Whale Watching with kids: Everything you need to know!

Whale Watching


School Holidays are the perfect time to get the kids out of the house and on a whale watching tour, however as a parent myself, there are always a few questions you are left wondering before you make the decision to book. So I’ve taken the opportunity to cover some of the more frequently asked questions that you need to know before you hit the open water. 

Is whale watching a suitable activity for my kids?

Yes! Whale watching is suitable for kids of all ages. Whale Watching is an incredibly exciting day out on the water, and it’s not just the whale watching but the whole experience from start to finish! 

A lot of the time, this is the first time kids have been on a boat, and that itself is such a novelty! Our skippers and crew are there to make your tour fun and memorable, and will do their best to ensure this. From helping your littlies spot their first whale, to taking turns at driving the boat! Our skippers and crew are not just professional but funny! They’ll leave you in stitches with a few cheeky jokes, but nevertheless you’re always in safe hands, with crew covering safety briefings, a life jacket demonstration and some rules to follow while out on the water with us. 

Will my kids get seasick?

Whale watching is an open water activity and is subject to the sea conditions on the day. Everyone is different and some suffer from seasickness a lot more than others. If you know your child suffers from seasickness, or motion sickness, it may be worth a trip to the pharmacist before your tour. We also sell Travacalm onboard, however they are not recommended for children under the age of 2, so please ensure you read the instructions carefully.

Tip – if you or your kids start to feel queasy, try and get them to keep their eyes on the horizon, get some fresh air, and always face in the direction the boat is going. You should also speak to a crew member as they know a thing or two about seasickness and are there to help you. 

Can I take my baby?

Yes, we are happy to have babies onboard. If sea conditions are not suitable on the day, our skipper may ask to reschedule your booking to a day that is more suitable for you and your baby, however this is relatively uncommon. You’ll also be glad to know that you can take your pram onboard, and there is a change table available at our Sea World Cruises terminal. 

Tip – Baby carriers are a great way to take your baby on a whale watching tour as it leaves your hands free to hold onto railings throughout the tour. 

What onboard activities are there for the kids?

At check in, make sure to grab a whale passport for each of your kids. The passport will keep your kids entertained on the way out to the whales and on the way home. They’ll find 8 missions inside the booklet to fill out and upon completion of 3 missions, kids can get a stamp from the captain. A great way to keep the kids entertained, plus remember their brilliant voyage onboard Sea World Cruises!

Other common questions

1. How long does the tour go for?

We all know kids get itchy feet if left for too long, so rest easy knowing our tour goes for 2hrs and 15mins. The perfect amount of time to spend with the whales, but not too long that they start swinging off the poles in boredom! After we’ve pulled away from the jetty at the start of the tour we’re only 10 minutes away from the seaway where we will head out into the open ocean and be on the lookout for the first whale of the tour. We then have just under 2 hours to spend with the whales during which time you may see whales breach, wave their pectoral fins at you, and many other types of surface behaviours that leave us all squealing in delight. Our commentary is informative and full of interesting facts about whales and other species of marine life you may encounter on the day, but it’s also fun and interactive! We’ll ask you questions, and have you shouting out and waving to the whales. It’s sure to be a whale of a time!

2. When is the best time to go?

This is probably the most common question we get, but honestly there is no ‘better time’. The whales are out there at all times of the day and it just depends on them and how active they’re feeling. Our morning cruises are very popular, however our afternoon tours are just as good, usually with fewer people, and incredible sunsets!

The season runs from late May – early November each year, allowing us to get out there with the whales for almost 6 months of the year! We start to see calves from mid-late June and we have even seen newborns here on the Gold Coast! 

3. My kids are always hungry! Do you have food and drinks onboard?

If you forget to pack snacks, do not fear! We have a cafe at the terminal where you can grab a hot toastie, a sandwich, tea, coffee and a range of snacks, which you can take onboard with you. Plus we also have an onboard kiosk where you can grab a packet of chips, choccy bar, or drink. 

4. Do you ever cancel tours?

 Yes, if it’s going to be very rough we will cancel the tour. We will try and give you as much notice as possible, however we will usually make the decision the day before around 4pm when the latest weather update comes in. If the sea conditions are border line, we may issue a rough weather speech and give a few different options that will give you the chance to make the best decision for you and your family. 

In saying all of this, most days are absolutely beautiful out on the water and we want you to have a memorable and enjoyable experience, so no need to stress. We will let you know if anything changes. 

Tip – please ensure you provide the mobile number and email address when booking incase we need to contact you!

5. What happens if we don’t see whales?

This year the season started even earlier than normal, so we are in the full swing of it now, but in the rare case that we don’t see whales on your tour, you can come out again for free to ensure that you do!

I hope that I’ve been able to answer all of your questions that may have been on your mind! If you have any other questions that are on your mind, give one of our friendly reservationists a call on 07 5539 9299 and they will be happy to help. 

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