Humpback Whales may be the most commonly sighted whale in the Sunshine Coast’s waters over winter, but they’re not the only species in town! Dwarf Minke Whales also undertake an annual migration north up Australia’s East Coast, before gathering at Northern Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef for a few months over winter.
Passing through the Sunshine Coast between June and August, you may get lucky and spot one of these magnificent animals whilst on your whale watching tour. Here are some fun facts about these whales, and how you can spot them apart from the humpback!
- Dwarf Minke Whales are smaller than the humpback, but can still grow up to 8 metres in length
- They are distinguished by their unique colourings, particularly its white pectoral flippers with black edging
- The dwarf minke whales show up every winter on Great Barrier Reef, where they spend a few short months.
- Queensland is the only area in the world where humans can interact with this species
- Dwarf Minkes are reliably spotted during the winter months on the outer edge of the northern Great Barrier Reef, where they spend a few months
- They have one calf each year which is almost 2 metres long at birth. That’s longer than the height of a baby giraffe!
- They can live to 60 years old
- The white and grey markings on the side of a minke whale are unique to each whale, much like fingerprints are to humans
- They are one of the fastest types of whales, and can travel at speeds of more than 30km
Keep your eyes peeled for these white and grey whales when you’re out on your whale watching tour!