Check out our amazing whale watching package right here!
If you are looking for an incredible nature experience, there is nothing more special than spotting majestic whales along the beautiful Sydney Coast and it is no wonder that this unforgettable experience is so sought after by locals and tourists alike.
Thousands of whales migrate annually between May and November each year. The first season is typically from May to August where the humpback whales head north towards warmer waters to mate and give birth, then in summer they return south with their calves to feed in the Antarctic waters.
The best whale watching in Sydney where you are more likely to spot whales from the shore is during winter when as many as 20,000 of them migrate along the New South Wales coastline. Humpback whales are the most likely whales you will spot during the Sydney whale watching season in 2018, however you may be among the lucky to spot orcas and minke whales.
So, put on your winter woolies, grab your binoculars and your camera then head to one of the Top 5 Whale Watching Lookouts in Sydney which are certain to provide you with some of the best whale watching in Sydney and where you can capture some of the action and memories to last a lifetime.
Fairfax lookout, North Head, Manly
There is no better place to experience these beautiful humpbacks frolicking in the water than from the vantage point of the Fairfax walk lookout, an easy and enjoyable 1km loop, located in the Sydney Harbor National park, only a few minutes’ walk from the historical Q Station Hotel, on the site of the former Sydney Quarantine Station. The walking track at the North Head Sanctuary leads to the North Fort and Fairfax lookout which features incredible sea views and a panorama of the harbour and city skyline, also offers plenty of opportunity to spot humpback whales.
Make a day or weekend of it, taking time to explore the incredible history and heritage of the Q Station site taking part in a Ghost or History tour, exploring the site on your own or popping into the Visitor Centre which also functions as a museum offering free admission.
Hornby Lighthouse, South Head, Watsons Bay
This historic red and white striped Hornby Lighthouse is located at South Head near Watson’s Bay and is surrounded by expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1858 this great Whale watching spot can be accessed via an easy walking track to the lighthouse via the South Head heritage trail which departs from Camp Cove at Watsons Bay. This 1 km loop will take between 30 minutes to an hour and takes you past the Lady Bay Beach, before reaching he Lighthouse.
Shark Island, Sydney
Located just off the exclusive eastern suburbs of Rose Bay and Vaucluse with panoramic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Shark Island also offers an incredible viewing platform for keen whale watchers. Pack a picnic lunch and take advantage of the beautiful grass areas and picnic spots around the island and walk barefoot on the beach as you take in the 360-degree views and watch the whales frolic in the water. The best way to access Shark Island is via public ferry 7 days a week as mooring at the island is not available.
Bondi Beach to Coogee Walk
Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Australia and a hub of activity all year round and the 6 km Bondi to Coogee walk is a great way to spot whales while taking in the stunning ocean views and sea air. The cliff top coastal walk will take you past beaches, pars, cliffs, bays and rock pools. The beach and parks offer resting spots along the way and great spots to have a bite to eat or a takeaway coffee as you continue on your journey. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee section of the walk so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing for the elements.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Palm Beach
Sitting at Sydney’s most northern point, in the Barenjoey Headland at Palm Beach, the Barrenjoey Lighthouse is worth the drive as it offers a great viewing platform for humpback whales and panoramic views of Broken Bay, National Park and the Central Coast.
Built in 1881 from sandstone quarried on the site, the lighthouse is one of the iconic sights on Sydney’s northern beaches and is accessed by an easy 1km walk along the Barrenjoey track and will take approximately 1-hour return trip from the Governor Phillip parking area. The more adventurous can also walk the Smugglers track instead for a more challenging hike to the top. It’s also a great place to bring international visitors as they may recognize the lighthouse from the popular long running television series Home & Away.
Wonderful recognition from our local MP James Griffin MP, Member for Manly on our historic site Q Station Manly and reference to our National Award from Meetings & Events Australia as the recipient of 'Unique Event Venue with Accommodation'.
We look forward to continuing to work closely together, particularly in preparation of the upcoming Invictus Games!
It’s Game on Down Under! In October 2018 Sydney will be host to the 4th Annual Invictus Games Sydney, welcoming over 500 competitors and over 1000 of their family and friends from 18 Nations across the globe, showcasing the healing power of sport and the resilience of the human spirit.
The event is presented by Jaguar Land Rover who have been involved since its inception in London in 2014. The competitors will compete in 11 sports in Sydney during the 2018 Invictus Games dates of 20 – 27 October 2018. The events will be staged across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park, on and around the Sydney Harbour, with the Opening Ceremony being held at the Sydney Opera House.
In choosing the venue for 2018, Prince Harry, Founder and Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, had three key criteria. First, it had to be an iconic city – somewhere known the world over. Second, it needed to be a city with a proud military heritage, which would welcome competitors from all over the world with open arms. And finally, it had to be somewhere where the people are absolutely sports mad and would really get behind the competitors. Prince Harry commented “It was an easy decision really.” You can watch the announcement HERE.
The Invictus Games participating allied nations include; Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the USA.
Nations have started to announce their teams for the games with Denmark, New Zealand and USA among the first to reveal the competitors who will make the trip ‘Down Under’.
ABOUT THE INVICTUS GAMES
Named after Invictus, Latin for “unconquered” or “undefeated”, the Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing. Founded by Invictus Games Patron Prince Harry, the Games harness the power of sport to inspire and support the rehabilitation and recovery of injured or sick armed services personal and create a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their countries.
The first Invictus Games took place in September 2014 at the Queen Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom with 14 Nations attending and crowds of over 65,000 people packing out the venue. With the exception of 2015, the successful event has been held annually ever since with the number of Nations participating increasing to 18 in 2018. In 2016 the event was hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. In 2017 the games were held at multiple venues in Toronto, Canada and it was at this event that they introduced the first-ever Invictus Games relay.
The Invictus Games provides an opportunity for long-term impact on the defence community by supporting programs and services across various sectors to encourage greater collaboration and co-operation amongst veteran and serving community.
MAKE YOUR MARK
At the closing ceremony of Invictus Games Toronto 2017, Prince Harry challenged us all to do something to effect change in our lives or make a difference in our communities. Prince Harry said; “Let the examples of service and resilience you have seen, inspire you to take action to improve something – big or small – in your life, for your family, or in your community.”
In answer to this call to action the Sydney 2018 launched a “Make Your Mark Down Under’ campaign. Make Your Mark is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, no matter where you are. You can show your support for our wounded warriors through sharing your moment with the Games community via #MakeYourMarkDownUnder and including #IG2018.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are looking at where to stay in Sydney, for easy access to some of the best vantage points to the Invictus Games 2018 and only a short ferry ride across to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour, then the historic Q Station, a hidden gem located at North Head on the shores of Sydney Harbour in Manly, Australia is an incredible option. Surrounded by native Australian bush lands with stunning views over the Sydney Harbour and access to easy nature walks, Whale watching, Australian Wildlife, historic tours and some of Australia’s best beaches, you can feel removed from the hustle and bustle during the Invictus Games, yet close enough to all the action. Find availability now.
Bringing the family? We’ve helped you out with a jam packed 72 Hour Itinerary guaranteed to keep the entire family engaged, returning home more knowledgeable about the Australian History and Heritage.
NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS!
Q Station has been heralded as one of Sydney’s most unique business event venues, was recognised at the Meeting & Events Australia National Awards in Adelaide by winning in the category of ‘Unique Event Venue with Accommodation’.
Director of Sales & Marketing Natalie Dillon (pictured) is passionate about developing creative events on the versatile and heritage site. “The Q Station team work tirelessly to preserve our historic site on the edge of Sydney Harbour, connecting our guests to the past whilst showcasing new and innovative ways to deliver business events,” says Natalie, “Its natural beauty, food & beverage offering, team building activities, as well as its location, make it an ideal destination for business events.”
Q Station hosts over 300 events per year including conferences, product launches, training days, senior leader retreats, birthday parties and weddings. All 65 heritage buildings have been creatively transformed into hotel accommodation, function spaces, restaurants, a café and museum. Q Station is the perfect place for any group to experience privacy and comfort in a unique and inspiring setting.
Meetings & Events Australia is a national, independent not for profit organisation dedicated to servicing the needs of the meetings and events industry and promoting professionalism and excellence in all aspects of meetings and event management. It also promotes the value and effectiveness of meetings and events as an important high-yield sector of business travel and tourism. Q Station is thrilled to be recognised by Meetings & Events Australia.
Q Station is proud to announce our support of Soap Aid and their 'Hotel to Hands' program. These guys are an amazing charity based around collecting discarded soap from hotel rooms which are then sanitised and sent to targeted communities around the world ... and those facing major hygiene challenges. We are so happy to be part of this amazing initiative at Q Station.
“Half of the 9,000 children that are estimated to die from diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia everyday in our poorest countries could be saved by the routine use of handwashing with soap.”
Professor Martyn Jeggo, Director of Health Programs, Soap Aid
Soap Aid works directly with local community impact partners to ensure the ongoing supply of soap and vital hygiene education. They educate communities on the use of handwashing with soap to help eradicate the spread of infectious diseases. It also dramatically reduces the soap from landfill - essentially redirecting millions of bars of discarded soap from disastrous landfills..
When you check out, your used soap won’t go in the bin, but will be sanitised and given to children and adults around the world. Thanks for helping us save the environment and help those in need!