The local reef and tour boat operators have a network of people who report sightings, and even a short boat journey from Cairns might get you a whale moment or several. It is a breath-taking experience, seeing these huge creatures in their environment. But big as they get, they are still vulnerable, with climate change, collisions with boats, and hunting being the major threats.
The humpback whale is the one you’re most likely to see in far north Queensland waters. Our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen talks about what we know – and don’t yet know – about humpbacks: their diet, their migration, and their love-life.