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Dwarf Minke Whale Tours - Great Barrier Reef

If you are an avid scuba diver or just a lover of marine life then maybe you have heard of this unique Swim with Dwarf Minke Whales tour on the Great Barrier Reef - a truly unforgettable transcendental experience!   

You simply must book a swim with Minke Whales dive and snorkel tour from Cairns. 

Dwarf Minke Whales are most commonly seen on the outer northern Ribbon Reefs section of the Great Barrier Reef during the winter months from March to October dependant on the ocean temperatures.

The prime time to be out diving and snorkelling with Minke Whales is on our liveaboard dive tours, during the months of June and July, where we have up to 98% chance of a number of interactions with them over the coming days.

At times, it has been recorded that pods of Dwarf Minke Whales have spent over 10 hours with tour boats guests in the water due to their own inqusitive natures. 

These mammals for some reason seem to be highly excited with the interaction with their new human friends and as they begin to become more and more comfortable with the snorkellers in the water, they begin to come closer and closer .

It's when they actually connect with you eye to eye that you will have that transcendental experience.  

Minke Whales do not seem to do the leaps and bounds out of the water like our friends the Humpback Whales, Minkes like to do gentle little spy hops and show off under the water. 

June and July are the prime time months to book your berth on a specialised liveaboard dive and snorkel tour expedition to swim with the Dwarf Minke Whales.  

Please do be aware, you need to book as far in advance as possible as we are finding as the word is spreading world wide about our Dwarf Minke Whale tours, we are sometimes booked not only a year in advance but two years in advance with guests from around the world looking for a totally unique experience they cannot do anywhere else in the world today.   

Tourism operators must have an endorsement from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to conduct swims with Dwarf Minke Whales, and only a handful of tour operators in Port Douglas and Cairns are permitted to provide these unique whale experiences. 

Book Your Dwarf Minke Whale Dive Tour Expedition Today 

5 Day 4 Night Minke Whale Expedition

3, 4 or 7 Days Minke Whale Discovery Trip

3 Day, 3 Night Swim with Minke Whales and Ribbon Reefs Diving

Swim with Dwarf Minke Whales from Port Douglas - Daily Reef Trips 



About Dwarf Minke Whales

The Dwarf Minke Whale is the smallest baleen whale with 50-70 throat grooves. It is a rorqual whale (baleen whale with throat grooves).

They are the most abundant baleen whale (world wide population estimated to be close to 800 000).

Minke whales have a characteristic white band on each flipper, contrasting with its very dark gray top color.

They have 2 blowholes, like all baleen whales. Other baleen whales are humpbacks and right whales.

Minke whales (like all baleen whales) are seasonal feeders and carnivores, and they sieve through the ocean water with their baleen.

They filter out small plankton, krill and small fish, even chasing schools of sardines, anchovies, cod, herring, and capelin.

They have the same diet as blue whales (largest member of the baleen whales).

The baleen plates in the minke whale's jaws have about 300 pairs of short, smooth baleen plates.

The largest plates are about less than 30 cm long and 13 cm wide. The fine textured baleen bristles are fringed and are creamy-white with pure white bristles.

Where do Dwarf Minke Whales fit in to the picture?

Dwarf Minke Whales were first recognised as a distinct form in the mid 1980s and there is still little known about them.

They attracted attention in northern Great Barrier Reef waters because they are naturally inquisitive, and often come close to boats and swimmers.

The Dwarf Minke Whale is known only from the Southern Hemisphere.

It has a white shoulder and flipper base, with a dark grey tip on the flipper.

Unlike the Antarctic Minke Whale, it has a large dark patch extending onto the throat.

Female Dwarf Minkes are on average about two metres shorter than Antarctic minkes (in baleen whales, the female is larger than the male).

The largest Dwarf Minke Whale that was accurately measured was 7.8 m long; adults weigh 5 to 6 tonnes.

Dwarf Minke Whales are most commonly seen on the outer Ribbon Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef between the months of March and October, with the best viewing time being the June to July period.

A new tourism industry has developed in recent years, where permitted marine tour operators take tourists out to specifically swim with these animals on liveaboard diver tours, based on voluntary approaches by the whales.

Marine biologists are focusing their research efforts on why Dwarf Minke whales conduct these interactions.

The bottom line is — don’t swim to the whale, let the whale swim to you!

And remember to book your dive boat berth very early as this is the only location in the world where you can have such an amazing experience with a Dwarf Minke Whale.   


Information courtesy of Reef Biosearch

Reef Biosearch — Interpretation, Education & Preservation — Great Barrier Reef Australia