Every year, thousands of playful Humpback whales make a pilgrimage up from Antarctic waters, past New Zealand, along the east coast of Australia. They stop to nurture their young calves and socalise in the warm waters of Hervey Bay between late July and early November.

The chance to get up close and personal with these gentle giants is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have when you visit Fraser Island.

Weighing a whopping 40,000 kilograms, watching whales thrash their tales about and leap out of the water is awe-inspiring, but a select number of whale watching operators have upped the ante by offering their guests some even more unforgettable experiences. For something a little different, a hydrophone is a special device that lets you listen to the underwater whale songs.

Graceful and inquisitive as they circle the tour boats, if seeing and hearing whales is not quite close enough for you, you'd better pack your swimming costume! For the daring (and for an extra fee), some whale watching operators now offer guests the chance to take the plunge into the bay and float alongside the prehistoric giants - it's a swim you’re unlikely to forget.

With the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island located right on the doorstep of Hervey Bay, a spot of whale watching is the perfect way to combine a tour of the island with a bucket-list experience.

A multitude of whale watching tours are available off the Queensland Coast. You can choose from various boat types and sizes, as well as departures from both Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.