Whale Watching in Sydney

By Viator, August 2015

4.5 146 Reviews | Add your review

The east coast of Australia acts as a 'whale highway' for humpback whales, which, from May to December, cruise close to Sydney's shore on their annual migration. During this time, you are virtually guaranteed to see humpbacks, dolphins, other sea life, and on rare occasions, the more elusive southern right whale.

While it is possible to spot whales not far from Sydney Harbour, a whale-watching cruise from Sydney offers the best opportunity for seeing whales up close. Thanks to a strong ocean current that runs just 3 nautical miles (5.6 kilometers) from the coast, Sydney is well placed to take advantage of the annual whale migration and many operators run daily whale-watching tours from Sydney Harbour.

The whale migration begins in May as Humpback whales leave the cold waters of the Antarctic and head north to warmer waters to breed. May through to August are the best months to see breeching males competing for the attention of the females and seeing these magnificent mammals pitch into the air is an unforgettable sight.

From September, the migration is reversed and whales head south once more. This continues until December and these months offer the best opportunities to see slower swimming female humpbacks with their calves, which often come up close to investigate the whale-watching vessels (known as 'mugging').

Unlike the southern right whale, Humpbacks have a regular migration season and are therefore most commonly sighted as they journey up or down the coast. Other whales that you may encounter include minke whales, killer whales (orcas) and pilot whales. Pods of common or bottlenose dolphins can often be spotted playing in and around the boats too.

Tours & Tickets

See all

Sydney Whale-Watching Cruise Including Lunch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 69 Reviews

Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $67.80

Sydney Whale-Watching Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 Reviews

Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2-hours 45-minutes

From USD $54.10

Sydney Eco Whale Watching Small Group Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 32 Reviews

Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $97.38

Sydney High-Speed Whale-Watching and Sightseeing Cruise

Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

From USD $56.26

Sydney Whale-Watching Cruise from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour

Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: Flexible

From USD $57.70

Sydney Whale-Watching by Speed Boat

Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 hours

From USD $61.31

See all

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message