Whale Watching Sydney
Australia has long been known as the lucky country, and is all the luckier from May to November each year for the annual whale migration.
For your next Seaside Break come and visit Coogee from now until November and go and find these spectacular creatures.
During summer, the whales of the southern hemisphere spend their time feeding in Antartica. As Autumn approaches, these majestic creatures embark on their journey north to breed and feed, before returning to southern waters in Spring. Peak times to witness this annual migration along Australia’s eastern coastline is from May to November, with peaks in July and September.
The star of the annual whale migration is the Humpback whale, one of the most common species you will see. Humpbacks migrate 5,000km on average, one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal on Earth. They travel up to 8 km/h, but during their long migration journey they average only 1.6km/h, resting and socialising along the way.
There are many vantage spots along Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for whale watching.
- The Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk is one of Sydney’s most iconic coastal walks, and offers a variety of prime whale watching positions from one of the many lookout points and along the rocky headland.
- Ben Buckler Point is Bondi’s most northern tip, and the grassy headland spot is a popular gathering spot to spot the migratory mammals.
- South Head in the Sydney Harbour National Park is a historic spot – walk the South Head Heritage Trail and take in the superb location to scan for whales as they pass the sea cliffs. Pack a picnic lunch and stop at The Gap, an infamous spot that offers panoramic views that stretch from nearby Vaucluse to the Tasman Sea in the south.
- Nearby is the historic Hornby Lighthouse near Watsons Bay, with an easy track to the lighthouse that offers a high position to look out for whales and absorb the spectacular views.
If you want to try and spot whales from the water, there are many tours available leaving from Sydney Harbour. Many of these operators have hydrophones, so you can listen to the famous Humpback’s whale song.
A few operators include:
- Fantasea is one of Australia’s leading marine tourism and transport operators and have been cruising within Australia for almost 30 years.
- Whale Watching Sydney offers a four-hour whale watching cruise. Departing from Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and Manly daily from May to December.
- Splendour Tailored Tours offers a whale experience like no other, touring by helicopter to see these creatures from the air in the morning, before enjoying a decadent seafood lunch. After lunch, guests take to the sea on a private sailing yacht.
If you’re looking out for whales, just remember the safe distance and approach zone rules that have been set to protect these incredible mammals.
If you’re in the water
Swimming, diving or just enjoying the water on your own or with friends and you spot a whale, then you must stay at least 30m from the whale in any direction. You must also not wait in front of the whale/s, or approach from behind.
If you’re on the water
If you’re on a powered or non-powered water vessel such as a boat, surfboard, surf ski or kayak, then you need to maintain a distance of at least 100m from the whale/s, and 300m if a calf is present.
Look out for the intriguing whale behaviours that experts believe guide the creatures during their migration, helping them work out their positions in relation to land, and communicate with other whales. Fin slapping could warn that danger is close by. Launching themselves out of the water and falling back with a splash has been thought is a good way to rid themselves of skin parasites. Either that, or it’s just good ol’ fashioned whale fun.
For more information on whales, please visit Wild About Whales.
Time to go whale watching and enjoy the Seaside Break Package including accommodation, buffet breakfast and parking.