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Swimming with Whales - Mum & calf up close Credit Migration Media - Underwater ImagingQueensland’s Sunshine Coast is preparing to welcome some of its most treasured guests – over 40,000 humpback whales who are making their way up the Australian east coast on their annual migration.

The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s premier whale tourism destinations, built on its long-established whale watching cruises and Sunreef’s pioneering Swim with Whales experience, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Swim with Whales will operate from 22 June till October, with daily cruises (subject to conditions) through to October. Adult tickets are available for $249 and include all equipment, expert commentary and guiding, and refreshments. www.sunreef.com.au

This year, whale watchers will have an expanded range of touring options to appreciate these majestic sea creatures.

Blue Tortuga Adventures is offering a Sunshine Coast Whale Listening Scuba Experience, which enables scuba divers to listen to the mesmerising songs and calls of whales in their natural habitat.

Original and the first of its kind, divers sit quietly on the ocean floor and listen to the beautiful sounds of the migrating humpback whales. Dive Certification or a short training course is required. The four hours cruise is fully guided and includes tanks and weights. $198 per person. www.bluetortugaadventures.com.au

Whale watchers who prefer to stay on the surface can still immerse themselves in the whale adventure with Adrenaline Experiences’ state-of-the-art HD underwater cameras that live stream the whales and underwater hydrophone that lets passengers listen to the whales sing. The two-hour cruise is suitable for the whole family (children over 5). Adult tickets are $85, children $65 and a family ticket is available for $249 (2 adults/two children). https://www.adrenaline.com.au/whale-watching/mooloolaba/mooloolaba-whale-watching-tour-2-hours/

For the first time, Sunreef is offering a Sunset Whales, Ales and Prawn Tails tour as part of The Curated Place food festival in July/August. The cruises will combine whale watching with the Sunshine Coast’s renowned prawns and craft beers. Mooloolaba’s Black Flag Brewing has expertly crafted a Whale Ale for the season, which perfectly complements the succulent Mooloolaba Prawns which are freshly caught and bursting with flavour. The two-hour cruises will depart at 4.30pm on 27 July, 2 and 3 August. $149 per person. www.thecuratedplate.com.au/

Whale breaching with Mt Coolum in background credit Sunreef

For a touch of luxury and a guaranteed rail side view, Cavalier Cruises offers the opportunity to view whales from a comfortable lounge with uninterrupted views and walk-around deck, while also enjoying hospitality from the onboard bar. Adults $129, children $109 for the three-hour cruise. www.cavaliercruises.com.au/whale-watching-sunshine-coast

Adventure Rafting is also offering whale tours with their sleek, open vessel getting passengers to the whales quickly, providing even more time to spend with the whales as they frolic off the coast. $85 for a two-hour cruise.  www.adventurerafting.com.au

Cruises depart from Mooloolaba, one of Australia’s greatest seafood and marine-adventure ports. The Wharf Mooloolaba is cruise central for whale cruises and is also one of the Sunshine Coast’s premier dining and entertainment precincts.

The Sunshine Coast benefits from a longer whale watching season as the whales make the 10,000km journey along the Australian coastline to Antarctica, newborn calves in tow, and then pass by again as they head south to the Arctic. While whales are often seen from late May, the peak viewing time is between July and October.