Watching Whales Around Sydney

Whale watching season is upon us. Myself and the kids saw some whales heading north in July when we were in Jervis Bay. We hope we will see some heading south again soon.

There are many places to watch whales from within Sydney itself, check out the list  on the National Parks and Wildlife website Wild About Whales.


Wild About Whales has sent me this cool infographic with info about the annual Whale Migration, lots of interesting info there.


Lisa Edwards has written an amusing account of whale watching at Cape Solander, read it on her blog Raising Explorers here.

Our whale photos were part of a post about Things To Do In Winter At Jervis Bay.

We once went down to South Curl Curl beach for a swim and almost collapsed when we saw a mother and baby whale frolicking right there, just off the beach by the rock pool – what an amazing experience.

I saw one in July in the harbour by Manly Wharf as well, when walking the Spit to Manly Scenic Walk. And who remembers, about 13 years ago there were two whales playing in the harbour for a whole day?

Of course, the coolest place in Sydney to see whales migrating – north or south – would have to be at Whale Beach itself!

Things to Consider While Going on a Whale Watching Adventure in Sydney with Kids!

A whale watching adventure is a thrilling and educational experience that the whole family can enjoy. Sydney’s prime location along the annual migration route of humpback whales makes it an excellent destination for witnessing these magnificent creatures up close.

However, when planning a whale watching excursion with children, there are several factors to consider in order to ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for all. So, I’ll discuss key aspects to keep in mind when embarking on a whale watching adventure in Sydney with kids.

1. Choose a Family-Friendly Tour Operator

When selecting a whale watching tour, it is essential to choose a reputable operator that caters to families. A family-friendly tour will typically offer a more relaxed pace, informative and engaging commentary, and experienced crew members who can help ensure the safety and comfort of your children. Additionally, such tours often provide on-board amenities specifically designed for families, such as indoor viewing areas and baby changing facilities.

2. Plan for Seasickness

Seasickness can be a concern for both adults and children while out on the open ocean. To minimise the risk of seasickness, choose a larger, more stable vessel and opt for a tour that departs from a location with direct access to the open sea, as this will reduce the time spent in rougher waters. Equip yourself with seasickness prevention measures, such as wristbands, or ginger-based remedies.

3. Dress for the Conditions

Whale watching adventures in Sydney typically occur during the cooler months of May to November. It is crucial to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and be prepared for changes in temperature out at sea. Ensure that children wear warm, waterproof clothing, including windbreakers, beanies, and gloves. Also, pack sunscreen and sunglasses, as the sun’s reflection off the water can still be strong despite the cooler temperatures.

4. Pack Snacks and Entertainment

While on a whale watching tour, it’s essential to keep children fed, hydrated, and entertained. Most tour operators will provide on-board refreshments, but it is wise to pack extra snacks and drinks for the duration of the trip. Remember to bring activities, such as colouring books, card games, or small toys, to keep children entertained during quieter moments when whales may not be immediately visible.

5. Educate and Engage

Whale watching is an excellent opportunity for children to learn about marine life and environmental conservation. Before embarking on your adventure, provide children with age-appropriate resources about whales, their migration patterns, and their importance to the ocean ecosystem. Encourage your children to ask questions and engage with the tour guides, who are often knowledgeable marine biologists or naturalists.

This educational aspect will not only enhance their experience but also foster a sense of appreciation and stewardship for the marine environment.

6. Practice Safety and Responsibility

Ensuring the safety and well-being of your children during a whale watching adventure is paramount. Follow all instructions provided by the tour operator and crew, and ensure that your children do the same. Young children should wear life jackets at all times, and you should accompany them when moving around the vessel or when viewing whales from outdoor decks.

It’s also essential to teach your children the importance of responsible and ethical whale watching. Encourage them to respect the animals’ space and understand that our presence should not interfere with their natural behaviour. By fostering this awareness, you are helping to create a new generation of responsible wildlife enthusiasts.

Have you seen a whale passing by this fine city or state of ours?

Or past some other place in Australia?

Out at sea or close to shore?


  1. What month is best for whale watching in Sydney?

June to November is the best month for whale watching in Sydney. During this period a large number of whales are found heading towards  Antarctica along the coast of New south Wales and Sydney.

  1. Which whale watching cruise is best in Sydney?

Captain Cook cruise offers you experience guides, pacious viewing desks. Taking this cruise is a great option when trying to view the whales.

  1. What times do whales migrate in Sydney?

Whales migrate through the coast of New South Wales to Sydney and then to the breeding water during the months of June to November each year.

  1. What is the best week for whale watching in Sydney?

From May to November, any week is considered the best week for whale watching in Sydney.

  1. Can you see Dolphins in Sydney?

Yes, dolphins are  active specially during the months of  September to November and March to May as the weather becomes  mild and water gets more pleasant. September to May offers a better experience of dolphin sightseeing.

  1. Are there whales in Sydney?

Yes, Sydney is a popular destination for whale sightseeing, and during the annual migration season which is from May to November thousands of whales pass along the coast. The commonly found whale species are humpback whales, southern right waves, minke whales and orcas.

  1. Are there killer whales in Sydney?

Well NO! Sydney has no killer whales. However, it is said that the killer whales commonly known as Orcas were seen 3 times, 25 years back. As of now, no such killer whales are seen in Sydney, if you get a chance to see those, you are lucky.

  1. Where are the whale sightings in Sydney?

Cape Solander, North head at harbour Park,coastline of Manly Beach, Bondi to Coogee Coastal walk are the whale sightings in Sydney. You may contact Sydney Whale Watching Cruises. They take you closer to the whale’s migration path, increasing the possibility of seeing this majestic creature.

  1. When is the whale watching season in Sydney?

Generally, the month of May to November is known as the whale watching season in Sydney, as it is said that nearly 40,000 whale humpbacks migrate during this season. So it’s the best time of the year to go whale watching in Sydney. 

  1. When is the whale watching season in Sydney 2023?

The Peak season of whale watching in 2023 is  between May to November, if you plan on attending the whale watching activities you should plan out before November.

  1. Do we have any whale watching tours in Sydney?

Yes we have many whale watching tours in Sydney. Captain Cook cruises offer three different packages for whale watching and exploring  with sightseeing and a visit to Taronga Zoo. There are also other agencies offering a whale watching tour every day from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay from mid May to November.

  1. Whale watching Sydney reviews, how is the activity?

The whale watching Sydney activities are the most preferred ones by the parents and kids. The kids enjoy it because they get a chance to see the biggest mammal which they have seen only in their text books or cartoons while parents adore the live mammal watching experience.

For more adventure ideas – click here.

Happy Exploring!

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  1. I’ve never seen a whale in the wild infortunately. We do have one that visits the coastline off Townsville every year called Migaloo. It’s a white whale I think. I would dearly love to see one!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      I think I’ve heard about that white whale… you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled… or maybe the whales prefer to go around the outside of the Great Barrier Reef. Thanks for popping over Pinky P.

  2. says: Robyn

    I love that infographic. I’ll have to print it out for Master J. We saw a Southern right in labour at Warriewood beach earlier this year. I was amazing, I felt so privileged to be watching her.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      How amazing Robyn… do you remember the fantastic photo of the whale taken underwater at Freshwater earlier this year ? Fantastic shot, and we’d been at Freshie that morning but before or after the whale- bad timing!

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