Whale One owner Dan Hart is excited about the boat's new look.
Whale One owner Dan Hart is excited about the boat's new look. Warren Lynam

Whale One's new look revealed as season kicks off

AS WHALE season kicks off on the Sunshine Coast, one of the region's most iconic tourist attractions has unveiled its "massive" makeover.

Yesterday marked the official launch of the 2019 Whale Watching Season on the Coast and the official christening of Whale One's new look.

The 20m catamaran, owned by Sunreef, has undergone a complete makeover to improve customer experience. Over the past few months, the catamaran has been striped back to bare metal and completely refurbished.

"Whale One has been an icon on the Sunshine Coast, so she totally deserved a complete makeover to bring her right up to date and we are super excited for everyone to come and see how she looks," Sunreef owner Dan Hart said.

"She now features a sleek black hull and inside she has been completely re-fitted with new seating, tables and two new bars, one in the main saloon and one on the upper deck."

Mr Hart said the new-look whale one was "amazing" not just for tourism, but for the entire Sunshine Coast.

"It looks amazing and it's great for the Coast," he said. "It can provide amazing customer experience and service and the Sunshine Coast provides the whales."

This year, 33,000 humpback whales are expected to migrate through Sunshine Coast waters, which will attract about 25,000 locals and tourists alike to take a closer look and participate in a whale watching or swim with whales experience.

 

Mr Hart said each year, the whale population migrating through the Coast increased by about 10 per cent.

"It literally gets better and better every year," he said.

To celebrate the beginning of the season, about 100 guests attended the reveal of the new-look Whale One at The Wharf Mooloolaba yesterday.

Cr Jason O'Pray unveiled a new ceremonial bell, which he rang to officially start this year's whale watching season before guests hopped on-board for Whale One's maiden sunset cruise.

"Whale Watching season is an economic driver for the tourism sector, during what is traditionally a quieter period," Cr O'Pray said.

"It brings in visitors, who spend not just on whale watching but also on accommodation, hospitality and other attractions, which in turn creates employment and I just love it!"

Whale One was also christened, with Mr Hart and Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson named as her God parents.

 

Launch of the Sunshine Coast Whale watching season and christening of the new look Whale One.Fiona Simpson MP and owner Dan Hart christen the Whale One.
Launch of the Sunshine Coast Whale watching season and christening of the new look Whale One.Fiona Simpson MP and owner Dan Hart christen the Whale One. Warren Lynam

"Whale One has taken hundreds of thousands of people whale watching since she was first launched in 2007, and now with this great investment by Sunreef Mooloolaba and the Hart family, she will help even more people get closer to the whales during their annual migration," Ms Simpson said.

This year's whale watching season will run until November 2, with the Swim with Whales season to run from July 6 to October 22.

Mr Hart said as part of Sunreef's commitment to marine conservation, they will again work with researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast to fund out more about the humpback whale species.

For more information and to book a whale watching experience, visit sunreef.com.au.



Vehicle that left highway found under a bridge on its roof

premium_icon Vehicle that left highway found under a bridge on its roof

Emergency services had to search for the vehicle due to its location

Savage dog attack leaves family devastated

premium_icon Savage dog attack leaves family devastated

There has been a spate of dog attacks in recent months.

EXCLUSIVE: Sporting superstars will grace our stadium soon

premium_icon EXCLUSIVE: Sporting superstars will grace our stadium soon

COFFS hasn't hosted professional sport at the stadium since 2017.