AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME
The magnificent humpback whale was once hunted to near extinction. Placed under protection in 1966, the population has increased year upon year with up to 30,000 whales passing through
Queensland waters in 2018, compared to only 500 in the 1960s. While the humpback whale population is thriving, there is much to discover about the majestic creatures and observing whales in
their natural environment is a vital element of protecting, nurturing and growing the species.
Here’s your incredible opportunity to join world-class research and monitoring projects on board an expert-lead research tour! Learn about the habits and behaviors of humpback whales to help
the population grow further and leave your footprint on the marine ecosystem.
- 3 days of research activity
- 2 days of on-water survey and unique sampling activities using drones, tagging and skin sampling
- Whale workshop, delivered by Dr. Olaf Meynecke, research project leader
- Private tour feel with only 6 participants
- Laboratory work and presentations
- Optional team BBQ attendance on Saturday arvo ($10 extra)
Who is Dr Olaf Meynecke?
Dr Olaf Meynecke is an esteemed marine biologist and co-founder of Humpbacks and High-rises; a not-for-profit expedition providing research opportunities to fellow marine enthusiasts.
Based at Griffith University on the Gold Coast, Dr Meynecke is a keen whale researcher and passionate advocate for preserving marine life through understanding the habits and behaviors of mammals
including dolphins and sea turtles.
Dr Olaf’s current research focusses on understanding the impact of climate change on humpback whales’ migrating habits. As a leading international researcher, environmental factors have helped us
learn more about the practices of humpback whales which further helps to protect the species leading to overall healthier marine life.
Dr Olaf has lived and researched in south-east Queensland for over 12 years and gained a thorough understanding of the Gold Coast marine environment.
Dr Olaf has dedicated his recent career to understanding the humpback whale. The Humpback and High-rise research tour is supported by Dr Olaf’s research assistant and boat captain. The tour gives
particpants the opportunity to use new and exciting technology to achieve the following:
- Collect behaviour data
- Conduct health assessments
- Assist with mucus collection
- Skin sampling and tagging
THE RESEARCH VESSEL
We use a 6m semi-inflatable commercial vessel with a rift hull, with shade canopy and powerful engine. It is ideal for research activities due to it’s compact size and close proximity to the
- No previous experience needed: Read HHR publications to gain a basic understanding of whale behavious and habits
- Get up close and personal with the whales
- Use state-of-the-art equipment to gather essential data
- well maintained and certified commercial vessel allowing for close encounters
- 2 days of on-water whale research activity onboard our vessel
- Land based whale survey using theodolite and a whale tracking system
- Presentations and introduction with Dr. Olaf on day 1
- Snacks and lunch whilst at sea
- Land-based whale surveys from beautiful Burleigh Heads as bad weather back up
INCLUDED AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE
- Travel i.e. flights, train fares, bus fares etc.
- Accommodation (We recommend Aquarius Backpackers in Southport))
- Meals other than lunch on the boat
- Breakfasts and dinners and drinks other than what is provided on the boat
TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TOUR
- Seaworthy clothes and shoes (prepare to get wet)
- Sun-protective clothes including a hat
- Sea sickness medication
- Reusable water bottle
- Dry bag to keep personal belongings on the boat
- Water proof cases for mobile phones and cameras
- Book flexible flights and accommodation in case the tour is cancelled due to weather or COVID19
The itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions but here’s the basis of what you can expect:
Arrive, meet and greet, check into your accommodation (self organised) and attend a presentation at Griffith University, Gold Coast campus by Dr Olaf Meynecke
Saturday and Sunday
Full days at sea conducting research and survey activities beginning at approximately 7.00 am with the preparation of equipment and ending at approximately 4.00 pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.
Optional barbecue with staff and other members of the tour
Land-based survey at Burleigh Heads
Sunday late afternoon
Optional dinner to compare data and mingle
Who’s the tour for?
Anyone with a keen passion for humpback whales or marine Biology – no previous experience necessary! Ideal for Marine Biology students and interns. You’ll get closer to whales than any other
tour in Australia and develop a real understanding of these magnificent marine mammals. Click here to book today.
HOW TO JOIN
- Select date and time
- Hit the book now button
- Enter your personal details
- Our tours must reach a minimum of 4 participants to depart
- Once the trip is confirmed you will receive a detailed handout for the tour