Laws regarding whale watching in Hervey Bay Marine Park

Under the current guidelines boat skippers are obliged by law:

  • not to approach within 100m(110 yds) of any whale.
  • not to approach within 300m(330 yds) if three or more other
    vessels are within 300m of that whale.
  • not to approach a whale head on,
  • not to herd or chase or otherwise prevent the free movement
    of whales, and
  • not to separate a group of whales or to come between a mother
    and its calf.


Within 300m of a whale, a boat skipper shall:

  • manoeuvre constantly at less than four knots,
  • avoid any sudden changes of direction,
  • allow motors to idle before stopping and raise outboards,
  • idle motors before moving off slowly until 300m away, and
  • abandon contact at any sign of a whale becoming disturbed or

In addition

  • Swimmers and divers shall not approach within 300m (1000 feet)
    of a whale.
  • You must not attempt to feed whales or to throw rubbish into
    the water in the vicinity of whales.
  • Aircraft must stay above 300m (1000ft) over whales.
  • A helicopter cannot be used for whale watching.