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Whale watching in Sydney | Deals and tips for 2018

Where to catch these majestic sea creatures as they travel past Sydney.

There’s something utterly breathtaking about watching a whale migration by boat. You’re literally there in the thick of it, metres away from some of the largest creatures of the ocean as they travel north or south according to the season.

If you’re in Sydney, you have little to no excuse for not getting out on the boat or at the very least, staking out a coastal vantage point to see them on the move. Some of the most common whales you’ll catch are Australian East Coast humpbacks and Southern Rights, though it’s also possible to see Minke, Killer, False Killer and Pilot whales as well.

Below we’ve outlined the best deals, locations and times to catch all the action. Don’t forget your camera, now!

Best for price (cheapest):

Whale watching with Go Whale Watching

Whale watching with Go Whale Watching from Groupon

Highlights:

  • Spot migrating humpback whales from just $35
  • See the sights of the Sydney Harbour before heading out to sea
  • You’re guaranteed to see whales or you’ll get a free cruise on another day
  • Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, cake and fruit on the return journey

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Best for an extreme experience:

Whale watching on a speedboat

Whale watching on a speedboat from RedBalloon

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a high-speed offshore boating adventure for $95
  • Take in unobstructed views of these majestic creatures
  • Reach speeds of up to 50 knots
  • Check out a close-up view of North Head as you depart Sydney Harbour

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Best for small groups:

Small-group luxury Sydney whale watching cruise

Small-group luxury Sydney whale watching cruise from Viator

Highlights:

  • Learn all about the migration of whales up close for $325
  • This intimate small-group tour has a maximum of 10 guests
  • Your luxury vessel has multiple outside viewing areas and a comfy indoor lounge area
  • Snack on a lunch buffet accompanied by unlimited drinks during the cruise

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Best for including meals:


Whale watching in Sydney tours compared

The cost of whale watching cruises varies greatly, starting as low as $35 upwards of $300 for a private experience. Day-tour sites like Viator are an ideal source for cruise options that can suit your budget.

Daily deal websites like Groupon and Scoopon are also worth keeping on top of for specials and cheap tours.

When is whale watching season in Sydney?

Humpback whales migrate along the East Coast of Australia between April and November each year. Southern Right whales also migrate up and down the East Coast of Australia between May and November.

For more information about when to watch and the best vantage points read our guide on the best time to go whale watching in Sydney.

Whale watching cruise companies in Sydney compared

Cruise name and length Cruise location Inclusions Price (from) Book with
Go Whale Watching 3-hour tour Darling Harbour Morning or afternoon tea $35 Groupon
Whale watching on a speedboat 1.5- to 2-hour tour Manly Wind/waterproof jackets provided onboard $95 RedBalloon
Small-group luxury Sydney whale watching cruise 4-hour tour Campbell's Cove Barbecue lunch buffet, unlimited drinks $325 Viator
Oz Whale Watching Darling Harbour Buffet BBQ lunch or breakfast $39 Viator

Latest deals on whale watching in Sydney

Groupon Groupon

Whale watching tour from $35

Valid until 12 November 2018, includes a tour up to three hours and morning or afternoon tea.

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Deal expires

Gift It Now Gift It Now

Up to 20% off experiences

Valid on select experiences and activities like skydiving, scenic helicopter flight, kayaking, whale watching and more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Darwin and Perth. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 40% off water sports activities

Valid on select dates and activities like whale watching, sailing, jet ski, diving, kayaking, parasailing, fishing and more. Destinations are Sydney, Perth, Gold Coast and Melbourne. T&Cs apply.

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iVenture Card iVenture Card

Save up to 40% off Sydney attractions

Plus skip the lines at popular attractions including Taronga Zoo, Jenolan Caves, SEA LIFE Aquarium, whale watching cruises and more.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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