Whale Watching in Port Stephens

Humpback and southern right whales migrate along Port Stephens’ beautiful coastline between May and November, with pregnant whales heading to warmer waters to give birth to their young, before returning with their new born calves back to Antarctica.

Throughout this period, it’s possible to admire the beauty of these majestic mammals from whale watching cruises and from vantage points along the spectacular coast. In addition, over 140 bottle nose dolphins call the area home and can be seen year round.

Moonshadow Cruises - Port Stephens

Whale watching cruises

Several whale and dolphin cruises depart from the Nelson Bay marina. Moonshadow- TQC Cruises and Imagine Cruises offer both whale and dolphin cruises, as well as sunset dinner cruises and snorkelling tours in the calm blue waters. Hoist a sail with Blue Water Sailing and glide with the whales and dolphins without the motor running.


Pods of whales are easy to spot from Tomaree National Park, a splendid backdrop to the charming towns of Nelson BayShoal Bay, Fingal Bay and Boat Harbour. Take the short Tomaree Head summit walk for one of Australia’s best panoramic views, perfect for sighting humpbacks and other whales.

Spot humpbacks breaching and southern rights spy-hopping from Barry Park whale-watching platform, at the southern end of lovely Fingal Bay Beach. At the northern end of the wonderfully curved beach is a tidal sand spit to Fingal Island and an 1862-built lighthouse, though the best way to travel to the island is by boat.

A humpback whale tail slapping in Port Stephens, NSW, Australia


Dolphin Swim Australia offers the opportunity to swim with resident bottlenose dolphins between September and May. The only experience of its kind in NSW, the tour has been approved by the Marine Parks Authority NSW and NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, to ensure no harm comes to any of the dolphins.

Dolphins swimming in Shoal Bay - Port Stephens

Whale Watching Adventure