Time to whale goodbye to best season ever
"THE best whale-watching season" ever has drawn to a close for at least one operator.
Tangalooma Island Resort, which boasts the largest vessel dedicated to whale-watching in Australia, held the last of its whale viewing voyages at the weekend.
The opportunity to swim with one of the magnificent marine giants is also ending soon with Mooloolaba's Sunreef's trips finishing on October 23.
But the Coast's Whale One hopes to continue taking people out until the end of the month with about 19 whales providing a dazzling display late in the season today.
Owner John Matterson said "plenty of whales" were still around.
"We found nine pods (a group of whales) this morning," Mr Matterson said.
"One pod was about 600 metres from the breakwater at Point Cartwright.
"They are jumping around everywhere."
Mr Matterson said while the plan was to operate tours until October 31, it would be monitored.
"I remember two years ago we had to finish a week early as they got so scarce," he said.
But this year the number of whales around has been unprecedented with both Whale One and Tangalooma reporting their "best season ever".
"I've never seen so many calves, it's just been none stop," Mr Matterson said.
"Any day in the last four weeks you just go up off Point Cartwright and you can see them."
Tangalooma Island Resort, which as Australia's largest vessel dedicated to whale watching, finished its season with a good cause, donating $6000 to kids' cancer research.
Every whale spotted on the 2016 whale watching season saw $5 per whale donated to The Kids' Cancer Project.
The charity holds a special place on the island and patients and families had a chance to join in the last journey for the season at the weekend.
The partnership between Tangalooma Island Resort and The Kids' Cancer Project was driven by Resort Manager Brianna Preobrajensky and her own personal experience of her son Oscar's battle with cancer.
"Tangalooma Island Resort has been a proud supporter of The Kids' Cancer Project for several years now, and our contribution to the project for 2016 is another great step towards raising awareness and funds into childhood cancer research," she said.