A Sydney Whale Watching Adventure

October 19, 2017

When you think of Sydney, you probably automatically conjure up wonderful images of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Sydney is packed with landmarks and stunning examples of architecture, but it also has something to offer nature enthusiasts and animal lovers. If you’re putting plans together for a personalised Australia holiday, have you thought about booking a whale watching tour?

Whale Watching in Sydney

Although there are multiple land-based viewpoints where it’s possible to spot whales in Sydney, the best way to see these magnificent beasts piercing the water’s surface with their impressive tails is by boat. An organised tour will take you to the best vantage spots and you can also learn about the species you’re hoping to see and the whale watching season Down Under.

Whales pass the New South Wales coastal towns and cities during the migration season and at times, there can be thousands of whales in the waters just off the mainland. The coastline spans more than 2,000km and whales can be seen from Byron Bay to Eden.

Australia is one of the best places to see whales in the wild and more than 50 percent of the world’s whale, dolphin and porpoise population resides in Australian waters. The most commonly spotted species of whale are humpback and southern right whales.

When to go

The great whale migration takes place between May and November and the best time to book a tour is between July and September. At this time of year, the whales move north to seek warmer waters where they can breed. After the breeding season, they head back south, this time with their young by their side.

What to expect

At the peak of the whale watching season, regular tours depart from Sydney’s iconic harbour and the chance of spotting whales in the water is high. At the very beginning and the end of the migration season, it may be more difficult to track down the whales. There’s never any guarantee that you’ll see whales on your trip, but some operators offer the chance to go again if you draw a blank. Once you’re out at sea, the team aboard the ship will use local knowledge and information about the path of the whales to try and find the best locations for viewing. If you’re lucky, you’ll notice a tail flipping out of the water, a humpback throwing its body out of the sea and breaching or a southern right whale letting out a great plume of water from their blowhole. When the whales have bred, you may even be able to spot mothers playing with their calves.


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