Whale watching

In Sydney and its surrounds, there are 38 vantage points on land to watch whales. The Wild About Whales website lists all the locations. Two spots near popular beaches are along the cliff-top walking trail from Bondi Beach to Coogee and North Head lookout near Manly.

Beyond Sydney, Wild About Whales lists vantage points to see dolphins and whales. North of Sydney, in Port Stephens, cruises include Imagine, Moonshadow and Tamboi. You can kayak with whales in Byron Bay. South of Sydney, Jervis Bay Wild and Dolphin Watch Cruises Jervis Bay are in Huskisson. Eden is great for whale watching, too.

Whale watching, Newcastle
Whale watching, Merimbula, South Coast

Watch majestic whales in Sydney and NSW

Whales migrate in their thousands along the NSW coast, which stretches more than 2,000 km. During whale-watching season, you’ll see these majestic mammals from many headlands in Sydney and at destinations from Byron Bay in the north to Eden in the south.

More than 50 per cent of the planet’s species of cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises - inhabit Australian waters. Humpback and southern right whales are two species commonly sighted near the NSW shore.

The annual whale migration runs from May to November, peaking in July and September. Whales migrate north to breed in warmer waters. They return south with their calves to feed in the southern oceans. You’ll find more information at the Wild About Whales website.

Lots of whale-watching cruises depart Sydney Harbour during the season, including Captain Cook Cruises, Fantasea Adventure Cruising and Oz Whale Watching. From a viewing platform at Kamay Botany Bay National Park’s Cape Solander, volunteers count whales for research.

Explore the spiritual connection between Aboriginal people and whales on the Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour, starting from Cadman’s Cottage in The Rocks, and on the Ngaran Ngaran Gulaga Creation Tour on the South Coast.

You may be lucky enough to catch a humpback breaching – launching itself out of the ocean. Other awesome sights are whales lifting their head out of the water, called spy-hopping, and mothers and calves playing together.