From May to December, there are so many migrating humpback whales swimming along Sydney’s shores, you might even spot one from Sydney Harbour. Maximize your chances of seeing these majestic giants with these top tips on whale watching in Sydney.
When to Go
Sydney’s whale-watching season typically runs from May into December, when thousands of whales migrate through the area. There are two distinct watching periods: from May to August, as the whales head north to breed, and from August to December, when they head south with their calves to feed in the Antarctic.
What You’ll See
The most commonly sighted whales are humpbacks—some 20,000 of them traverse Australia’s eastern coastline during their annual migration. You can also spot minke whales, orcas, pilot whales, and southern right whales, as well as common and bottlenose dolphins around Sydney, and if you’re visiting later in the season you might even see some whale calves swimming and playing alongside their mothers.
How to Go
To maximize your chances of seeing whales, set sail on a Sydney whale-watching cruise and explore the open Pacific Ocean with the help of a naturalist guide. Tours by speedboat or cruise boat typically set out from Sydney Harbour, Circular Quay, or Darling Harbour; last between two and four hours; and sometimes include breakfast or lunch on board.