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.

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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
        2-hour Whale Watching CruiseCockle Bay Marina, Darling Harbour2 hours
        • Live commentary onboard
        True Blue Whale Watching CruiseTBC3 hours and 30 minutes
        • Live commentary onboard
        • Catering onboard
        Sydney Whale Watching Lunch CruiseKing Street Wharf4 hours
        • Live commentary onboard
        • Buffet lunch
        • Tea, coffee and water
        Sydney Whale Watching Breakfast CruiseKing Street Wharf4 hours
        • Live commentary onboard
        • Breakfast
        • Bar onboard
        Sydney Whale Watching on Ocean ExtremeCircular Quay or Manly Wharf2 hours
        • Live commentary onboard
        3-hour Whale Watching CruiseVariesVaries
        • Live commentary onboard
        • Catering onboard
        Sydney Whale Watching on Harbour CatManly3 hours
        • Live commentary onboard
        • Finger food
        • Bar onboard
        Sydney Whale Watching on EnigmaTBC4 hours
        • Skipper and crew
        • Live commentary onboard
        • Catering and bar onboard
        Whale Watching CruiseDarling Harbour2 hours and 45 minutes
        • Tea, drinking water and coffee available
        • Expert captain and helpful crew
        Adrenaline
        Tall Ship Whale Watching CruiseSydney Harbour5 hours
        • Passengers have the opportunity to sail the ship and climb the mast
        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 onboard
        RedBalloon
        Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with BreakfastSydney Harbour4 hours
        • Breakfast with tea and coffee
        • Live commentary onboard
        RedBalloon
        Small-Group Luxury Sydney Whale Watching CruiseCircular Quay4 hours
        • Unlimited drinks
        • Snacks
        • Lunch buffet
        Viator
        Whale Watching Cruise SydneyCircular Quay3 hours
        • Tea and coffee available
        • Live commentary onboard
        Everything Australia
        Whale Watching - Whale & SailCircular Quay WestFull day
        • Hot lunch, soft drinks, coffee, morning and afternoon tea available
        Everything Australia

        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
        $10
        No
        Yes
        RedBalloon
        RedBalloon - Whale Watching in Sydney
        5 years
        $10
        Yes
        Yes
        AnyBoat
        AnyBoat - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Wotif
        Wotif - 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
        Groupon
        Groupon - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Klook
        Klook - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        No
        Yes
        Yes
        Experience Oz
        Experience Oz - Whale Watching in Sydney
        3 years
        $10
        Yes
        Yes
        Trip.com
        Trip.com - Whale Watching in Sydney
        Depends on the individual experience
        5%
        Yes
        Yes
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        Compare up to 4 providers

        Ready to cruise? See the latest Sydney whale watching deals

        AdrenalineAdrenaline

        Up to 42% off things to do in Sydney

        AdrenalineAdrenaline

        Up to 42% off sightseeing cruises

        RedBalloonRedBalloon
        Exclusive

        Get $5 off activities with code

        Exclusive
        RedBalloonRedBalloon
        Exclusive

        Get $10 off activities with code

        Exclusive
        GrouponGroupon

        Up to 81% off things to do in Sydney

        AdrenalineAdrenaline

        Up to 50% off Australia experiences

        Everything AustraliaEverything Australia

        Up to 40% off things to do in Australia

        RedBalloonRedBalloon

        Up to 42% off things to do in Sydney + extra $5 off with code


        Frequently asked questions about whale watching in Sydney

        Where can I go 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 guide on the best time to visit Sydney for whale watching.

        How much does whale watching in Sydney cost?

        A regular whale watching cruise in Sydney can cost between $45 and $100 per adult. Children's tickets are usually a little more than half the cost of an adult's ticket. Cruises that include food, drinks or VIP experiences usually cost more, between $150 and $300 per adult. A family of 4 can experience the cheapest whale watching cruise we've found for $180.

        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 cue.

        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).


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