Each year, thousands of people flock to the Sydney Harbor to take part in the biggest whale watching season. The whales migrate up from the east coast of Australia in the Antarctic and make their way to the calving and mating grounds, known as the Coral Sea.
Can you imagine: around 1,500 whales, belonging to different species in groups swim past the Sydney Harbor annually. These majestic giants frolicking and romping in the water is a sight that will keep you entranced. From the southern right whales to the famous humpbacks, watching these lithe water creatures from a cruise gives you a unique experience. They can be occasionally seen from the shore but the real fun is watching them zip past by you and the joy that you could capture a clear picture.
You can easily find OzWhale Watching information on every website and know all about what to do and how to take the best photos when on a whale watching cruise.
Types of Whales
Apart from the southern right whales and the famous humpbacks, you can also spot the false killer whales, killer whales, bottlenose and pacific dolphins and minke whales. One whale species that is rarely seen is the Bryde whale.
When to Visit
In a way, the Sydney whale watching season continues all year round but it truly starts from winter in May to spring in September and all the way into December. However, from May to August, you can only see a few numbers of whales and the high tide of the sea prevents the cruise from venturing into the water.
So, what is the best time for whale watching?
From September to December, this is the time when the humpback whales return to the Antarctic feeding ground in the south for the summer in the Southern Hemisphere. During this time, you can even spot newborn calves in clusters with their mother and they are often near the shore.
Whale Watching from a Cruise
One of the best things about whale watching in Sydney is the tour cruise you get to board for a fun-filled, full-day experience. Yes, there will be whale watching but you will also get to see many monumental sights and enjoy a fresh sea meal. A cruise is often accompanied by bottlenose dolphins that you will see swimming beside you.
You can even take a boat to get a close look at the dolphins. The boats need to be 90 meters away from the whales, whereas a cruise needs to be at least 300 meters away from all sea creatures. The tour lasts two to three hours, depending on the package you have chosen. The standard whale watching tour offers you a brekkie with the whales or a BBQ lunch. On the other hand, a luxury whale watching tour offers a BBQ lunch buffet, open bar, coffee, tea and water, private suits, indoor lounge area and a comfortable viewing area from where you can enjoy the sights.
A great thing these whale watching cruises offer is a free return trip if you do not spot any whales. This does happen but very rarely. It might be due to the loud sounds that distress the whales, which causes them to remain under water. Moreover, it’s also a precaution they take, when they feel threatened and want to protect their calves.
The whale watching season is just about to start, so pack your bags because the Sydney Harbor is waiting for you.