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 from RedBalloon
Best for: Adrenaline junkies
Small-group luxury Sydney whale watching cruise from Viator
Best for: Small groups
Whale Watching Tall Ship Cruise from Everything Australia
Best for: Unique experience
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
|Experience||Departs from||Duration||What's included||Where to book|
|Whale Watching Cruise Sydney||Circular Quay||3 hours||Everything Australia|
|Whale Watching - Whale & Sail||Circular Quay West||Full day||Everything Australia|
|Whale Watching Tour in Cape Byron Marine Reserve - Byron Bay Dive Centre||Byron Bay||3.5 hours||Everything Australia|
|Whale Watching Cruise||Darling Harbour||2 hours and 45 minutes||Adrenaline|
|Whale Watching, Morning Cruise With Breakfast - Sydney||Circular Quay||4 hours||Adrenaline|
|Tall Ship Whale Watching Cruise||Sydney Harbour||5 hours||Adrenaline|
|Whale Watching, Afternoon Cruise With Lunch||Circular Quay||4 hours||Adrenaline|
|Whale Watching on a Speed Boat||Sydney Harbour||1.5 - 2 hours||RedBalloon|
|Whale watching on a speedboat||Sydney Harbour||2.5 hours||RedBalloon|
|Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast||Sydney Harbour||4 hours||RedBalloon|
|Small-Group Luxury Sydney Whale Watching Cruise||Circular Quay||4 hours||Viator|
Where can I book a whale watching experience in Sydney and surrounding areas?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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Ready to cruise? See the latest Sydney whale watching deals
Vivid Sydney: Up to 55% off half-day whale watching cruise
Available on select dates in August 2021 for a 4-hour cruise. Includes breakfast or lunch.
Sydney: Up to 42% off whale watching cruise
Available from June - October 2021, including Vivid Sydney dates.
Up to 50% off Australia experiences
Available on select travel dates for activities including skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing, high tea and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.
Get $10 off activities with code
Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Sunshine Coast and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
Get $5 off activities with code
Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 28% off Sydney activities
Available on select travel dates Until December 2021 on activities including sightseeing cruises, skydives, scenic flights, hot air balloon flights and dining experiences.
Sydney: Up to 55% off half-day whale watching cruise
Available on select dates from 13 May - 14 November 2021 and includes breakfast or lunch.
Up to 40% off things to do in Australia
Available on select travel dates on activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, sightseeing cruises, whale watching cruises and dining experiences. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne and more.
Get 10% off Sydney whale watching cruise experiences
Available on select travel dates when you buy 2 or more vouchers.
Up to 42% off sightseeing cruises
Available on select travel dates. Activities include whale watching, dolphin watching, lunch cruises, sunset cruises in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Canberra, Perth and more.
Up to 20% off Sydney activities
Available until December 2021 on activities including workshops, whale watching and sightseeing cruises, hot air balloon flights, wine tours and more.
Up to 81% off things to do in Sydney
Available on select 2020 dates. Activities include skydiving, tours, cruises, diving, whale watching and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 28% off things to do in Sydney + Extra $5 off with code
Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of 250. Activities include hot air balloon flights, tandem skydives, whale watching cruises, dining, classes, high teas, spa treatments, getaways and attraction passes. T&Cs apply.
Up to 42% off things to do in Sydney
Available on activities including soccer classes, driving experiences, hot air balloon flights, skydives, kayak tours, quad biking tours, whale watching cruises, jet boat rides and more.
Things to do in Sydney from $11
Available on select dates in 2021 on activities like sightseeing tours, whale watching cruises, helicopter tours, cruises, wine tours and more. T&Cs apply.
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.
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).
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