Thursday, July 12, 2018

5 Spots in Sydney to Whale-Watch

Whale-watching is a must do for first time visitors to Sydney and great news! You don’t need to leave the city to get a good look at a whale. These giants of the deep cruise close to the coast and have even been known to pop up inside Sydney Harbour. There are lots of excellent vantage points, from popular beach lookouts to hidden bush trails, or you can get right in the thick of the action on a boat cruise.
The annual whale migration runs from May to November, peaking in July and September. Whales migrate north to breed in warmer waters. They return south with their calves to feed in the southern oceans. You’ll find more information at the Wild About Whales website.
1. Cape Solander
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Inside the Kamay Botany Bay National Park to the south of the city, Cape Solander is a top whale watching spot. There’s a covered platform and a large information board swimming in whale facts. If you want to put your whale watching to good use, you can even join the Cape Solander Whale Migration Study as a volunteer and track their numbers along the coast.

2. Barrenjoey Headland
At the other edge of the city, Barrenjoey Headland at Palm Beach is where the whales wave farewell to Sydney before continuing on up the coast. Hike up to the lighthouse, just over 100 metres above sea level for sweeping views along the coast – keep your eyes peeled for the telltale burst of spray.

3. North Head

A 30-minute walk from Manly are the untouched bushland and heath-covered cliffs of North Head. The whole sanctuary is so peaceful and pristine that it’s hard to believe you’re still so close to the city. There are incredible views across the harbour and out into the unending swell of the Pacific Ocean, with regular whale sightings during the season.

4. Shark Island
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Very often, curious whales will make their way into the calmer waters of the harbour itself. Catch the ferry out to Shark Island, just offshore from Rose Bay, for a 360-degree view of the surrounding waters. There are plenty of grassy areas and picnic tables to set up camp while you wait for the aquatic acrobatics to begin.

5. On the water

Whale-watching boats leave from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and Manly every day during the season. A cruise will take you right out into the whale’s environment, tracking the pods as they move along the coast. Boats range from fast and nimble speedboats to larger ferry-style boats that have extras like bathrooms and kiosks inside. Top operators include Captain Cook Cruises, FantaSea, Bass and Flinders Cruises, Oz Whale Watching and Manly Ocean Adventures.

To read about my own whale watching cruise experience in Sydney, check out this link. 

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