Whale watching in Sydney: A guide to the top experiences, locations and deals

Find out exactly where you can see these incredible creatures up close and personal in Sydney.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

They're the largest mammals to grace the Earth with their presence, and lucky for us, we have a front row seat in our own backyard. So if you reside, or are just passing through Sydney, these are the whale watching experiences that will have you close enough to say hello.


Our top picks: Whale watching experiences you can book now in Sydney

Whale watching on a speedboat

Whale watching on a speedboat from RedBalloon

Best for: Adrenaline junkies

    Highlights:
  • Enjoy a high-speed offshore boating adventure for $119
  • 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 from Sydney Harbour
  • View details
    Small-group luxury Sydney whale watching cruise

    Small-group luxury Sydney whale watching cruise from Viator

    Best for: Small groups

      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 buffet lunch accompanied by unlimited drinks during the cruise
    • View details
      Whale Watching Tall Ship Cruise

      Whale Watching Tall Ship Cruise from Everything Australia

      Best for: Unique experience

        Highlights:
      • Enjoy views from the open deck from $149
      • Warm meal provided for lunch
      • Passengers have the chance to sail the ship and climb the mast
      • Whale sighting guarantee
      • View details

        Why you can trust our recommendations for whale watching in Sydney

        • We compared whale watching in Sydney options with top brands like RedBalloon, Adrenaline, Viator and Groupon to find the top experiences.
        • We put ourselves in your shoes and considered what most people would look for when booking experiences, whether it's location, price, inclusions or availability.
        • When possible, we'll include first-hand reviews of our whale watching in Sydney experiences.

        Whale watching in Sydney: Compare experiences, locations and more

        ExperienceDeparts fromDurationWhat's includedWhere to book
        Whale Watching Cruise SydneyCircular Quay3 hours
        • Tea and coffee available
        • Live commentary on board
        Everything Australia
        Whale Watching - Whale & SailCircular Quay WestFull day
        • Hot lunch, soft drinks, coffee, morning and afternoon tea available
        Everything Australia
        Whale Watching Tour in Cape Byron Marine Reserve - Byron Bay Dive CentreByron Bay3.5 hours
        • Whales, dolphins, various marine sightseeing
        • Hydrophone and underwater viewing devices available
        Everything Australia
        Whale Watching CruiseDarling Harbour2 hours and 45 minutes
        • Tea, drinking water and coffee available
        • Expert captain and helpful crew
        Adrenaline
        Whale Watching, Morning Cruise With Breakfast - SydneyCircular Quay4 hours
        • Hot breakfast available on-board
        • Tea, coffee, and drinking water
        Adrenaline
        Tall Ship Whale Watching CruiseSydney Harbour5 hours
        • Passengers can have the opportunity to sail the ship and climb the mast
        Adrenaline
        Whale Watching, Afternoon Cruise With LunchCircular Quay4 hours
        • BBQ lunch on-board
        • Drinking water, tea and coffee available
        Adrenaline
        Whale Watching on a Speed BoatSydney Harbour1.5 - 2 hours
        • Wind and waterproof jackets
        RedBalloon
        Whale watching on a speedboatSydney Harbour2.5 hours
        • Live commentary on board
        RedBalloon
        Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with BreakfastSydney Harbour4 hours
        • Breakfast with tea and coffee
        • Live commentary on board
        RedBalloon
        Small-Group Luxury Sydney Whale Watching CruiseCircular Quay4 hours
        • Unlimited drinks
        • Snacks
        • Lunch buffet
        Viator

        Where can I book a whale watching experience in Sydney and surrounding areas?

        Name Product Voucher validity Is there a sign up discount? Is price matching available? Can I book exclusive experiences? Where to book
        Adrenaline
        Adrenaline - Whale Watching in Sydney
        5 years
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        RedBalloon
        RedBalloon - Whale Watching in Sydney
        5 years
        $10
        Yes
        Yes
        Klook
        Klook - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Fantasea Cruising
        Fantasea Cruising - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        No
        Yes
        Whale Watching Sydney
        Whale Watching Sydney - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        No
        Yes
        Groupon
        Groupon - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Viator
        Viator - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Experience Oz
        Experience Oz - Whale Watching in Sydney
        1 year
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Wotif
        Wotif - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Trip.com
        Trip.com - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        5%
        Yes
        Yes
        loading

        Compare up to 4 providers

        Ready to cruise? See the latest Sydney whale watching deals

        CudoCudo

        Vivid Sydney: Up to 55% off half-day whale watching cruise

        Ends

        AdrenalineAdrenaline

        Sydney: Up to 42% off whale watching cruise

        Ends

        AdrenalineAdrenaline

        Up to 50% off Australia experiences

        RedBalloonRedBalloon
        Exclusive

        Get $10 off activities with code

        RedBalloonRedBalloon
        Exclusive

        Get $5 off activities with code

        Everything AustraliaEverything Australia

        Up to 28% off Sydney activities

        Ends

        ScooponScoopon

        Sydney: Up to 55% off half-day whale watching cruise

        Ends

        Everything AustraliaEverything Australia

        Up to 40% off things to do in Australia


        Frequently asked questions about whale watching in Sydney

        Where can I do whale watching in Sydney?

        All whale watching experiences head out onto Sydney Harbour but depart from many locations including Manly, The Rocks, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.

        When is the whale watching season in Sydney?

        For the highest chance of spotting a pod of whales off the coast of Sydney, you'll want to book between April and November. For warmer temperatures, book either at the beginning or end of the season.

        Get the full scoop with our best time to visit Sydney for whale watching guide.

        What do I wear while whale watching?

        Whale watching is an outdoor activity on the water which means your chances of getting wet are pretty high. You'll want to dress warmly for your cruise. Wear flat, enclosed shoes to ensure you don't slip and a waterproof jacket is highly recommended.

        Is morning or afternoon better for whale watching?

        There's not a clear-cut time on when to go whale watching. If you want to spend the most amount of time on the water for your chance encounter you can consider booking an all day cruise.

        What happens if my tour does not find whales?

        Part of the beauty of whale watching is getting up close to wild creatures. Unfortunately said wild creatures might not appear right on queue.

        Tour operators understand this and some will offer a guarantee that if you don't see any humpback whales you'll have a free or discounted trip next time you book with them (usually for the same season).


        More guides on Finder

        Ask an Expert

        You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

        • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
        • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
        • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
        • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

        Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
        Go to site