After a summer of feeding on up to 4 tonnes of krill in nutrient-rich chilly Antarctic water habitats, more than 20,000 Humpback Whales migrate north to the sub-tropical waters of East Coast Australia. They head to the warm waters of the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef, where they mate and give birth. We are able to witrness this incredible spectacle from the beaches of Eastern Australia. It never ceases to amaze! Australia’s Annual East Coast humpback whale migration is one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal on Earth – up to 10,000 km round trip!
Pods – Humpback whales tend to travel alone or in small groups known as pods. However, they sometimes feed in very large pods!
Young males traveling in groups lead
Adult breeding whales in the middle
Pregnant females (cows) and cows with young calves follow behind – it’s thought they stay longer in the Arctic to eat lots of food in order to produce enough milk for their calves
The East Coast migration is one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal on Earth – up to 10,000 km round trip!
Humpbacks are known for their acrobatic displays. They often shoot up through the water, making a huge splash back down (breaching) or slap the water with their fins and tail. These are thought to be forms of communication over long and short distances.
They may also be warning off potential predators such as sharks who may follow calves, dislodging pesky parasites or just having fun!
Male humpbacks make sound by pushing air around in their heads, then amplifying the sounds through a blob of fat on the top jaw. This ‘singing’ is thought to be a form of communication and may also help them locate food.
You can listen to this juvenile whale sing by downloaded our Humpback Whale online course or Teaching Resources – links below.
Male humpback whale ‘songs’ may be heard 30km away!
Find out when and where to see the annual humpback migration on East Coast Australia
When and where to watch the humpbacks in Queensland.
Free calendar so that you don’t miss out on the greatest show on earth!!
For everyone who wants to get the low down on Australia’s iconic Humpback Whales. It contains awesome videos, infographics, a whale-watching guide, migration calendar, maps, quizzes and more! Complete the course to receive a personalised certificate, awarded by our very own Head of Education, Marine Biologist, Richard Coward! Age 7+. Duration: 1-2 hours. COST: $20
Our Humpback Whale Resources are designed to assist in teaching curriculum themes such as Human Impact, Habitats, Adaptation, and Classification, using an iconic subject. Resources include downloadable videos, activities, infographics, fact sheets, maps, a calendar, presentation and more! COST: $20