Mariners Cove Marina, Berth 95, Arm D


Migaloo the White Whale spotted off Gold Coast

The magnificent and playful Migaloo returned to Gold Coast waters on Tuesday (July 11th) as he makes his annual migration north to warmer waters. He was spotted 1 km from shore, what an honor it was for the Spirit Of Gold Coast team & guests to see our beloved Migaloo again.

White Whale

An image of Migaloo taken from The Spirit Of Gold Coast vessel on Tuesday 11 July 2017


At Spirit we love Migaloo and are fascinated by this wonderful ocean creature, so we’ve put together some interesting facts about our Albino friend bellow, for more detailed information on Migaloo you can read about him on our blog article “Migaloo the White Whale” or check out a website dedicated to everything about Migaloo.


Migaloo captured by Rod Scott aboard the Spirit Of Gold Coast vessel.

Some interesting facts about Migaloo

  • Migaloo means (‘White Fella’ in Aboriginal language)
  • On 28th June, 1991, the first sighting of Migaloo was reported as he was photographed passing Byron Bay, Australia’s most easterly point.
  • Migaloo is a male humpback whale.
  • There is also another younger white humpback whale unofficially called “MJ” (short for “Migaloo Jr”).
  • It’s suspected that Migaloo is an albino whale however at the moment there’s no definitive evidence, so he’s known as a “hypo-pigmented” humpback.
  • As Migaloo is such a unique whale, the QLD & Commonwealth governments have created a special legislation which is enacted each year to protect him from harassment. Its illegal for all vessels to come anywhere closer than 500 meters, the fine for breaching this law is $16,500.00


“There’s a wonderful chance before the end of the season for people to see Migaloo on his way back to Antarctica” said marine biologist and hostess Zara King – Follow us on Facebook to keep updated with Migaloo news!

Whale Watching

Passengers in awe aboard the Spirit Whale vessel


According to many passengers, he did flips and tail slaps for a stunned audience. Local photographer & whale enthusiast Rod Scott was on board the Spirit Of Gold Coast to capture some amazing photos of Migaloo.

Timeline of Migaloo Sightings by Spirit Of Gold Coast

We’ve been blessed by many encounters with Migaloo, so we decided to put together a timeline with all our sightings bellow:

  • 10th July 2003 As Gold Coast’s first Whale Watching tour service, we were graced with 1 1/2 hours of Migaloo performing his playful antics for Spirit and guests.
  • 22nd June 2004 we were surprised when Migaloo returned with a “girlfriend”and spent 2 hours showing off his new love to the passengers and the national media.
  • 16th July 2005 Migaloo touched our hearts, making Spirit the only Whale Watching boat in Australia to have sighted this majestic mammal three years consecutively!
  • 1st July 2009 Migaloo melted our hearts again as he passed our shores leaving passengers and crew aboard Spirit in awe.
  • 27th September 2012 from out of nowhere Migaloo showed up, just off Broadbeach! The Spirit vessel got to spend a fabulous 1 1/2 hours watching him breach twice (what a sight)!! Dolphins followed and were all around our boat too.
  • 10th August 2015 Migaloo arrived a little late this year and unexpectedly swam through the Gold Coast, it was a breathtaking experience watching him frolic in the waters.
  • 11th July 2017 Migaloo made his annual migration and was expected to pass the Gold Coast, but gave us a surprise when he graced us once again. All passengers and staff were left in amazement.

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