A guide to whale watching on the Coffs Coast
Humpback whales play and rest in the warm, shallow waters of the Coffs Coast as they make their migration along Australia’s east coast between June and October. Read on for some of the best ways to see them.
Land-based vantage points
It’s common to see humpback whales, but you may also be lucky enough to spot southern right whales, the occasional minke whale or even blue whales.
Woolgoolga Headland is an excellent spot for whale watching and is considered one of the best in the region. It’s easily accessible and there are also scenic walking tracks and stunning coastal views that stretch to Yuraygir National Park and the rolling hills of the Coffs Coast and hinterland.
Muttonbird Island’s Eastern Side lookout
Head to the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve for spectacular coastal views and whale watching. The Eastern Side lookout is considered the best for admiring whales and dolphins in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. The lookout is a short walk from the Muttonbird Island outdoor learning space along a paved walkway. Make sure you stay on the path as the fragile burrows of muttonbirds are often just off the track.
Yuraygir National Park
Yuraygir National Park is home to the state’s longest stretch of undeveloped coastline. Located between Yamba and Coffs Harbour, you’ll find 65km of striking cliffs, rocky headlands and isolated beaches – all perfect for whale watching. There is an excellent four day hike through the park, as well as camping, great fishing and swimming spots too.
Bongil Bongil National Park
Bongil Bongil National Park has 11km of unspoiled beaches and sweeping coastal views, making it an excellent spot for whale watching. Bundagen Head in particular, is an excellent vantage point. The park is also home to one of NSW's largest koala populations, so you might be lucky enough to spot koalas and whales in one trip.
Look at Me Now Headland
Look at Me Now Headland is a fantastic location for spotting kangaroos, but it’s also an excellent whale watching spot too. Take the easy 1.6km Look At Me Now Headland walk and keep an eye out for breaching whales as you go.
Whale watching cruises
A boat tour is a great way to get a closer view of whales on the Coffs Coast. Cruise operators in Coffs Harbour include Pacific Explorer and Jetty Dive. Tours usually operate between June and October and are weather dependent.
Jetty Dive is also the only company in the region to offer the incredible opportunity to swim with humpback whales during August and September. They follow strict guidelines and regulations in order to ensure the experience is not in any way detrimental to the whales.