Whale Watching Weekends Away in NSW

Winter getaways are great for families as accommodation prices are low, yet there is still plenty to do and see.

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Here’s a post by Olivia Bourke about the best places in NSW to visit if you’d like to spot whales. Plan a weekend around a couple of boat trips or cliff viewing hotspots as well as other family-friendly activities. 

Take it away, Olivia.

Whales start their migration north from June-July and then head south from September – November.

At these times, you will see pods of humpback and southern right whales splashing their way up the east coast of Australia, putting on a magnificent show.

Make sure you make the most of it, and head out to one of these vantage points in New South Wales to get a front row seat.

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Flickr: Janhatesmarcia

Port Stephens

Located on a peninsula, surrounded by beaches it’s easy to see why Port Stephens is a very popular summer getaway destination.

However, what many people don’t realise is that during the cooler months of the year this is one of the best places to spot a whale migrating north along the coast.

This can be easily seen from the shores of the local beaches, but if you’re feeling a little more energetic you can make your way up Mount Tomaree for undisrupted view.

It’s about a 30 minute walk to the top, probably most suitable for children aged 8 years old and older.

Click here to read about Things To Do At Port Stephens with Kids, and Where To Stay.

Jervis Bay

You can spot whales from the sea cliffs in Booderee National Park, however most visitors choose to take a whale watching boat trip from the town of Huskisson. These leave several times a day during whale watching seasons.

Sometimes the boats find whales at play within Jervis Bay itself. Otherwise they head out of the Bay to find whales as they pass by along the coast.

Read all about Huskisson and Jervis Bay on this post.

Whale heading north, hoto by Seana

Batemans Bay

Batemans Bay is a charming seaside town along the south coast of New South Wales that has so much to offer, with extraordinary game fishing, fabulous beaches and the famous Clyde River oysters.

The rugged coastline, stunning headlands and gorgeous beaches makes it a great place to go in search of some whales.

There are many different walking trails and lookouts that you can venture to in order to get a great view and hopefully spot some whales making a splash.

However I really enjoy making my way up to the top of Burrewarra Point. The walking track takes you through an outstanding banksia forest, opening up to give you an awesome view of the coastline. This a pretty easy walk, great fun for the whole family.

Check out Batemans Bay accommodation prices and availability here.


Kiama is located just over half an hour south of Wollongong. Home of the world famous Kiama Blowhole, an amazing natural spectacle and if you’re lucky you might see it in action, spouting seawater up to 20 meters upwards – a must see for all visitors to Kiama.

Anytime from May to September you can also make a trip to the Kiama Blowhole to try and spot some whales. This way there’s no need to worry if you find yourself unlucky in your search for whales. The kids will be thoroughly entertained by the action of the blowhole.

Read more about Things To Do In Kiama With Kids and Where To Stay on this post.

Byron Bay

If you want nothing more than to escape the brisk winter weather this year than look no further than Byron Bay. One of Australia’s most iconic beach towns, Byron Bay has lots to offer all year round including beautiful beaches, laid back locals and fantastic markets.

Byron Bay is also one of Australia’s most popular whale watching destinations with thousands of tourists making their way to the area every year with hopes of getting an eye on the action.

For prime whale watching, make your way to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. It’s here that volunteers gather to help you learn more about the whales, making it fun and exciting for the whole family. Grab a coffee, take in the view and see if you get spot some humpbacks!

Check Byron Bay accommodation availability and prices here.


If you don’t feel like traveling too far from home than there are also some great places in Sydney to see whales migrating north along the East Coast.

Check out the Hello Sydney Kids post about Whale watching Around Sydney here.

Other top whale watching spots in NSW are Eden, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, we must get there soon.

Thanks Olivia for sending this post. Here’s more about Olivia:

Olivia Bourke

I’m Olivia, an adventurous traveler who just wants to explore all the world has to offer. I’m an American who has slowly made my way to the beautiful land down under,  and I’m loving every minute of exploring this ever so scenic country, one state at a time. With my feet moving and my fingers typing, I love sharing all the gems that I discover with the world so they can enjoy them as well! Find me at Great Lost.

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  1. says: Jo

    Wow you have some wonderful whale watching spots in NSW. I have long wanted to visit Jervis Bay, so now have another reason to come over! In SW Australia we have some great land based whale viewing spots as well as boating opportunities in beautiful Geographe Bay. I’ve done two and they were super exciting.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      You will have to come over some time and stay at our beach house at Jervis Bay. How good would a girls’ weekend away be one fine day? A travel writers’ getaway… one day.

      I must book my own house as it’s getting busy for the summer already and much as the income is welcome, we must get there ourselves. October school hols are good for whales usually.

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