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 whale watching cruises and tours
The best times for whale watching in Sydney
Humpback whales migrate along the East Coast of Australia between April and December yearly.
The northern migration occurs between April and mid-August and is one of the best times to see the pods as they travel north to mate and give birth in the Coral Sea. During this time, they travel quite quickly and if the current is in your favour, you may see pods in the harbour for a short period of time.
The southern migration for humpback whales occurs between mid-August and mid-December and is when the whales and their newborn calves return to Antarctica, making it an exceptional sight to see.
Southern Right whales also migrate up and down the East Coast of Australia between May and November.
The best whale watching Sydney locations
Sydney and its surrounds offer a wealth of tried and tested whale spotting locations. In the heart of the city, Sydney Harbour Park is possibly the most accessible spot for this. Those who are willing to venture north can spy these creatures from Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Kur-ring-gai-Chase National Park as well as various coastal locations in Manly, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Forster, Taree, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and Tweed Heads.
Those heading south can haunt whale watching spots in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Royal National Park, Wyrrabalong National Park and Bouddi National Park as well as various coastal locations in Jervis Bay, Shoalhaven, Batemans Bay and Eden.
For a full list of locations, as well as recent activity, you can download the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service app here.
Whale watching prices
The cost of whale watching cruises varies between $60 to upwards of $300 for a private experience. Day-tour sites like are an ideal source for cruise options that can suit your budget.
Daily deal websites like , and are also worth keeping on top of for specials and cheap tours.