Merimbula & Sapphire Coast Whale Watching


Experience the majestic migration of whales as they journey and breach through the waters off the NSW South Coast. You'll find prime whale-watching opportunities on the Sapphire Coast, with the annual whale migration running from May to November every year.

  • Whale watching, South Coast
  • Whale watching, South Coast

Whale Watching

Sapphire Coast waters provide a spectacular feeding ground for whales. It all begins in late winter when huge numbers of whales, primarily humpbacks and lone southern right whales, stop to feed their young before the last stage of the journey to Antarctica. 

It is here that the warm East Australia current and the nutrient rich Arctic flow create a rich marine environment that sustains seabirds, dolphins, seals, penguins and, of course, giant whales with an explosion of krill and pilchard.

Experience a whale from close quarters, on an unforgettable boat tour along the coast. You may very well encounter a spectacular humpback or rare blue whale, minke, southern right or orca. The area thrives with other sea life as well, such as common and bottlenose dolphins, seals, penguins, sunfish and turtles.

Whale watching, Merimbula and Sapphire Coast

Many ports offer a variety of trips, from short to day tours. The far south coast town of Eden has a rich fishing history and offers one of the state’s best vantage points for whale watching.

To learn more about Eden’s history, including the involvement of local indigenous Australians in whale watching and fishing, follow the Killer Whale trail, which includes the Killer Whale Museum, Eden Lookout, the Davidson Whaling Station and Ben Boyd’s Tower. The Killer Whale Museum houses the skeleton of a famous local killer whale.

Each November, the Eden Whale Festival highlights the southern migration of humpback and other whales and commemorates the town’s history with street parades, music, food, wine, storytelling and more. You can explore the Sapphire Coast on a whale watching tour with Gang Gang Tours or with Merimbula Marina.

Whale watching, South Coast

Shore-based whale watching is another fantastic way to combine a hike through the unspoiled wilderness of one of the area’s rugged national parks with some coastal viewing. Bournda National Park is a natural playground filled with secluded beaches and scenic coastal walks.

The superb views from the Tathra headland are dramatic. The challenging Kangarutha Walking Track near Tathra also offers spectacular sea views and lookouts for whale watching. Other activities to enjoy in the Bournda National Park include bird watching, camping, kayaking and canoeing.

Explore ancient trails and lookouts and find plenty of opportunities to survey the ocean from an elevated vantage point. You can also drive to areas such as Short Point in Merimbula. Make youself comfortable in one of the sun deck chairs that look out over the beach and ocean. 

Green Cape, Sapphire Coast

Visit Ben Boyd National Park, drive along the Tura Beach Headland or hike through Mimosa Rocks National Park for more fantastic vantage points from which to view these remarkable giants. The coastline stretches across 45 km at Ben Boyd National Park so you’re sure to find the perfect place for whale watching along the way.

Following several kilometres of scenic coastline, the Green Cape Lighthouse to Pulpit Rock Walk also offers expansive ocean views. Head through coastal heath towards Pulpit Rock and savour great northerly vistas. The Sapphire Coast is home to a number of bird species, which can often be sighted from whale watching tours. Keep your eyes open for albatross, shearwaters, white breasted sea eagles and gannets.

For more information on whale watching around NSW, visit

  1. Freedom Charters

    Freedom Charters offer a range of charters to suit everybody including reef, game, and kingfishing, whale watching, birdwatching and marine wildlife tours.Freedom Charters have a friendly and...

  2. Gang Gang Tours

    Leave the crowds behind, and get away with Gang Gang Tours on an intimate small group holiday. They offer six and four day, outdoor, active tours to the Snowy Mountains and unspoilt Sapphire Coast of New South Wales,...

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