The beautiful Coffs Coast is a special place for humpback whales, the stars of the whale migration along the NSW coast between May and November. Tens of thousands of whales migrate during this time, and the Humpback mothers and their calves rest here on the southern journey to the Antarctic.
Mothers and calves can often be spotted playing in the Solitary Island Marine Park’s pristine and sheltered waters in August and September, and stragglers will also arrive into October. Vantage points on land to admire these majestic mammals include:
South of Coffs Harbour you can spot whales from Boambee Head and Bonville Head at Sawtell and Bundagen Head in Bongil Bongil National Park. Hungry Head in Urunga and Captain Cook Lookout in Nambucca Heads are also popular too, and you’ll find dolphins in the Bellinger and Nambucca estuaries.
The marine park stretches north from Coffs Harbour to the Sandon River mouth, in the Clarence Valley. A boat tour is a great way to get up close to whales. Cruise operators in Coffs Harbour include Pacific Explorer, Cougar Cat 12 Charters and Jetty Dive, which also has diving and snorkelling tours.
An incredible spectacle is a humpback whale leaping out of the water – called breaching – and then rolling in the air before making a huge splash. Pods of common and bottlenose dolphins also swim and frolic close to shore near beaches along the stunning stretch of Coffs Coast coastline.