Whale watching in Quandamooka Country

Whale watching off Moreton Island.
Humpback whale breaching off Moreton Island – Photo: Chris Walker

The 2021 whale watching season is under way and on Sunday 13 June we saw plenty of whale action from the Eye-Spy operated by Brisbane Whale Watching out of Redcliffe.

The boat sped across the northern part of Moreton Bay in just over an hour then swung north cruising along the western side of Moreton Island.

Moreton Island is now recognized as part of the lands and waters of Quandamooka country with native title held by the Quandamooka People who have lived in this area for more than 20,000 years.

The traditional name for Moreton Island is Mulgumpin and over the next few years this name is likely to become much better known.

After reaching the northern tip of Moreton Island we didn’t have long to wait until the whale watching started.

Whales breached, waved their pectoral fins and showed us their tails as shown in the photo gallery below.

Whale watching vessel Eye-Spy
The Eye-Spy moored at Redcliffe Jetty

The Eye-Spy cruised slowly north with the traveling whales to Flinders Reef about five kilometres north of Moreton Island.

Flinders reef is notable for biodiversity with the highest number of coral species of any subtropical reef system along Australia’s east coast.

Then it was time to head home along the same route giving us an opportunity to get some photos of Moreton Island lit up by the afternoon sun.

Features of Moreton Island shown in the photos below include the heritage listed Cape Moreton Light, the North Point light, sandhills and beaches.

Passing Cowan Cowan, we could see the two old gun emplacements which were built in 1937 and operated until 1945. The Fort Cowan Cowan battery is also listed in the Queensland Heritage Register.

After reaching the Tangalooma resort area, it was time to head back across the Bay in the Eye-Spy.

Whale watching photos

Photographing whales

These photos were taken with various combinations of Canon DSLR cameras (6D and 1DXMkii) and telephoto lenses (70-200mm F/4 and 400mm/F5.6).

Most shots were taken with a fast shutter speed, typically 2,500th of a second.

Wild Redlands – 14 June 2021

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