When Life Gives You Lemons – Go Whale Watching!

At a recent routine dental check up my dentist noticed something abnormal in the x-ray with my sinus cavities. That then led me to the GP which then led to a CT scan. Prognosis: Chronic Sinusitis with a polyp in my left nasal cavity. After calling around to all the specialists in town I discovered that the only one available in the area before December (& before we leave) was in the Sunshine Coast 430 km away. The first thing I did after making an appointment was to Google what we could do on the trip besides seeing the doc.  Hervey Bay was along the way & it’s whale season! The bay is warm and a safe haven for whales where they can birth their calves & teach them survival techniques before heading back to the Antarctic.

Family photo. August 2013

Luna’s August 2013

Now the next part was to find some budget accommodation so that the money saved could be put towards a Whale Watching boat tour. I started looking into cheap campgrounds but being winter I wasn’t so sure how I felt about pitching a tent and it was then that a light-bulb went off in my head… my brother owns a Troopy complete with beds, fridge & camp stove. Gave him a buzz & he was cool with us borrowing it! All that was left was to double-check for safety belts for our two car seats & it was all good.

My feelings at that moment were how even though all of this had come at a bad time & I didn’t know what the end result would be at least we could make an adventure of it.

Passed by the Giant Pineapple in Nambour. Making this the 4th "giant thing" we've see in Oz.

Giant Pineapple in Woombye. Making this the 4th “Big Thing” we’ve seen in Oz.

I started checking out the whale watching packages & was a little disheartened by the price. There was one in particular I really wanted to choose but it cost more than the rest so I decided to book a cheaper one. Just as I was about to confirm payment I saw a Hervey Bay post on the SAHM page that I’m subscribed to, so out of curiosity I read it & there at the end was a “quote this code & your child goes free”  blurb. It was for the tour I originally wanted! I immediately called to book, we got the last 4 tickets available & saved $80 bucks.  As you can imagine I was absolutely thrilled!

Humpback Whale doing tricks

Tail Slapping

The Freedom lll driver picked us up at 9:30am from our camp site & took us to the boat for boarding. The captain introduced himself, gave some info,  safety tips & then we were off. For the first hour most of the whales were busy moving south & we were heading North. Some were also sleeping so we decided to continue onwards & look for more active pods. As we went along the captain filled us in on all things Humpback Whale.

My little man on the lookout.

Little D on the lookout.

We spotted some action in the distance which turned out to be a mother teaching her calf  to pectoral-slap, again & again. The captain dropped a mike into the water so we could listen to them communicate. Little D joked that it sounded like Miss P when she’s whaling. Ha!

What an awesome sight!


Then out of no where this male swims up & does a breach right in front of us! Maybe giving us a warning? It was incredible.

One of the breaches of the day.


On the way home after a full day of sightings & a delicious buffet lunch we spied a few more. The captain called out on the loudspeaker that if no one was in a hurry to get home he didn’t mind stopping.. he then called his wife & said “sorry honey, we’re gonna be late.”  I’m so glad he wasn’t rushing to keep schedule cause it was the last pair that were the most curious & came up to the boat to check us out.

So close I could've reached out & touched it.

So close I wanted to reach out & touch it.

The staff were very helpful & held Little D hand on the lower platform as he watched the whale swim right underneath the boat! Last but not least another breach & then being past 4pm it was now time to head back.

Showing us his beautiful white underbelly

Showing us his beautiful white underbelly

As we were nearing home one of the crew gave us a tip on which beach to see the sun set into the ocean at Torquay in Vernon Point. We jumped off, got a ride back & grabbed the troopy to spend the fading sunlight on the beach.

Holding a ball of fire

A stunning end to the day.

After setting the kids up with a video we cracked a bottle of wine ahh. It was a looog day but well worth it!

chilling out in the morn. You can see the two beds in the troopy from here.

Chilling out in the morn. Can you see the two beds? One above & one below. So much space!

We enjoyed our time whale watching & borrowing the troopy was a real adventure. Hervey Bay during whale season is a must see! Hopefully next time we can do it at a slower pace.

A quick pic before packing up. Tx troopy you were good to us.

A quick pic before packing up. Tx troopy you were good to us.

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22-tonne wood & stainless steel sculpture of "Nala"

22-tonne wood & stainless steel sculpture of ‘Nala’

Have you been Whale Watching?

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Amber Luna

I'm a long term traveller, dedicated mum of 2 & passionate about living life full of adventure. I love living my dreams & helping others live theirs as well. I hope you enjoy our informative journey!

Latest posts by Amber Luna (see all)


  1. Wow! Neat photos! I really, really want to head down there to check it out now – how massive is that Whale sculpture! Cool.

    • ourlunadventures.com says:

      Tx! Its only three hours down the road from Gladdy! The statue is located at The Fraser Coast Cultural Centre. (166 Old Maryborough Road, Hervey Bay.)
      Very impressive & worth a look.

  2. We had so much fun reading this over dinner! And how awesome is that Troopy-vehicle!

    • ourlunadventures.com says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! We loved the Troopy! I told Rob he nearly didn’t get it back. We took some footage as well & will upload it soon!

  3. What a great blog post! So glad you guys enjoyed your experience on Freedom III.
    Thanks for sharing!

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