Virginia Brigden, owner of Whalesong.
Virginia Brigden, owner of Whalesong. Brendan Bufi

Tourist numbers down for whale watching operators

IT HAS been a rough few days for Hervey Bay whale watching operators.

Visitors numbers have been down, with some opting not to go out due to the wet conditions.

Sam Peaker from Hervey Bay Whale Watching said the business had continued to operate during the heavy rain, but there had been reduced numbers and visibility during the past few days.


"We've definitely seen numbers decline. People don't want to brave the wet weather," Mr Peaker said.

"It does make it harder to spot whales."

He said he was hoping the weather would clear up toward the end of the week.

"The rain hasn't slowed us down," he said.

Peter Lynch from Blue Dolphin Marine Tours said he had opted not to go out while the heavy rain continued.

 Virginia Brigden from Whalesong said the vessel did not go out yesterday due to a crew member being ill, but it had been going out despite the wet weather.

 But she said visitor numbers were definitely down.

"It's keeping all the tourists away," she said.

It's been a difficult month for whale watchers, with strong winds during the school holidays forcing operators to cancel trips.

A the time Ms Brigden said she had been forced to cancel some afternoon trips and one full day due to the windy weather.

"It's concerning for business in regards to not being able to follow through and being school holidays - it's meant to be our peak time - but it is also concerning for guests because they've travelled here specifically to be able to do this and we're not able to provide it for all of them," Mrs Brigden said.

It's still possible to get a glimpse of the whales for the next few weeks before the whale watching season ends in early November.