Hervey Bay has always been known as one of the worlds best whale watching destinations. In 2019 this was officially recognised when the region became the worlds first Whale Heritage Site.
Why Hervey Bay?
There are a number of combing factors that earned Hervey Bay this special status.
First of all the whales. Hervey Bay is the epicentre of the southern pacific humpback whale migration. It is unique in regards to the volume of whales that congregate in one area for an extended length of time, and the whale's relaxed nature whilst they stop over in Hervey Bay. This is why Hervey Bay is the worlds best whale watching destination.
Another considered factor was the existing protections in place covering the region's oceans, and the strict regulations which commercial operators adhere to when providing nature-based tours in the area. Whale watch operators in Hervey Bay must abide by stricter protection controls than anywhere else. They report and maintain annual whale watch permits strictly monitored by Queensland Parks and Wildlife. Not only is much of the region a protected Marine Park, it also includes a RAMSAR protected wetland, and was awarded reserve status by UNESCO in 2009.
Finally, the operator's conservational approach, passion for the whales and their protection, and their expert knowledge and intimate experience of the whales were taken into consideration.
What is the Whale Heritage Site?
The Whale Heritage Site was designated to Hervey Bay by the World Cetacean Alliance. It covers a 6,000 square km area of our Great Sandy Marine Park, from the top west corner of World Heritage Listed K'gari (Fraser Island), to Burrum Heads on the mainland, and south to Big Wood Island which sits just off Hervey Bay.