Best whale watching on the Gold Coast

You have found the best whale watching on the Gold Coast here with Getaway Sailing on the Gold Coast. We specialise in private sailing charters with the humpbacks. The maximum number of guests per charter is 8 and we only do private charters, so no mixed group bookings, only your family and friends on board. The cost is $125 per person which is only $25 more than the other big whale watching boats. But here you have your very own skippered private yacht sailing with the humpbacks. I do have a minimum charge of $500. This is due to the cost of running a skippered yacht for the day. It is available to only one guest if you wish at a cost of $500, two, three or 4 guests also cost the minimum charge of $500. This short video shows the type of action we see.

Photography is a passion of mine and this day out with the humpbacks will give the wildlife photographer a chance of a lifetime to capture the whale image they dream about. Every day is different with the whales so I never know what to expect in the type of actions the massive mammals will be doing. You can be certain that the action will produce many photographic moments. I am happy to share any information I have gathered over the 8 years of photographing the humpback migration if you wish. I am also happy to hear others tell of their experience as we can learn from each other.

I use a Nikon D800 with 70-200mm f2.8 vr as my still camera, it also doubles as my underwater rig housed in a Nauticam NAD800 housing but here I attach a Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 wide angle lens, there is a DJI phantom 3 Professional on board for drone vision of the best whale watching on the Gold Coast. We also have a 3 meter pole with a GoPro Hero 4 Black attached for quick underwater vision when the animals are close to the yacht.  Our above the waterline video is taken with a Sony HD 24 mega pixel handy cam, this camera has a balanced steady shot where the lens is floating on a motorized gimble removing most if not all of the shake from a moving vessel in the ocean.  As a rule I have a polarizing filter on both the Nikon D800 and the Sony HD video camera. Here are some setting s for the Nikon D800

For The Best WHALE WATCHING on the Gold Coast Photography

The Nikon D800 Whale Watching settings

ISO                                  500-640

Image quality                Raw

White Balance              Auto as I shoot in Raw format

Mode                             Shutter priority with a speed of above 1/800 of a second. this depends on the sea                                      conditions .... the bumpier the sea the faster the speed.

Frame rate                   CH on the D800 or the fastest the camera will fire off shots.

Focus                            I prefer to use spot focus so I can frame the shot with the whale in the                                correct position and in focus.

Metering                      Sunny days I meter in full frame mode/Overcast days I meter in spot meter mode


This image was shot with a Nikon D700 and 14mm f2.8 using a Nauticam NAD700 housing

Unfortunately the water clarity was terrible on the day but with the file being in raw format I was able to bring out the whale in amongst the green soup.

Raw humpback image

This is the raw image out of Camera

gold coast whale watching

This is the final image

Best whale watching on the Gold Coast

Whale Watching Information