Few things on this planet can compare to witnessing the magnificence of the largest creatures on earth, the whales. And when it comes to whale watching, Sydney is just the perfect destination. This vibrant city is blessed with some of the world’s most spectacular whale watching sites, allowing visitors to have a truly unforgettable experience. From humpback whales to orcas, there is plenty to see and do for the avid whale watcher. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the best whale watching spots in Sydney, so you can plan your venture with ease.
The 2 Best Whale Watching in Sydney
The 2 Best Whale Watching in Sydney
1. Sydney Whale Watching Cruise Including Lunch or Breakfast
Enjoy a unique whale-watching experience on a cruise departing from Sydney Harbour. The tour offers a BBQ buffet lunch or breakfast, depending on the time of departure, on board while you take in beautiful views of Sydney landmarks such as the Opera House. Your boat will then venture into the Pacific Ocean and search for the humpback and southern right whales that migrate along this coast from May to November. You’ll have the chance to learn more about these magnificent creatures from your naturalist guide who provides fascinating commentary about Australian marine life during your tour. With smaller numbers on board, you’ll have a comfortable and intimate whale-watching experience. Plus, it’s a guaranteed whale sighting or enjoy a return cruise for free. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other marine life like dolphins as well. This is the perfect tour for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a unique activity in Sydney.
2. Sydney Whale Watching by Speed Boat
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a Sydney Whale Watching by Speed Boat tour. This exciting 2-hour tour takes you out of the city on Sydney’s fastest commercial ship to enjoy a thrilling ride across Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the iconic landmarks like Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House as you zip through the waters. Once you leave the city behind, you will head out into the Pacific Ocean where you can see majestic humpback whales swimming and playing in their natural habitat.
This seasonal tour offers multiple departure times and locations to suit your schedule. The tour includes all taxes, fees, and handling charges, as well as a driver/guide, wind/waterproof jackets, and food and drinks. The meeting point is at Campbells Cove Floating Pontoon in The Rocks, NSW, where you will board the speed boat for the adventure of a lifetime. Book now to secure your spot on this unforgettable Sydney Whale Watching by Speed Boat tour.
The Most Frequently asked Questions about Whale Watching in Sydney
If you’re planning on going for a whale watching tour in Sydney, you are bound to have questions about what to expect, when to go, what to bring, and more. In this post, we’ll help answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about whale watching in Sydney.
What’s the Best Time of the Year for Whale Watching?
The best time for whale watching in Sydney is from June until November, which is the annual migration season for humpback whales. During this time, thousands of humpback whales migrate north from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to breed, calve and nurse their young in warmer waters off Australia’s east coast. During their migration, they provide an awe-inspiring sight for whale watchers in Sydney who can see them breach, tail slap, and blow their spouts while cruising along the coastline.
What Types of Whales Can We See?
Sydney is home to a variety of whale species that can be spotted during the annual migration season. The most commonly sighted species are:
- Humpback whales
- Minke whales
- Southern right whales
- Orca (killer whales)
What Will the Tour Include?
Most whale watching tours in Sydney offer a range of facilities and services that can enhance your whale watching experience. These can include:
- Expert commentary on whale behavior, life cycle, and migration patterns
- Onboard restrooms and refreshments
- Spacious viewing decks for unobstructed whale watching
- Underwater hydrophones to listen to the whales singing
What Should We Wear and Bring?
It’s important to dress appropriately for a whale watching tour, especially on a colder day. Here are some essential things to wear and bring on your whale watching tour in Sydney:
- Comfortable and warm clothing (layers are recommended)
- Sturdy shoes to keep you warm and provide good grip on the deck
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for sun protection
- A camera or binoculars to enhance your view and capture memories
How Long is the Tour?
Most whale watching tours in Sydney last for about two to three hours, depending on the tour operator and weather conditions. However, some tours can run for up to six hours if you opt for an extended experience. Be sure to check the tour length before booking.
Can We Guarantee Whale Sightings?
No, there is no guarantee that you will see whales on a whale watching tour. However, most tour operators offer a free return trip or a partial refund if no whales are spotted on your first tour. It’s important to remember that whales are wild, and their movements and behavior are unpredictable.
Can Children Join the Tour?
Yes, most whale watching tours in Sydney are kid-friendly and can be a great family activity. However, be sure to check with the tour operator before booking as some tours may have age or height restrictions.
What About Seasickness?
If you’re prone to motion sickness, it’s essential to prepare ahead when planning a whale watching tour. Here are some tips to avoid seasickness:
- Avoid a heavy meal before getting on the tour and stick to light snacks and drinking water
- Consider taking seasickness medication before boarding
- Find a spot on the deck in the open air and focus on the horizon to reduce dizziness
What Are the Best Whale Watching Tours in Sydney?
Sydney is home to several whale watching tour operators, and choosing one can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best whale watching tours in Sydney to consider:
- Whale Watching Sydney
- Humpback Whales
- Go Whale Watching
- Wild About Whales
- Sydney Adventure Cruises
How to do Whale Watching in Sydney
Whale watching is an incredible experience that cannot be missed, especially if you are in Sydney during the whale migration season. From May to November, humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean to mate and calve. Sydney is one of the best places to witness this breathtaking natural phenomenon. In this guide, we will take a look at everything you need to know to plan your perfect Sydney whale watching experience.
Step 1: Choose the Right Time to Go Whale Watching
The whale migration season is from May to November, but the best time to go whale watching in Sydney is from June to mid-October. During this period, the majority of humpback whales pass by, and sightings are almost guaranteed. Also, the weather is usually mild at this time of the year, which makes it easier to enjoy your whale watching experience without getting seasick.
Step 2: Decide Which Type of Tour to Take
There are different types of whale watching tours that you can take in Sydney. These include:
- Small boat tours: These tours take you out on smaller boats, providing a more intimate experience with the whales and the ocean. They are more personalized, but they can be bumpy and adventurous.
- Large boat tours: These tours take you out on larger boats, which are more stable and comfortable. They are perfect for families and groups.
- Speedboat tours: If you like adventure, then a speedboat tour is the way to go. These tours take you out on high-speed boats, giving you a thrilling experience while chasing the whales. They are not recommended for people who suffer from seasickness.
- Kayak tours: These tours take you out on kayaks, providing a unique and exciting experience with the whales. They are only suitable for experienced kayakers and are not recommended for beginners.
Choose the type of tour that suits your preferences and budget.
Step 3: Book Your Whale Watching Tour
It is highly recommended that you book your whale watching tour in advance, especially during peak season (July-September). There are many companies that provide whale watching tours in Sydney, so do your research and choose the one that fits your needs and budget. Check their website for reviews, tour schedules, price, size of the boat, and other relevant information. Some of the well-known whale watching tour companies in Sydney are:
- Captain Cook Cruises: Offers whale watching tours on large and stable boats with experienced guides.
- Whale Watching Sydney: Offers whale watching tours on smaller boats, providing a more personalized experience with the whales.
- Oz Whale Watching: Offers whale watching tours on small boats and speedboats, providing an adventurous experience with the whales.
- Manly Whale Watching: Offers whale watching tours on small boats and kayaks, providing a unique and exciting experience with the whales.
Choose a company that suits your preferences, and book your tour early to avoid disappointments.
Step 4: Dress Appropriately
Whale watching tours can be chilly, so dress appropriately. Wear comfortable layers of clothing and bring a windbreaker or a jacket. Also, wear sensible shoes, as the decks of the boats may be slippery. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Step 5: Get Ready for Your Whale Watching Tour
On the day of your tour, make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes early. This will give you enough time to check-in, receive a safety briefing and board the boat. Take some seasickness medication if you are prone to seasickness, and make sure you have your camera and binoculars with you. Remember to be patient and enjoy your experience with the whales.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Sydney Whale Watching Experience
During your whale watching tour, listen carefully to the instructions of your guide and stay within the safety limits of the boat. Keep your camera ready, as you never know when a whale might pop up. Keep your binoculars handy, as they will allow you to have a closer look at the whales and their behavior. Be respectful of the whales and do not approach them too closely or interfere with their natural behavior. Your guide will provide you with all the information you need to have a memorable whale watching experience.
Book Your Tour Now
Whale watching in Sydney is an incredible experience that can’t be missed. By following these six steps, you can plan and enjoy your perfect whale watching tour in Sydney. Remember to choose the right time to go, decide which type of tour suits your preferences, book your tour early, dress appropriately, get ready for your tour, and most importantly, enjoy your experience with the whales.
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