18 May 2018
From May to November whale watching season thrives along the East Coast of Australia – and the South Coast of New South Wales is one of the best places to view these majestic animals in all their beauty. As the warm East Australian Current converges with the Arctic Flow, an abundance of krill and pilchard fish swim through the clear waters, creating the perfect feeding ground for Humpbacks, Southern Right Whales, Orcas, Blue Whales and even little Minkes.
There are two ways to enjoy this beautiful season – on land at stunning observation points or by sea, on one of the many exhilarating whale watching cruises along the NSW South Coast.
Head to the home of the Eden Whale Festival along the south coast, Eden and celebrate the migration of the Humpback Whale. Head to the magnificent Twofold Bay where sightings are often seen from the shore. Eden has a rich connection with the whales that swim into port, from local Indigenous Australian history to the early whalers of Eden who had a hunting partnership with one particular killer whale. The Eden Killer Whale Museum even sounds a siren through the town when a whale is spotted from the headland, bringing the community together in celebration.
In spring you can head to Rotary Lookout to enjoy whale watching with the experts from the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre each Tuesday and Wednesday. The centre also hosts many other fun whale education programs.
For another remarkable experience, book a whale watching cruise with Cat Balou Cruises to get up close and personal with the Humpbacks as they show off their breaching skills. Seeing whales swim along the shore is a common sight for the residents of Tathra. During the season, the rugged escarpment of Tathra offers exquisite vantage points for whale watching, including the local pub, The Tathra Hotel.
For a closer encounter with these wild wonders, head out on a cruise from the Merimbula Marina and witness the whales as they practice lateral feeding and sing their whale songs. Go for an easywalk on the platform through the Mimosa Rocks National Park for more incredible viewing platforms.
The stunning seaside village of Jervis Bay, nestled into the escarpments of Booderee National Park offers one of the most remarkable experiences when enjoying whale watching along South Coast NSW. The crystal clear waters and long beaches make the shoreline the perfect spot to enjoy uninterrupted ocean views and catch a glimpse of whales breaching in the distance. The area from Huskisson down to Vincentia is also a marine reserve, attracting Humpbacks close to shore for feeding during migration.
When visiting the scenic Killalea State Recreational Park, be sure to lookout for a pod of breaching Humpbacks or a lone Southern Right Whale during migration season. Known for its long, rolling waves, the area is popular within the surf community, however, it’s also a great place to spot beautiful whales and other marine life. The gorgeous headland shouldering Shell Cove is a stunning natural bushland and reserved campground, offering a marvellous vantage point for whale watching.
Only 64km south of Sydney, visit Scarborough Beach in Wombarra to enjoy sightings of Humpbacks all year round. As the cliffs of the Royal National Park dramatically slide down into the ocean, the headland creates a perfect platform for viewing the dancing ocean giants. Enjoy a lunch out at the Scarborough Hotel, a special place for the township with never-ending views of the ocean and plenty of opportunities to witness the spray of a blowhole.
Hit the hilltops of Wollongong for another great location to enjoy the migration along the South Coast. Bald Hill Lookout in Stanwell Tops is a 20 minute drive up into the hills with a stunning lookout. Other fabulous viewing platforms include Hill 60 Lookout along Port Kembla, Cape St George Lighthouse and Sublime Point Lookout – a challenging hike, but one that is definitely worth the view.
Most whale watching charters offer 100% guaranteed viewing during migration season, but if you want to monitor the activity for yourself download the NSW whale watching app for recent sightingsm, real time updates and notifications of whale activity. Don’t miss out on an unforgettable experience this whale watching season, visit the breathtaking shores of the South Coast of NSW.