From May to September each year, the majestic humpback whales pass the North Gorge headland on their annual migration from Antarctica to their calving grounds near the Great Barrier Reef.
Point Lookout is recognised as one of the best land based whale-watching sites in the world. The headland at Point Lookout is approximately 35m above sea level, from which the majestic marine creatures can be seen playing in the warm waters, displaying a series of twirls, waves and dives.
While the calves are still quite young, they begin their southern journey passing close to the coast. The North Gorge offers a breathtaking vantage point and when the tide and sea conditions are right, air whistles through the blowhole – just like a spouting whale!
Whale Watcher’s Guide
This is usually the first sign of whales in the distance or at close range. It appears above the surafce like a blast of steam. This occurs when a whale expels its breath through the blowholes on the top of its head. They release up to 450km/hr and can reach up to 5m in height making it visible from a distance of up to 2km.
Whales leave a greasy film on the surface of the water, a slick area known as a footprint. This mark is left from the flukes on the whale’s tail, from the downward stroke in its swimming motion.
This is the most spectacular manoeuvre. With two or three beats of its tail, the whale pushes itself into the air throwing itself backwards creating a tremendous slap and splash as its body hits the water.
Whales are very inquisitive creatures, and it is common for them to poke their heads vertically out of the water and have a good look around.
Pectoral Fin Extension
This move will create waves! The whale lies on its back, slapping its fins onto the surface of the water.
This move involves slapping the tail fluke down flat on the water. This can be heard from many kilometres and is a way of communicating position to other whales.
The peduncle is the muscular part of the body nearest to the tail flukes. In this movement the tail is slapped in a sideways motion like a karate chop. It is believed to be a sure sign of aggression.