19 July 2012
One of the best things about winter and spring is that it’s whale watching season. And there’s almost no better place to watch these magnificent creatures than in Sydney. From May to July, humpback and Southern Right whales migrate from the Antarctic to warmer northern waters to breed. The whales can also be spotted returning south between September and November. In total, about 3000 whales migrate past (and sometimes come inside) Sydney Harbour so you’ve got a great chance of spotting one or two over the season. The best whale watching viewing times are early morning or late afternoon.
This year, Sydneysiders were lucky enough to frequently spot a baby Southern Right Whale and it’s mother seeking refuge in the safe waters of the harbour. It’s thought that the baby was born right off Mosman. Meanwhile, Humpbacks follow a similar migration path to the Southern Right whales, and have been spotted off the coasts of Bondi, Vaucluse, and Manly for over a month now.
It’s amazing to get out on the water on a whale watching tour and see these great marine mammals up close and personal. Some great companies include Whale Watching Sydney, Sydney Ocean Adventures, and Captain Cook cruises. While no one can guarantee you will see a whale breach, you have a pretty high chance of catching a glimpse of one. If not, you’ll still likely see seals, dolphins, all while enjoying a great day cruising the harbour and dramatic coastline.
Boats aren’t the only way to observe Sydney’s whales… there are plenty of options from the shore! Try spotting a few from the famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, or at the North Head Lookout at Sydney Harbour National Park.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) recently launched Wild About Whales, a great website educating people about the species, as well as providing a guide to sightings, the best viewing spots, maps and tours. You can even download the Smartphone app that’ll help you find the best national parks along the coastline to get in a bit of whale watching. If you feel like sharing your experience or a sighting, definitely visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter (you can use the hashtag #whaleon to join in the conversation too!).
Don’t miss out on seeing some whales, porpoises and dolphins this winter, whether it’s out on the water or from the coastline.