Our whale hot spots revealed as numbers rise
BUNDABERG residents have been spotting dozens of whales from shore this whale season, producing some spectacular photographs and perhaps turning the tables on Hervey Bay as the nation's whale spotting capital.
Whales have been spotted launching themselves out of the water and playing in the surf just a couple kilometres off Kellys Beach, while others have been spotted a mere 100m off Barolin Rocks.
According to data published by the University of Queensland, the humpback whale population has increased significantly within the last decade.
Researchers have approximated that in 2010 there were 14,522 humpbacks, with 27,016 recorded last year.
As humpback numbers increase, a Department of Environment and Heritage Protection spokesman said whales can turn up in places they may have not have been seen for many decades.
Owner and operator of Lady Musgrave Experience Whale Watching Tours Brett Lakey said he had seen about 100 whales so far with more sightings each trip.
"Bundaberg is experiencing more sightings due to the 10% increase of the whale population each year. The adults are always very happy to approach the boat,” he said.
List of humpback whale sightings in the region recently:
Elliott Heads Submarine Lookout
Rifle Range Beach