Humpback Whales in Hawaii

Humpback Whales are beautiful creatures and can be seen in the waters of Hawaii between the months of November and May. They travel thousands of miles south and west to the warmer waters of Hawaii, where they breed, give birth, and nurse their newborns. Newborns, or calves are about 10-15 feet in length and can weigh up to 3000 pounds.

The Humpbacks got their names due to their arching backs as they go partially airborne, just before taking on a deep dive into the ocean. Here’s a photo of a whale breaching the water just before diving:

Humpback Whale In Waters Off Maui

If you are in Hawaii during their migratory period, chances are you will encounter more than one. The Humpback whale is currently an endangered species – from a population high of between 750,000 to 2 million, only 30- to 40,000 are now believed to exist.

Humpback whales produce a song that can last between fifteen to thrity minutes in length. No one really knows exactly why they sing this song, but that it is a sign of their social community and might be part of their navigation mechanism.

Whale watching boat tours are available on the islands of Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island of Hawaii. The whales are visible from shore, but if you want a sigificantly closer experience, choose a boating tour. In either case, see them if you can while you are visiting Hawaii. You’ll be amazed with their sheer magnificence and grace!


  1. Megan Barnett said

    am December 25 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    In February 2008 my sister-in-law and I saw a humpback whale breaching 9 times in a row, in a line offshore of Napilli Point Resort, very close to shore. It was a particularly magical sight as my brother, her husband, had just died suddenly at 56, and was supposed to be with her on Maui. As strange as it might sound, it was as though he was saying hello to her.

    I’m trying to find a photograph that captures that magical sight as it is my sister-in-law’s 60th birthday in July and she would love it. If not the actual sight of a humpback breaching 9 times, perhaps a photo shop version using the shot you took.

    Would either of these be possible and if so, how much would such a photograph cost. Perhaps an 8×10 photo.

    With best wishes,


  2. admin said

    am January 6 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    Aloha Megan,

    I’ve edited out your contact info from your reply for confidentiality.

    The photo in this post was purchased from

    If you go to that site, you can do a search for “humpback whale maui” and you’ll have numerous photos to choose from, and they’re priced anywhere between $2 and $15, depending on the size of the photo.

    Hope that helps!

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