The Sunshine Coast’s “Extreme” Whale watching experience.

Only Sunshine Coast Afloat offers the unique excitement of whale watching aboard our high-speed custom Jet boat.  Are you ready for the thrill of a lifetime?
The key highlights: 
  • Propelled by two jet engines with almost 800HP of power
  • You sit so much closer to the water in this boat, without the fear of getting wet whilst underway
  • Completely safe for the whales as there are no propellers to cause any possible harm
  • See diverse marine life with dolphins turtles, flying fish and even sharks.
  • Get the most amazing photo opportunities at angles and as close up you can otherwise only dream about

This really is a special, 2 hour, Whale Watching experience that you will remember and talk about for a long time!

Scream across the waters of the Sunshine Coast Bay in a turbo-charged jet boat, head out into the open ocean to get up-close with the migrating Humpback whales. This fast-paced whale watching tour takes you to the local  sites where the Sunshine Coast’s biggest aquatic visitors come to play on their way North and back.

Click to watch this whale showing off and waving on a beautiful day on the Sunshine Coast

Hop aboard the 9m, 780 horsepower vessel Hela-Va Jet and sit down in one of its comfortable, red and black Recaro racing seats. Your skipper and guide first offers a brief introduction to the boat, the required safety briefing, as well the vessel’s amazing capabilities. This includes the ability of reaching top speeds of up to 40 knots. And you will find out just how fast that is when you leave the dock and shoot out into Mooloolaba Bay.

Hela-Va Jet is a custom built, High Speed, Open Ocean, Jet boat. This allows high speed tours without the need to get wet and or cold. Fitted with large “lamborghini style” wing doors, we will keep you warm, dry, safe and comfortable, as we head out to see the whales. The dolphins often play and follow our path as we are underway.

Enjoy the thrill as Hela-Va Jet rockets into the Coral Sea to seek out the best spots for viewing pods of majestic Humpback whales. At times we will slow to a gentle crawl, looking for the characteristic blasts from their blowholes and the awe-inspiring acrobatics of their breaching maneuvers. If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to snap photos of playful calves, making the journey for the first time, or hear the faint sounds from their fascinating vocalizations.

On your way back to port, on request from the passengers, the skipper may even throw in a wild spin or two, drifting turns, and throttle-stomping straightaways before you reach the calm waters of the marina. This will of course depend on those aboard as all will need to agree to the hair raising antics this vessel is capable of!

All in all, the biggest advantage of whale watching on Hela-Va Jet is that you are SO close to the water! This means you are SO close to the whales when they show themselves! And of course you are then always ready for that perfect photo, with an unobstructed view.

Click to watch two whales playing together alongside just off Mooloolaba

With no more than 10 passengers at any time (the boat can take 12 but we limit this run to 10), you are ensured total visibility and proximity to whales, dolphins, as well as the many other kinds of marine life we encounter.

This has to be the most up-close viewing by any vessel on the Sunshine Coast! Come try a very personal tour out on the water with amazing views of these inquisitive, majestic animals. We guarantee you will enjoy an incredible and special whale watching experience.

Humpback whales are not only beautiful, but also playful and curious creatures. Be in awe of the spectacular breaching, close encounters, magical songs and tail slapping.

Light refreshments and non-alcohol drinks are included

Please note- This tour operates from 1st July to 20th October only! The tour runs for 2 hours only due to there being no toilet aboard the vessel.

Our entire focus and goal is to give you a truly intimate encounter with these gentle giants of the ocean.

Please note that no funds will be deducted until we have been able to also confirm the availability of the requested charter. This because other impacts such as phone and agent bookings, weather and other unforeseen things  could impact on the availability at the same time as you are requesting the charter online. Our Terms and conditions are available on this webpage ( Click here to view them now ) and will also be emailed to you as part of the booking confirmation.

The “BRIDGE SEAFOOD ” Pontoon (located at the rear of the restaurant),
209 Brisbane Road Mooloolaba Qld.

For a GPS use “Bridge Seafoods” or “209 Brisbane Road Mooloolaba Qld”.    In iPhone Maps “Bridge Seafoods” is far more accurate.

Please DO NOT park your car here on the service Road, but rather in the FREE public car-park next to the BP service station across the road. 

The location is the corner of Incana Court and Brisbane Road. This parking is free and unlimited in time, and only a 2 minute stroll (100m) from the departure point.

Once parked please wait near the top of the ramp until instructed by the skipper that it is safe to come down the ramp and board the vessel.



 Please arrive 10 to 15 minutes PRIOR to your noted departure time. We would hate for the tour to depart on time should you be late and we have not heard from you! Depending on the departure time you may need to ensure you have enough time to find a car park. The skipper will collect you from the entrance to the Sunreef store which is located directly opposite the pontoon from which we depart.
Please do not wait on the pontoon itself as the skipper will be mooring the vessel on its arrival and we safety is paramount for all.


Once securely and safely moored, the skipper will come and get you from the meeting spot at the entrance to Sunreef and take you to the pontoon in preparation to board the vessel. He will take a picture of your group with the boat for a memento should you like it.


We are heading out to sea, so each and every person coming aboard must sign in on the vessel’s passenger register, and be marked off by the crew. To this end the skipper will provide the passenger log for you to complete. Our passenger log also doubles as the indemnity waiver. Afterall, this is considered an extreme activity. Have a balance to pay for the day? This is where and when you do that part too.


From here it’s boarding time. The skipper will discuss the differences between seating locations (Yes, it makes a difference where you sit) and once decisions have been made as to who will sit where begin boarding from the rear to the front. He will be assisting in adjusting the seatbelts to best suit each person. We want those shoulders and top part of the body in particular secure in the racing seats!

Safety First

As required by maritime legislation, the skipper will have to do a safety briefing before we hit the open ocean. Much like on a plane any time you fly, we do need your attention for the couple of minutes it takes. We all hope and expect the information we are providing never to be needed, but its always best to be forewarned and prepared.

Pushing off

You will already be seated, but the doors will still be open at this point in time. The skipper will “throw” the mooring lines and head off in the direction of the river mouth. This area of the Mooloolah river is restricted to a top speed of 6 knots which allows you to get used to the feeling of the vessel and take in the beautiful waterfront properties and scenery before the wildness starts. Before getting to the river mouth, the skipper will put the vessel into a slow spin to enable him to fully retrieve the mooring lines and fenders before closing the doors and exiting the river into the Bay to start the trill ride proper.

Crossing the Bar

Recognised in maritime as one of the potentially more dangerous times aboard a vessel,(It only takes a minute or so in this boat) the ocean conditions will take effect. For a powerful and fast vessel like Hela-Va Jet this is an area we could easily have great fun in, but of course maritime law prohibits any vessel to use the conditions of a bar to ensure other vessels can enter and exit the river safely.

Searching for whales

We only really run our tours in the most active period of the whale season. After-all we all want to be watching whales, not searching for them the entire time. Of course they are underwater for most of the time, and the Coral Sea is a large area. We ask all passengers to join in to keep an eye out for the distinctive “Blow” that is usually the first sign of whales. The doors will be closed at this time still and the speed to the first likely location is why we partly why we call this extreme.

First sighting!

The first of what will often be 2 or 3 different pods on the tour. The skipper will position the vessel as close as legally allowed, open the doors for the best possible views, as well as provide information on the whale behaviours and other relevant facts during the tour. We cannot get closer than 100m to the left or right of the pod, or 300m to the rear of front of them. Once we are in position the hope is that the animals natural curiosity will bring them to us! When they do get close you really know why this is extreme whale watching. The massive mammals dwarf the vessel and you are mere inches from the water line itself! Breath taking regardless of the number of times you get to experience it!


All good things must come to an end. We try to keep the return trip as short as possible to give us as much time with the whales as possible. On average the return trip takes about 15 minutes all up.

Back home

As we re-enter the bar, the cruising of the river, and during the mooring of the vessel, the skipper will again have the doors open. Once moored securely back on the pontoon the skipper will assist you to disembark the vessel.
Whale Watching - Sunshine Coast Afloat
Whale Watching  - Sunshine Coast Afloat
Whale Watching - Sunshine Coast Afloat
Two large Humpback Whales playing alongside Crusader 1

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