The most common and active whale species to visit Hervey Bay the Humpback Whale is synonymous with Hervey Bay often appearing as a symbol of recognition for the area which is regarded as the best place to observe the species in the world.

humpback whale anatomy info graphic

Humpbacks belong to the rorqual group of beleen whales that includes the Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Bryde's Whale, Sei Whale, and Minke Whale.

The key characteristics of the Humpback are the dorsal fins on their backs, and ventral pleats running from the tip of the lower jaw to the navel area.

The pleats allow the whale mouth cavity to expand like a balloon when ingesting tonnes of water and krill. The whale then forces the water out through their baleen plates, which are like their teeth (like a large broom made from keratin, much like your fingernails), trapping the krill in their mouth for eating.

Key facts

  • Adult Humpbacks are about 15m long and weigh 40 tones
  • Their diet is krill
  • They migrate annually from summer in Antarctica to winter in Hervey Bay
  • Humpbacks can hold their breath for 40 minutes

You can expect to see Humpbacks breaching, playing and slapping their tails, the more curious whales will often approach the Adventure Cruises vessel M.V. Amaroo. Usually these are maturing calves which have grown up with the presence of whale tour boats.

Your are guaranteed to be entertained by the Humpbacks on our Whale Watching Cruises.