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Best time to see whales in Sydney in 2020

Find out the best time to spot the majestic humpback migration near the city.

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Whether you’re a tourist looking to catch your first glimpse of a whale, or even if you’re a Sydney local looking for an exciting new activity, we have researched the best times to spot these beautiful animals in Sydney.

When is whale watching season in Sydney?

April to November.


Humpback whales migrate from the cold Antarctic waters up to the warm South Pacific each year to give birth, as the warmer water is more suitable to newborn calves. During the 5,000 kilometre journey, whales pass along Australia's coasts - including the New South Wales coast near Sydney.

Overview of whale watching season in Sydney

From April to November tens of thousands of humpback whales migrate along the coast of Sydney, between their winter feeding ground and their summer breeding ground along the east coast of Australia. Southern right whales are also commonly seen in Australian waters.

Whale watching is a popular activity in Sydney, so to receive the best rates on a whale-spotting cruise try looking on the outskirts of the season, meaning early April and late November. Or alternatively, watch from the shore.

Weather and prices

Best time to see whales in Sydney, weather-wise: The warmest times to go will be during the beginning and end of the season, as they're not in the deepest part of winter, but a sunny day in winter is also ideal as temperatures average in the mid teens.

Best time of day to see whales in Sydney: While whales can pass by at any time, the water is generally calmer in the morning, which can make it easier to spot whales in the distance, and is better if you're prone to sea sickness.

Cheapest time to see whales in Sydney: If you’re looking for the cheapest time to go whale watching on a cruise, you’re best to stick to the start and end of the season, meaning early April and late November when there are often cruise deals available on group buying sites like Groupon and Scoopon. However, this does decrease your chances of seeing whales.

Best vantage points for whale watching in Sydney

Getting out onto the water is the best way to see whales in Sydney, as the ship can more easily move to different locations along the coast and travel offshore and you'll have the expertise of onboard guides.

However, if you're not keen on a boat tour, there is the chance to see whales from the shore.

These spots are free to visit and are high above the water, offering a better view into the distance.

  • Bondi: Ben Buckler
  • Botany Bay National Park: Cape Solander
  • Collaroy: Long Reef Point
  • Maroubra: Magic Point
  • La Perouse: Cape Banks

Looking for the best options for whale watching in Sydney? Check out our page with the latest offers and coupons that can help you save on your tour.

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