Whale Watch Sanctuary Cove VIP

‘It’s more than an Experience, it’s an Education’ – Tripadvisor

Join The Pod with Australia’s #1 Whale Watch operator as we teach you the Language of the Whales. Learn the knowledge of our research from across 3 oceans & 8 cetacean species. Departing from Australia’s #1 World Class Marina.

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100% Sighting Guarantee

Our dedicated and passionate Whale Watch family have designed each journey to educate and inspire our guests on the incredible history and life of the Humpback Whale. Our vessel has been specifically designed to ensure that our time with the whales is respectful, emission efficient and meaningful. Our moto is to observe and not influence behaviour ensuring that the behaviours we witness are natural and we are better able to match the energy of the whales with our brand new vessels design.

Every tour has our 100% lifetime sighting guarantee and in the unlikely event that the whale species of your tour is not sighted you will receive a return ticket that can be used at anytime in the future with no expiry date or passed on to family and friends.

Tour Itinerary

Learn the Language of the Whales with Australia’s Most Experienced Operator

  • Join The Pod® and begin your journey with Australia’s #1 family owned and operated Whale Watch provider as you check-in at one of our three departure locations to best suit your itinerary.
  • Learn about the history of whales as you enjoy a free Broadwater cruise on the calm waters of the Gold Coast waterways as we look for local residents including Bottlenose Dolphins, Seabirds and homes of the rich and famous!
  • Arriving in the sighting grounds in the waters that embrace the Surfers Paradise skyline, our passionate and experienced team will take you through a moment by moment interpretation of the behaviours you will witness and intelligent whales you meet.
  • Our Whale Watch TV Theatre live streams underwater footage of our close encounters which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your seat. Tune in to the songs and sounds of the whales as our live hydrophone is deployed and recordings taken to further our research.
  • Your professional photographer for the day will be taking images of the wildlife you meet which can be downloaded free from The Daily Whale at the end of your tour to share with family and friends.
  • Wishing our whales the safest of journeys ahead, we will now make our way back to the calm Gold Coast Broadwater as we return back to Sanctuary Cove.
The Experience - View All Details

Join us aboard Whale Watch 1 as we take in the sights of the beautiful Gold Coast Broadwater and begin our search for local Bottlenose Dolphins and seabirds on our journey towards the Humpback Whale sighting grounds. The east coast of Australia welcomes the arrival every winter and spring of over 35,000 Humpback Whales who make their annual migration from Antarctica to the northern nursery grounds before returning back again.

Our sighting grounds are located along the coastline that embraces the Surfers Paradise skyline and is one of the most beautiful and unique locations in the world to Whale Watch. Our passionate and experienced team will take you through a moment by moment interpretation of the behaviours you will witness and intelligent whales you meet.

Our Vessel, Whale Watch 1, has been specifically designed to immerse you in the world of the whales with our water level viewing providing an intimate and inspiring encounter with the wildlife and environment around you. Our Whale Watch TV Theatre live streams underwater footage of our close encounters which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your seat. Tune in to the songs and sounds of the whales as our live hydrophone is deployed and recordings taken to further our research.

Turn moments into memories to share with loved ones as our onboard professional photographer will capture the very best images of the day for you to download free of charge from the Daily Whale. Our Whale Watch family team dedicate each tour to furthering our understanding and knowledge of the cetaceans we work with as interaction logs, audio recordings and ID cataloging is collected and shared with leading universities and researchers from around Australia and the world.

Tour Inclusions
  • LIVE and educational commentary from our marine scientists and cetacean behavioural experts
  • Queensland Family Owned & Operated
  • LUXURY lifetime experience at the best price available
  • Excellent 5 STAR Tripadvisor Rating
  • Small Guests numbers ensure water level unobstructed intimate experience
  • Educational Live commentary with 360 degree viewing
  • Professional Photographer onboard – Free Postcard – Free Photo’s
  • Safe & Easy marina boarding from the heart of Surfers Paradise & local pontoons
  • 100% Whale Watch Lifetime Guarantee or FREE return voucher
  • Quality International standard of service, safety & comfort
  • Family & Group Specials
The VIP experience

VIP Inclusions

  • Whale Watch ‘Pod Pack’
  • Preferred Seating
  • Boarding Photo
  • Whale Watch Cap
  • Glass of champagne, beer, wine or cool drink
How to prepare

Flexible Departure Days
Depending on if you are travelling locally or visiting the region, providing yourself with a flexible departure date is highly recommend. Our team will get a good weather forecast generally 5 to 7 days out from your chosen travel date and will monitor for any adverse weather conditions. Especially if you are travelling by booking your Whale Watch tour earlier in your stay you ensure that there is flexibility in transferring to the best weather day possible for your experience if adverse weather happens to be expected. Our team are always here to help and you are welcome to provide alternative travel dates in your booking notes or contact our team direct to see what the latest forecast is for your upcoming tour.

Dress in Layers
The ocean breeze is one of the great enjoyments of being out on the water but it can be refreshing, even on a summers day. Dressing in layers ensures that you can stay as warm as you need or take off a few layers if required. A warm, waterproof jacket is recommend especially on colder days or if rain is forecast while flat shoes are the most suitable option for when onboard vessels. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are also recommended if you wish to spend most of your time on the outside areas of the vessel. Ponchos are only necessary if rain is forecast and also a handy option to bring with you for our day tours with the Orca or Blue Whales when weather conditions can be variable over a few hours at sea.

Motion Sickness Prevention
Prevention is always better than cure and we recommend discussing with your local pharmacist or doctor the best remedies if you are susceptible to motion sickness. Motion sickness affects everyone differently and if you have not spent much time on the ocean before it is always a good idea if recommended by your pharmacist/doctor to look at preventative measure. It can make a very big difference and it is important to follow the directions as advised with most tablets needing to be taken prior to departure and at the correct dosage. Fresh breeze, remaining on the lower decks and not reading or using your phone can all assist those who are susceptible. Our team are onboard to help with any questions you may have throughout your tour and assist with making your experience an enjoyable one.

Early Arrival
Departure times are very important and just like a plane when it is time for the vessel to depart we are not able to remain waiting at the jetty. Guests are required to be at their departure location 30 minutes prior to departure time to ensure that there is no risk of running late. Please double check your departure location, parking or drop-off options and if your are not familiar with the area please allow for extra time to reach your destination. Departing on time is important for the symmetry of tours to ensure plenty fo time with the whales and no rushing for our guests.

Camera Equipment
All cetaceans require a respectful reactionary distance and it is also part of interaction rules and regulations to ensure our whales and dolphins comfort at all times. Depending on the species, if they are travelling with calves, hunting or resting we will generally be between 100 to 300 meters away from the pod of cetacean we are working with. Usually the natural curiosity of the cetaceans we work with results in the pods approaching our vessel for a closer look or to interact and in those occasions they can be within reaching distance of the vessel. During each tour you will find that we will have a combination of both very close and normal distance interactions which means that both DSLR cameras and iPhones can come in handy! If you are simply wanting to enjoy your time with the whales our onboard photographer will capture all the action of the day with the very best images available to download free of charge on our website at the Daily Whale for all guests.

Departure times
  • 8AM
  • Please check departure pickup points and times on your booking confirmation
  • Please arrive 30 mins prior to departure time
  • Boarding commences 15 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding Gate closes 5 minutes prior to departure (No Exceptions)
Join The Pod®️

Whale Watch Queensland research is undertaken on every tour and provides an educational experience for our guests onboard. Our in-house research programs are also combined with collaborations with national and international universities, research groups, government bodies and experts in their field who specialise in studying particular species we also have the opportunity of working with during our tours. Research is a fundamental part of our options as it ensures we are learning and protecting the cetacean species and wildlife we have the greta privilege of working with on a daily basis.

Observing whales and dolphins in the wild is one of the great joys in life and during our time with them all else tends to be forgotten and we are very much living in the moment! Learning their language, understanding their purpose in our ecosystems and how to correctly interact with these beautiful creatures is taught through our live and educational commentary onboard each tour. Educating our guests ensures that you will leave your tour with a better understanding of the wildlife you met with that knowledge now able to be shared with family and friends. Over time this creates a ripple affect as more and more people better understand the incredible life story of the whales and how to better protect and interact with them.

Our family have spent years perfecting our Whale Watch techniques and thousands of hours observing many different species of cetacean over three different oceans around Australia year round. Our goal is to pass on that knowledge to our guests who join our tours and enable a unique insight into the world of the whales and build a bigger appreciation and respect for their incredible life story.

Whale Watch Queensland is part of the Whale Watch Family Pod, a sixth generation Australian family who has grown up on the oceans around Australia. Our family whale watches all year, every year in the waters of Australia including our summer spent with the Orca (Killer Whales) and early Autumn with the worlds largest creature, the Blue Whale. Winter and Spring is then spent with the migration of Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales on both the east and west coast of Australia.

Our experience, passion and knowledge of the cetaceans we work with is unrivalled as we bring world class cetacean education and viewing to our guests. The art of whale watching takes time and patience, our family business has dedicated our time to creating a whale watch experience that allows you to Join The Pod and be welcomed by the whales into their home and pod.

Our research programs in place incorporate all of the species we work with and include;

  • Photo identification catalogue
  • Migratory pattern monitoring
  • Body condition data collection
  • Diet and feeding ground data collection
  • Population estimates and birthing rates
  • Recreational vessel influence data collection
  • Preferred resting/birthing ground data collection

Our Vessel

Our purpose built vessel is dedicated to whale watching all year and has been specifically designed to operate in harmony with Australian cetaceans.

MV Whale Watch 1 

Australia’s Newest Eco-Friendly Whale Watch Vessel of this type in Australia.

Proudly designed and made in Australia specifically for Whales by Whale Watchers to elevate your whale watch experience to an elite level and immerse you in the world of the cetaceans. Our brand new vessel is a game changer for the industry, specifically designed and dedicated to whale watch experiences providing a less intrusive vessel to allow for respectful observation of the cetaceans and wildlife we interact with daily complete with underwater camera and sound recorders displayed via our onboard research theatre.

Find Out More

Whale Watch Queensland

Sanctuary Cove, 4601 Masthead Way, Hope Island

We also provide pick-up points at ‘The Spit’, Southport and a shuttle bus service from Brisbane.

View Departure Locations