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Brisbane Whale Watching | Review

Brisbane Whale Watching is a great example of a magical day out right at my feet. When they offered to take me and the kids (7 year old daughter, 4 and 2 year old sons) on a tour I responded “Yes!” so off we went on the Ekka holiday.

Public Transport and Zoos: Things Kids Like

Brisbane Whale Watching with kids 2

The adventure began immediately. We arrived at Redcliffe Jetty- running late of course- and made our way straight to the boat. The weather was glorious: crisp clear and calm. A charming moustachioed man explained the safety guidelines (‘THREE POINTS OF CONTACT” became my mantra to the middle child). Kerry the owner of Brisbane Whale Watching greets every passenger as they board and we were escorted by Terri to the VIP area (we are so fancy).

Brisbane Whale Watching with kids

The VIP area was excellent as it was a contained cabin with ‘cubbies’ between the seats for the kids to hide in and great big windows to see the amazing day. My main concern was the middle child hurling himself off the boat to ‘ride whales’ but all the kids were captivated by the boat and motion sop we departed safely. The boat is very luxurious with fantastic toilets (large enough to fit all four of us in and perfectly clean). The kids were very impressed by this ‘fancy ferry’.

Ethical, Exciting, Educational: Brisbane Whale Watching Tours

We left the bay and headed past Moreton Island to the open ocean. The boat was buzzing with excitement as we waited to see the whales. The kids had fun getting used to the motion of the boat, making friends and grooving to the excellent musak. It was truly great, chilled remixes of Phil Collins etc.

Kerry provided an intermittent explanation of what we were seeing and soon we were upon the whales! She expertly guided our attention to the upcoming pod and we made our way to the front or top of the ship (wherever you preferred). There was space for everyone even with a full ship and we were mesmerised as the whales came closer and closer. Dolphins were flitting in and out as well. She explained we couldn’t get too close and would let them come to us. You can hear her passion and commitment to the preservation of the whales- she knows them all by name!

The size and grace of the humpbacks is amazing as they move through the water and come to surface to see us. Kerry explains how to recognise the sleek circles of water they leave behind as they submerge and what to look for. She asserts that they observe us as much as we observe them and encouraged us all to wave to them. From the first sighting it was spectacular as three pods waved, slapped tails, breached and dove around the boat.

Perfect Timing: Sun, Fun, Food

Just as the kids started to get restless they announced the buffet was open! As VIP’s we got first pick (yay!) and headed to the main cabin. It was incredible- what an amazing array of food. And everything except the buns were gluten free so our celiac kid got to eat! The salads were delicious and generous, great fruit and fantastic cold meats and seafood. We were all content with full bellies so the kids played, watched more whales and even had a sleep (the littlest one).

Brisbane Whale Watching with kids - the food

The timing of the meal meant that you can still watch the whales as you dine then wander around the ship enjoying the day and whales regardless of when you are served (they stage it according to wristband colour). There is a kiosk on board to buy coffee, drinks and snacks too. After everyone was served and had eaten the boat turned around and went to shore. We were all happy and drowsy with full bellies after a day in the sun (remember sunscreen) and all the excitement. We were ashore by 230pm and ate ice-creams by the water at Redcliffe to squeeze the last drops of joy from the day.

Contact Brisbane Whale Watching to book your tour and say Families Magazine sent you!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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