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Animals in the wild

Highlights

Animals in the wild

NSW has a whole host of places where you can see animals in their natural habitats. Secluded coastlines, NSW national parks, state forests and reserves as well as remote areas are just where animal lovers are likely to be in luck.

Must Do

Key places to go

Snorkelling, Lord Howe Island

Across land and sea; from kangaroos to whales, NSW is a wonderful place to view animals in the wild. Spot turtles and whales at Solitary Islands Marine Park while at Montague Island you can view colonies of little penguins and Australian fur seals.

Whale watching from land or sea, dolphin cruises, swimming with seals, sea bird watching and other aquatic creature encounters are plentiful along the NSW coast, from Eden and the nearby Davidson Whaling Station in the south to the splendour of Cape Byron in the north. There are plenty of ways to get around and explore these beautiful environments, including nature tours offering the chance to learn about native animal habitats. Budderoo National Park, Fitzroy Falls and Morton National Park feature fantastic wildlife tours.

Meanwhile Lord Howe Island is a pristine place to go snorkelling and discover underwater life.

Whale watching

Whale breaching at Byron Bay

Whales are migrating along the coast of NSW in greater numbers than ever before, and sometimes coming closer to shore. Throughout the whale migration season, whale-watching tours travel through Sydney's famous sandstone headlands (known as "the heads") for optimum viewing. Other prime whale-watching sites include Byron Bay, Port Stephens, Jervis Bay, Merimbula and Eden.

Find out more about the annual whale migration and the best vantage spots at Wild about Whales.

Dolphin watching

Dolphins at Jervis Bay, South Coast. Image Dolphin Watch Cruises Jervis Bay.

Unlike whales, dolphins can be viewed year round at many locations on the NSW coast. Look for them surfing in the wake of your tour boat in Port Stephens, a popular destination for dolphin-watching cruises. Other key dolphin-viewing locations include Byron Bay on the North Coast and the NSW South Coast area of Jervis Bay which has a dedicated marine park.

Fairy seals, Montague Island
Montague Island

The best place to see little penguins and Australian fur seals is at Montague Island, just off Narooma, on the South Coast. Half-day boat tours are available with Narooma Charters, or enjoy a private overnight tour with Naturewise Montague Island Nature Escape or Montague Island Tours.

Kayaking, Booderee National Park
Kayaking

One of the most tranquil and eco-friendly ways to view sea birds and aquatic wildlife is on a kayaking trip. At Byron Bay, tours are available with Cape Byron Kayaks and Go Sea Kayak. On the South Coast, Total Eco Adventures explores the bays and inlets of the Bateman Marine Park.

Snorkelling, Lord Howe Island
Diving on Lord Howe Island

There are few better places on the planet to dive than in the crystal clear waters surrounding Lord Howe Island. Just a short boat ride from shore are more than 60 dive sites that take you into a submarine world of spectacular trenches, caves and volcanic drop-offs.

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