From May to December each year, approximately 20,000 humpback whales travel along the east coast of Australia, first heading north for the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef to reproduce and then returning south to feed in Antarctic waters. The whales migrate thousands of kilometres in one of the longest migrations in the world, passing Sydney on their way.
For Sydneysiders, the seasonal highlights include:
In addition to spotting humpback whales, there is also a chance of seeing Southern right whales, blue whales, minke whales, orca, fur seals, various seabirds and, on rare occasions, sharks, rays, turtles and more!
Whale watching cruises usually last around three hours. The boats depart from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay, passing numerous famous landmarks as they head for the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Once out in open water (within about 20 minutes of departure), you’re into prime whale watching territory.
There are several Sydney-based whale cruise operators, including Whale Watching Sydney, Captain Cook Cruises and Oz Whale Watching. Most of the cruise operators offer a whale guarantee – that is, in the unlikely circumstance that you don’t spot a whale on your trip, you can return for free.
We recently took the family on a cruise with Whale Watching Sydney. We went on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon with optimal conditions for whale spotting. A commentator gave us helpful tips on how to spot the whales also shared some information about these wondrous creatures. We were thrilled to spot eight whales, including a calf. It was a fantastic afternoon out – highly recommended!
Here are some tips in planning a whale watching adventure with your family:
All images courtesy of Whale Watching Sydney
You might also like:
Spectacular Sydney Park!
A Family Trip to Bowral and Berrima
A Winter Family Getaway to Central New South Wales!
The Inner West’s Best … Parks and Playgrounds for Older Children
A Hidden Adventure Playground at Wulaba Park, Waterloo
A Playground Upgrade at Cohen Park, Annandale!
Blaxland Riverside Park Has it All
Nubo: An Innovative Play Space to Nurture Little Bodies and Minds
Beyond Your Postcode: Fun Family Excursion Ideas
Shopping Centres with Play Areas
The Top 10 Inner West Cafes
Preschool Art Classes at Paper Rock Scissors Art Studio
Alphabetical Sydney: Creative Lab, Museum of Sydney
Out and About: Catmosphere Cat Cafe, Sydney
Out and About: The Little Plaster Shop, Concord
Wonderful Wild Play: Centennial Park’s New Nature Play Space
The New Strathfield Park Playground: Seriously Good!
The Inner West’s Best … Dog Parks
The Inner West’s Best … Fenced Playgrounds
The Inner West’s Best … Parks with Cafes Nearby
The Inner West’s Favourite Family-Friendly Pubs
The Inner West Mums’ Favourite Kids’ Party Venues
The Inner West Mums’ Favourite Romantic and Special Occasion Getaways
The Inner West and City’s Best … Day Spas
Sydney’s Best … Family-Friendly Beaches
Sydney’s Best … High Tea