Whale Watching with Brisbane Whale Watching is a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience! We were recently lucky enough to go Whale Watching on Australia’s Ultimate 5 Star Whale Watching Vessel, the MV Eye-Spy. To be completely honest I was a little apprehensive as I don’t travel too well……on land or at sea 😉 but I took the plunge and booked in as the swell was forecast to be less than 1 meter.
We left the Redcliffe Jetty on a stunning winters morning, the sea was flat and I was hopeful of calm seas past Moreton Island. The day did not disappoint, it was absolutely perfect. It was my first time going whale watching and I really didn’t know what to expect or what to bring with me on the day so I have included a few tips at the end of this article.
The trip across the bay was quite quick; and there was a myriad of water crafts taking advantage of the perfect weather to look at. In what seemed no time at all we were on the other side of Moreton Island near the Cape Moreton Lighthouse and Kerry was talking over the intercom telling us where to look. There were whales all around us, was an amazing experience that I highly recommend to everyone, a total bucket list item! Nothing quite prepares you for the feelings you have when you first see a whale, the sheer size and beauty of these majestic creatures is mesmerizing. Honestly seeing my first whale brought a tear to my eye.
Brisbane Whale Watching provides a gourmet buffet lunch that includes Tiger Prawns, Chicken and Ham with a large arrangement of salads all as part of the ticket price, and trust me it is quite impressive, even my 11 yr old son thought so, he said ‘the food is awesome’. As we were eating we were lucky enough to have a whale breach just a few meters away, that was the highlight of my day.
Both young and old were enthralled by the whales and the show they put on, I think everyone that day went home a little bit more humble and appreciative of just how amazing they are. I spent the return trip reflecting on how anyone could intentionally harm these creatures, which quite remarkably show no fear of humans.
The MV Eye-Spy has been purpose built to specifications to ensure maximum comfort for whale watching. Brisbane Whale Watching’s high-speed, air conditioned luxury catamaran ‘Eye Spy’ represents the ultimate in ‘whale friendly’ design and technology. Built locally by South Pacific Marine in Brisbane, she features the latest in environmentally friendly technology with low noise skewback propellers, low wash characteristic hull design and the latest MTU 2000 V16 series diesel engines. The MTU’s have highly advanced, environmentally friendly fuel control features specifically designed to allow the engines to idle for long periods without fouling and to minimise fuel consumption. Dr McCouley of Curtin University’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology says the de-coupling of the engines from the hull by using flexible mounts, also adds to ‘whale friendliness’ by reducing underwater noise and vibration.
*Some photos were taken with my iPhone so please excuse the quality.
Located 30 minutes north of the Brisbane CBD on the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula.
Be There On Time
Follow the guidelines as to when to arrive for boarding the boat. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to stand in line and get on board. Whale watching should be a fun relaxing experience and rushing around makes for a hectic start to your day.
What happens is sea conditions are bad?
Brisbane Whale Watching’s tours are always subject to sea conditions. The team constantly monitors weather and respond professionally to any changes. Guest comfort and safety is always a priority. Should a cruise be cancelled due to tide and / or weather conditions, a seat on the next available cruise will be offered or a full refund will be given.
How long is the tour?
The tour boards at 9.00am and returns to shore approximately 2.00pm – 2.30pm.
Is there parking?
Yes – there is an all day free car park located opposite the Redcliffe Police Station, just 100 metres north of the Redcliffe Jetty which is our departure point.
What to take with you
- A camera goes without saying but it is often something that people forget in their haste to be on time
- Mobile phone fully charged (for photos if you don’t own a camera)
- A hat
- Water bottle
- Peppermints (if you’re not feeling too well & to freshen your mouth post being sea sick)
What to wear
Wear layers and dress for the occasion. Remember that it can be 10-15 degrees cooler on the water; it is winter here so the mornings are cooler. It is windier and cooler in open water than it is onshore. The trick is to wear layers and remove them or put them back on as necessary. And remember you are on the water, so chances are you might catch some spray from the waves if the weather is a bit choppy. Make sure your shoes, clothing, and your photography gear are prepared for this. Wear plenty of sunscreen and a hat and make sure your hat doesn’t blow away!
What shoes to wear?
High heels certainly are not the best choice on a moving boat. So opt for some rubber-soled sports shoes or sneakers, ones that don’t slip or take on water and will give you the best traction on a moving boat. I wore my trusty Converse sneakers and they were perfect.
Think about taking Motion Sickness tablets. If you are not sure how you will react to the motion of the ocean, think about taking motion sickness tablets. The cruise will last for several hours and this can be a really long time if you are not feeling well. Remember to take motion sickness medicine before you board the boat (usually 30-60 minutes prior) and take the non-drowsy version so you don’t end up sleeping the entire trip! AND if you forgot to bring motion sickness tablets with you MV Eye-Spy has motion-sickness tablets are available on board.
Bring Your Camera
Bring a camera to record your experience. Also, bring spare batteries and make sure you have a clear memory card or lots of film in case the sightings are spectacular and a neck strap! Remember to get some fun shots of you and your family with the ocean in the background or interacting with the crew and each other.
The MV Eye-Spy is a purpose built, multi-million dollar catamaran
- 3 Level, 6 outdoor viewing decks and large bow for spacious unobstructed viewing – plenty of room to obtain the ultimate vantage point.
- Full 360 degree walk around lower and upper decks.
- Top level sun deck.
- Spacious 1st class interiors with large floor to ceiling tinted windows provide a superior level of luxury and comfort.
- Reverse Cycle air conditioned cabins – Staying inside will not hinder your viewing pleasure.
- Excellent sea keeping qualities makes travelling to and from the whales both comfortable and enjoyable.
- 6 x 40″ LCD TV Screens
- Fully licensed bar offering a great range of local and imported beer and wine
- Our underwater microphone allows you to listen in on the whales as they communicate by grunting, moaning and singing.
- Our underwater GOPRO gives you a different prospective of the whales and their behaviour.
- Vessel access and lower deck viewing platforms are wheelchair friendly. There is a disabled toilet located on the lower deck.
- 5 Toilets on board and all located on the lower deck
- Child friendly including all children safety requirements.
- Whale-friendly, low-noise propellers minimise underwater noise, while electronically controlled engines reduce fuel usage and exhaust emissions, making her environmentally friendly to all marine life.
Tours operate daily* departing from Redcliffe Jetty with guests invited to board at 9.00am for a 10.00am departure, and returning at 2.00pm – 2.30pm. Hotel transfers from Brisbane and Sunshine Coasts available should you require. *Weather permitting