Now is the season to visit Australia. Travel insurance and digital camera in hand, pack light and prepare for the return of the whales.
The first pods of giant humpback whales have been spotted just off the Gold Coast in Southeast Queensland. The crossing of thousands of these gentle and beautiful creatures marks officially the coastal city’s whale-watching season. The period usually runs from June to November each year, so make sure you find good accommodations near or within the coastal city. Get any cheap travel insurance, enough to cover your fears of cruising on the open sea as well.
Humpback whales, species of baleen whales, are known to leave Antarctica this time of the year. They have a distinctive body shape, hence the name, and possess an unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. They swim at least 25,000 kilometres to the warm tropical waters of Queensland, and then proceed to the Great Barrier Reef.
Found in oceans and seas everywhere, humpbacks feed in the polar waters during summer and migrate to tropical or sub-tropical waters to breed. During winter, they give birth to calves and live on fat reserves.
Spectators and whale-watching enthusiasts will certainly have a grand experience. In warm waters, humpbacks are far from being lethargic. They will probably spend a lot of time eating krill and small fish through different feeding methods, including the bubble net feeding technique. They, however, can turn playful anytime. Their moods are very much evident when they playfully tail or pectoral fin slap the surface of the water.
If you are quite fortunate, you’ll see some whales do some acrobatic breaching, spyhopping, lob-tailing, peduncle throws, charging, and parrying. This is because such behaviours are hard to capture on videos, so make long term arrangements with your hotel in Australia. Travel insurance and advisory subscription should be kept active during your lengthy stay.
Courtship patterns will be very evident during this year. Hopefully you’ll see a lot of butting and charging. Male humpbacks outnumber females in most pods. Sometimes, groups of up to 20 males congregate around a single female and exhibit varieties of courtship behaviours for several hours.
Humpbacks also vocalize before and during mating, so be sure you hear at least two types of songs before you depart Queensland. Males produce long and loud complex sounds in the low registers. Some can even sing continuously for 24 hours or more. Scientists also say that each pod or group intones their unique songs.
Australia’s tourism agencies and conservationist welcome the return of the endangered animal. Recent accounts indicate that humpbacks are returning in bigger pods. Their number has been reported to have increased gradually by about 10 percent each year. Conservationists expect humpback population to reach more than 13,000 this year.
The ban on whaling activities in crucial areas has been a big boost for many whale species. Thanks to the greater public awareness to their plight, humpback and other types of whales and dolphins are making a big comeback in the open seas around the world.
Don’t go chasing humpbacks around the world, though. Your whale-watching experience in the Gold Coast will certainly be enough and memorable. So contact your travel agent and book a flight now. Get cheap travel insurance and reservations to a nice hotel.