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.