“Don’t touch the whales!”: The magical experience of swimming with whales in Australia

The latest news of the reopening of whaling in Japan has shocked not only environmentalists but also anyone with a minimum of sensitivity, and travellers are often both. It also seems absurd not to understand how much the world of tourism, through whale watching, for example, can bring more profits than a traditional but atrocious and bloody hunt, against animals that can be defined as definitely “good giants”. Although with their size, in fact, may seem dangerous to man, the whales are actually very intelligent and often friendly, so that in some places you can feel the indescribable excitement of swimming next to us.

Swimming with whales in Australia: “Don’t touch the whales!”

“Don’t touch the whales”: I promised my guide that this sentence of his would be the title of the article in my blog in which I would tell this wonderful experience. Yes, because in my opinion it alone explains many things: first of all the respect these guys have for these wonderful creatures. In seconds the understanding that is created between us human beings and these majestic animals that instead of sweeping away like annoying flies we swim harmoniously around intrigued. But above all “don’t touch the whales” I like it because it reminds me how close we were.

If you know how to swim, you love the sea and cetaceans you can not think of not living this great experience. I can’t describe the feeling of looking into the eyes of the world’s largest animal swimming a few meters away: you have to try it yourself!

Where to swim with whales in Australia

The wonderful place where this happens is on the Sunshine Coast, on Australia’s east coast. A popular destination for tourists, especially locals, but still offers the opportunity to stay off the beaten track. For the whale watching, I have found hardly places just remotely comparable to Hervey Bay, for its waters averagely especially the massive presence of whales so that many companies guarantee the sighting from June to November. But to swim with the whales the place that I have undoubtedly found perfect is a little more than two hours drive south (about an hour north of Brisbane): Mooloolaba!

How to swim with whales in Australia

Swimming with whales is not an activity that can be organized on your own. Not only because it would be illegal in this case, but also because you should be able to sail skillfully in the ocean with a suitable boat, intercept the whales and intrigue them, otherwise they would swim away quickly as soon as you jumped into the water. I, for example, was really impressed by the organization and seriousness of the staff of the Sunreef, but especially by how their professionalism did not compromise the sympathy and spirit of adventure of the excursion.

I would have no doubt, therefore, if I had to choose who to turn to to to accompany me to live one of the strongest and most unforgettable experiences among the many that travelers have the good fortune to do in their lives.

A small tip: if you also snorkel or dive purchased from the Sunreef Shop the anti-fog they use for their masks and ask for instructions on how to best use it. Despite the many dives from the boat, taking off and putting on the mask again and again (even for photos and filming) and especially the shiny eyes for the emotion felt, it worked perfectly.

What is the best time to go swimming with whales in Australia

Whales are found in that area of Australia especially from July to October. August and September are usually a good time to meet them. Obviously the water temperature is not the mildest, but the companies offering this exclusive tour will provide you with all the equipment you need not suffer from the cold in the water … even if it will warm your heart so much as you see these giants swimming next to you that you may not even feel the need.

You should also consider leaving a few days off in case you don’t succeed on your first attempt. And this applies to any kind of experience that has to do with nature, the climate and – fortunately – free animals.

However, it offers special discounts for those who book more than one date or do not have good success in the first hike and guarantees a refund (or alternatively you can re-book for free) in case there is no excursion due to bad weather.

For those who are afraid to swim with whales in Australia

It may be a little scary at first. I remember thinking, at the first moment when I saw this mighty giant of the sea approach, that if only he wanted he could have wiped me out like a midge. But it took me very little to understand how much he was fully aware of our presence and how much he respected it, certainly more than what we deserve for how much we pollute, we disturb, if not worse, our oceans and the beautiful creatures that inhabit them.

They know how to behave and, contrary to what many movies, fake videos or sensationalist shows want to make-believe if they do not want to play simply move away. And that’s also what happened a couple of times with some whales we met. Then after a few attempts, finally two humpback whales, a mother and her baby, have chosen to stay with us for almost an hour and delight us with their harmonious figures, with the fascinating sounds and breaths of the vents, until we come so close to being touched, to force our patient and talented guide to say: “do not touch the whales!”