Whale Watching in NSW
An awesome spectacle of nature is 36-tonne humpback whales breaching – jumping out of the blue sea - along the splendid NSW coast. From Eden in the south to Tweed Heads in the north, thousands of humpbacks and other whales migrate along the coast every year between May and November.
Humpback whales are the commonest species you’ll see near the shore up and down the ruggedly beautiful coast, including Sydney. Keep an eye out for spy-hopping southern right whales, too. Orcas can be spotted in Twofold Bay, Eden, one of the best locations for whale-watching in Australia.
With luck, you might see a humpback mother and calf playing together in one of the marine parks. Batemans and Jervis Bay are marine parks on the South Coast, and Port Stephens, Solitary Islands and Cape Byron are marine sanctuaries on the North Coast. Other popular vantage points include:
- North Head lookout, near Batemans Bay
- Blow Hole Point, on the Kiama Coast Walk
- Bald Hill lookout, near Stanwell Park
- Crackneck Point lookout, on the Central Coast
- Perpendicular Point, near Port Macquarie
- Muttonbird Island, off Coffs Harbour
- Cape Byron Lighthouse in Byron Bay
Want to get closer? Whale-watching cruises depart from various locations, including Gosford, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Wooli, Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads in the north, and Jervis Bay, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Narooma and Eden in the south.
You might be lucky and see a blue whale, the world’s largest animal. Though a blue whale sighting is rare, these extraordinary creatures do migrate in NSW waters. There are 45 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises – all in the Cetacea order of marine mammals – found in Australian waters.
Another amazing experience is kayaking as whales swim nearby. There are a number of guided sea kayaking tours that offer the chance to see whales, such as Bay and Beyond Sea Kayak Tours and Region X in the Eurobodalla, and Cape Byron Kayaks and Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay in Byron Bay.
The annual whale migration is one of the great natural wonders, with peak times for sightings in July and September. Whales migrate north to breed in warmer waters. They return south with their calves to feed in the rich southern oceans. You’ll find more information at Wild About Whales.