Whales lure Gold Coast visitors
WHALES are making a splash for Gold Coast tourism.
With record numbers of the massive marine mammals now making the annual migration, humans are making their own pilgrimage to witness them.
Sea World Whale Watch general manager David Robertson said passenger numbers on their tour vessel were up considerably on last year.
“We’ve had a fair bit of bad weather this winter with some pretty miserable days or grey skies which aren’t great for whale watching, but our num- bers have been great,” he said. And they’ve been rewarded with some stunning shows with more than 100 whales already spotted by passengers in the first two months of the season, which runs until October.
An estimated 20,000 whales will make the migration from the freezing Antarctic waters to the tranquil temperatures of North Queensland this winter.
Hunted almost to extinction during the 1950s and ’ 60s, humpback numbers have increased about 10 per cent a year for the past decade, though they are still short of the pre- hunting population.
Spectators were yesterday treated to some spectacular breaches from a large adult about 5km off the coast of Surfers Paradise.
Whales might breach as a show of strength, to attract potential mates, or simply to show off.
What inspired this particular whale is anyone’s guess.
“You never can tell unless you could get inside their head,” Mr Robertson said.
STUNNING SIGHT: A whale puts on a show off the Gold Coast.