The Hervey Bay marine park has come into being in a move by the Queensland government to regulate the emerging whale watching industry. In 1993 one of the local charter fishing operators noticed that Humpback whales were continually entering Platypus Bay on the inshore side of Fraser Island and he decided to offer whale watching trips to see if their was a demand. The industry took off with a bang and over the next two years up to 25 charter boats were operating whale watching trips from Hervey Bay which became known as the whale watching capital of the world. Because of the large number of boats operating and the tens of thousands of visitors who were flocking to the region to see the whales the government decided that the creation of a marine park and the licensing of the whale watching operators was appropriate.
In order that the Hervey Bay whale watching industry could become a sustainable tourist industry it was decided to limit the number of permits issued to 23 and the Dept of Environment and Heritage took over responsibility for the management of the marine park. They provided monitors on a daily basis to ensure that whale watch operators obey the whale watching rules.
The whale watching season in Hervey Bay has been getting a bit longer every year due to the increasing number of whales migrating along the coast and entering into the Hervey Bay marine park. The first trips now start operating in the middle of July and whales keep on turning up right through until mid November. Hervey Bay is a great place for a short break during this time. The weather is really fantastic and Hervey Bay has plenty of new resort style accommodation as well as hostels, motels and beachfront units. It is also very easy to get to Hervey Bay to visit the marine park. Regular flights arrive from Sydney and Brisbane into Hervey Bay’s Fraser Coast airport. You can also come by rail or coach.
If you have a yen to go whale watching then try a visit to the Hervey Bay Marine Park.