If you are planning to go whale watching off the coast of Sydney, there are some times of the year that are better than others, and in order to maximize your chances of an amazing experience, here are some useful pointers on when the best times are for whale watching in Sydney.
The best time of year for whale watching in New South Wales is May to November
Traditionally, this is the time of year that the Humpback Whale migrates from the rich feeding grounds of Antarctica and moves on to the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland. While this is generally accepted as being the whale watching season, the best times are the last week of June and the first week of July, as these are the times when the waters are buzzing with whale activity.
Do you need to book a whale watching tour in advance?
To be absolutely sure your trip will allow you to see many whales, you are advised to book whale watching in Sydney as early as possible, and remember that other whale watchers are also looking to secure a day with a lot of action. Of course, there are no times that are set in stone, but generally speaking, the months of June and July are considered the best, and you can always ask the opinion of the tour operator, who knows more than anyone else regarding whale behavior and sightings.
The Outward Journey
Think of the whale migration as being two separate trips, with the first run heading north from the rich feeding grounds of Antarctica to the warmer waters off Queensland. They travel along the Great Barrier Reef in order to breed, and after a few months, the new calf is strong enough to make the return leg, which also passes by the coast of Sydney.
The Return Journey
The Humpback Whale population returns south to their feeding grounds in Antarctica during the months of September, October, and November, and as a general rule, the return leg usually sees the whales a few kilometers further out, which is likely due to strong ocean currents. It is possible to view the whales from certain ground locations, but nothing compares to being on a whale-watching boat close to the animals.
Other Marine Species You Can See
Several species of Dolphins can be seen when out whale watching, and then there are the unmistakeable Orcas that also frequent these waters while gathering together for a hunt. Dolphins are very amiable creatures and often, when they notice a boat, they will gather round out of sheer curiosity.
Booking your Trip
The best way to source an established whale watching tour operator is by searching online, and once you have found their website, you can choose from the calendar dates they have available. It is best to ask the experts about dates and potential sightings, but the earlier you approach the provider, the better our chances of seeing multiple animals.
If you would like to experience these majestic animals close up, search online for a whale-watching specialist who can arrange a day out that will change your life forever.
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Workpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Workpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- 12Go – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then 12Go is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and air travel.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.