Photo supplied by Hervey Bay Whale Watch

Feel like a whale?

BOBBING up occasionally to stare at me with soulful eyes, the black and white leviathan circled the boat as I found it hard to believe that, when it came to biology, this giant sea-creature had more in common with me than it did with the barramundi I'd scoffed for dinner last night.

We're humpback whale watching on Queensland's Fraser Coast and, quite frankly, I'm hooked!

Early August sees the official start of the whale watch season and it runs until the end of October.

Right now, we're getting a preview and I'm in the thick of things aboard the Quick Cat II with Skipper Brian Perry.

Brian and his wife Jill pioneered whale watching in Hervey Bay and, some 23 years later, they have teamed with Fraser Island eco-resort Kingfisher Bay to run trips direct from the island to Platypus Bay, where I'm told the whales like to wallow.

Steaming north past Yathlon, a sand dune that looks strangely like a whale tail, Brian draws comparisons between these sea giants and my good self.

Apparently their body stays at a constant temperature, much like humans; at some stage of their life they have hair on their bodies; it's believed they have a similar bone structure and life span to us; and the female of the species can't hold a tune, which I reluctantly admit sounds all too familiar.

Luckily for me my weight, even with the rich holiday diet, falls a long way short of 40 tonnes - and it's here, thank goodness, that our similarities end.

During the whale watching season, about four to five thousand humpbacks will spend anywhere from a day or two to two weeks relaxing and nurturing their young in the sheltered lee of Fraser Island.

For holidaymakers travelling to the Fraser Coast from August to September to whale watch, there is the added bonus of visiting world heritage listed Fraser Island and combining the best nature has to offer in one very convenient nature escape.

Staying at Kingfisher Bay Resort, an eco-tourism haven conveniently secreted in a natural sand amphitheatre on the western side of the island, means you can combine your watching with a healthy dose of eco-tourism, nature walks, bush tucker talks, and four-wheel-driving on sand and track.

FAST FACTS:

Kingfisher Bay Resort offers a Fraser And Whales package which includes two nights resort hotel accommodation, hot buffet breakfast daily, return catamaran transfers and a whale cruise for just $389 per person twin share.

Qantas operates daily services from Brisbane to the Fraser Coast.

QR's Traveltrain run Tilt and Sunlander services to Maryborough West with Rail Link connections and there's secure parking at Urangan Boat Harbour for self-drivers.

■ For more information visit www.kingfisherbay.com

Jodi Clark is an employee of Kingfisher Bay Resort.


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