19th May, 2021

Five of the best whale watching spots close to Sydney

We’re right in the thick of whale watching season and with more than 30,000 of these gentle giants expected to migrate north past Sydney Harbour in 2020 you’re in the perfect spot to head either North or South of the city to catch a glimpse of these majestic cetaceans.

1. Cape Solander

Just south of the city is arguably one of Sydney’s most famous spots to go whale watching. Cape Solander has a great viewing platform for humpback whales that regularly pass by this iconic spot. Located in the Kurnell section of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, both June and July are the best time to head down here and whip out the binoculars.

2. Garie Beach Picnic Area

The Royal National Park offers a buffet of spots to go whale watching during whale watching season. Sydney Whale Watching spots don’t come much better than Garie Beach and it’s surrounding sandstone cliffs and headlands. You will get the best whale sightings from Governor Game Lookout and if you bring your fishing rods you may even get in a spot of dolphin watching from the beach as the sun goes down.

3. Sydney Harbour

The best spot to get up close and personal with these whales during Sydney’s annual whale watching season is with Captain Cook Cruises. We offer 2.5 hour cruises on Sydney Harbour every Saturday and Sunday of the whale watching season (weather permitting) which features live commentary from a marine wildlife expert and a large vessel which perfectly caters for smaller passenger numbers so you’re not battling for your glimpse of a breaching humpback whale. Our experienced captains also know all the best spots on Sydney Harbour for whale watching.

4. North Head

The paved Fairfax walk is an easy, gentle track that loops its way around North Head and is easily accessible from Manly Wharf if you’re using a Captain Cook Cruises Hop On Hop Off Harbour Explorer, with the choice of 1 or 2 day pass. The 1 kilometre track is gentle, smooth and suitable for all walkers -- especially kids!

5. South Head

If you don’t want to head out onto the water, but still want one of the best Sydney Harbour spots to go whale watching, Watsons Bay offers some outstanding vantage points. The Gap and the South Head Heritage trail offer endless ocean views for spotting humpback whales, minke whales and even southern right whales during some whale watching seasons in Sydney. You can also access Watsons Bay if you’re using a Captain Cook Cruises Hop On Hop Off Harbour Explorer Pass.

If you’re serious about going whale watching in Sydney this whale watching season, you can also download the Wild About Whales app to get real time notifications of sightings nearby and it will also help with finding you vantage points along Sydney’s coast.

If you are heading out on an Open Water Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises, check out the latest weather conditions for your upcoming trip.

Experiences mentioned in this article

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