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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 04 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Mark Chipperfield

Despite their name, dwarf mike whales are big – about 7-9m in length and weighing 5-7 tonnes. The whale experience is some distance offshore, so this is a live-aboard trips requiring several days, but itineraries also diving and snorkelling at some of the best spots on the pristine Great Barrier Reef.


Price from: £2300
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: 4-6 days

Getting there & doing it

Trips last 4-6 days, visiting whale hotspots and dive sites. There’s no fixed itinerary – sites are selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine attractions. Trips have close to 100 per cent success rate. There’s no minimum age, but it’s better for experienced divers.

When to do it

Whales are present on the Ribbon Reefs from May to August, but tours run only in June and July.

Who to go with: tour operators


Our writer’s recommended tour operators to book with

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Eye to Eye Marine Encounters

Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Port Douglas based-operator run by local Great Barrier Reef experts John and Linda Rumney. Offers whale tours, shark encounters and other liveaboard itineraries around the Great Barrier Reef.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Port Douglas

Queensland, Australia

an aerial view of Port Douglas

Swish, cosmopolitan and delightfully laid-back, Port Douglas is an ideal stepping off point for trips to the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef, and to connect with authentic indigenous culture.



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