Whale watching tours up for grabs in Hervey Bay

Humpback whale breaching. | Newsreel
Expressions of Interest to run Hervey Bay whale watching tours are being called for. | iStock

For the first time in a decade new tourism operators have a chance to run whale watching tours in the Great Sandy Marine Park off Queensland’s Hervey Bay.

Current agreements expire in December and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has started the process to lock in new agreements.

Marine park regulations place a 10-year limit on the length of these agreements, preventing them from simply being extended, with current operators needing to re-apply.

The QPWS is now calling for expressions of interest (EOI) for commercial whale watching tours in the marine park, focussing on the annual humpback whale migration through Hervey Bay, which attracts interest from around the world.

QPWS Wildlife Assessment Manager Adam Northam said the Great Sandy Marine Park, with its pristine waters and diverse marine life, provided an ideal setting for observing the humpbacks in their natural habitat.

The EOI calls for applications from individuals, partnerships, or companies with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and a track record in successfully managing and promoting ecotourism ventures.

“This is an opportunity for commercial operations to showcase the marine park’s natural beauty and contribute to the region’s conservation efforts through responsible whale watching operations,” Mr Northam said.

EOIs close on May 7 and documentation can be found on the Queensland Government’s QTenders website.