Trial to be a whale of a time
WESTERN Australia's new whale swim trial is not likely to take business away from the Fraser Coast, local operators say.
WA will become the third place in Australia to allow people to get into the water with whales along with Hervey Bay and the Sunshine Coast.
Now in the second year of offering whale swims, Hervey Bay Whale Watching operator Jill Perry has reported another strong season.
She said this year about 100 people had jumped into the Great Sandy Strait to swim with the giants.
"It's been fabulous," she said.
Ms Perry said like whale watching, Hervey Bay's whale swim was unique.
"It's a totally different experience than what they offer on the Sunshine Coast," she said.
"I've had people come up here and be totally blown away, it's such a different experience.
"We offer it inside Fraser Island, the water is calmer and the whales are resting - it's not on migration.
"On the Sunshine Coast they do it in open water where they tow people behind the boat - like us it can be very hit and miss."
There are strict rules on swimming with the whales.
Ms Perry said due to the increased presence of sharks, swimmers were not allowed to be in the water with whale calves.
She said Hervey Bay was still the best place to swim with whales and the Western Australia experience would not affect us too much.