time when Maori were casualties of Kaikoura’s declining economy. At this time of difficulty, Kati Kuri leaders like Bill Solomon believed the resident Sperm Whales held the answer to the unemployment problems of the Maori community. They knew their ancestor Paikea the Whale Rider had journeyed to a new life in New Zealand on the back of the whale Tohora. It seemed appropriate for Paikea's descendants to again ride on the back of the whale to a new life. Due to the phenomenal success of the Kati Kuri whale watching enterprise, Kaikoura is now one of New Zealand's leading nature tourism destinations offering a diverse range of exciting marine wildlife encounters. Whale Watch Kaikoura alone carries over 110,000 whale watching passengers per annum.
Whale Watch Australia began whale watching in 2006 on the Gold Coast, Australia. In 2007 Whale Watch Australia joined with Sea World to create Sea World Whale Watch. Whale Watch Australia own and operate Australia’s premier whale watching vessel Spirit of Migloo and trade under license on the Gold Coast using the famous Sea World name.
Sea World is a world renowned tourist destination which has been operating since 1971. Through its Research and Rescue Foundation, Sea World has made a meaningful contribution to marine conservation by conducting internationally recognised research studies, promoting marine education and rescuing Humpback Whales which have become stranded or entangled in nets.
In 2009, Whale Watch Australia began funding the first long-term study of whales in the Gold Coast region. This important research is supported by the sale of whale photographs taken by our marine biologists aboard every Sea World Whale Watch tour. Passengers have the opportunity to purchase a professional photograph of the whales seen on their actual tour - a unique souvenir of their whale watching experience and an important photographic record for our whale research database.
Humpback Whale Research Project
This exciting research project involves photo-identification of individual Humpback Whales visiting the Gold Coast. By studying flukes, dorsal fins, scars, pigmentation and patterns of colouration individual whales can be identified. Data will also be gathered on displayed behaviour, fine-scale habitat use of the Gold Coast Bay area using Global Positioning Systems, abundance, population structure and the physical condition of individual whales. This database will be used to create the first Humpback Whale catalogue for the Gold Coast Bay area. It will assist us to identify individual Humpback Whales using technology similar to that used to match fingerprints in humans and will provide detailed information on the time the whales spend on the Gold Coast and their behaviour while there.
Sea World Whale Watch welcomes enquiries from volunteers wishing to be involved with data-gathering for the Humpback Whale Research Project. To find out more go to our Volunteers & Careers page on this website.