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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.

Best time to see whales in Sydney

From April to November you'll have the best chance of spotting whales off the coast of Sydney.

  • 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 as they can easily blend in with the swell, and it's 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.

Our top picks for whale watching experiences in Sydney

When is whale watching season in Sydney?

Beginning in April, 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. Southern right whales are also commonly seen in Australian waters. They make their return journey as late as November.

During the 5,000 kilometre journey, whales pass along Australia's coasts - including the New South Wales coast near Sydney.

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.

Hot deals on whale watching in Sydney

RedBalloon RedBalloon

Up to $90 off things to do in Sydney

Available on select dates and experiences like hot air ballooning, indoor skydiving, cruises, dining, classes, spa treatments, virtual reality experiences and much more.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 51% off things to do in Sydney

Available for activities like driving experiences, helicopter flights, jet boat rides, skydiving, kayaking, whale watching cruises and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon

Extra $10 off site-wide with code

Valid on all dates, including over Christmas, on activities like skydiving, quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, scuba diving, cruises, ghost tours and more. Minimum spend of $80. T&Cs apply.

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Viator Viator

Sign up for 10% off

Join the Viator newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase on attractions, food and drink experiences, sightseeing tours and more. Plus access to members-only sales, travel tips and more.

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Popular Whale watching cruises in Sydney - deals coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
10 Jul 2020 Extra $10 off site-wide with code FDR****
16 Jun 2020 Up to $90 off things to do in Sydney ********
7 Jul 2020 Up to 51% off things to do in Sydney ********
1 Mar 2019 Sign up for 10% off ********

Image: Groupon

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