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New South Wales

Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended New South Wales Dolphin & Whale Watching

Huskisson: Jervis Bay Humpback Whale Watching Cruise

1. Huskisson: Jervis Bay Humpback Whale Watching Cruise

Experience the humpback whale migration along Australia's eastern coastline on a whale watching cruise in Jervis Bay. See the whales as they make their annual migratory journey along the coast and learn more about these beautiful creatures. Enjoy whale watching in Jervis Bay, an experience you cannot get anywhere else in the world. Explore the bay with a tour that has been running for over 30 years. Embark on this exciting tour between May and November, when Australia's eastern coastline comes alive with the spectacular acrobatic displays of humpback whales as they make their way from Antarctica north to sub-tropical waters where they mate and give birth. Get excited about the possibility of multiple sightings, as this is normal in Jervis Bay during these migrations. Watch the whales and other wildlife on this exciting and educational tour, where there has been a record of 102 individual whale sightings on one cruise in October 2020, all within the calm waters of Jervis Bay.

Jervis Bay: 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise

2. Jervis Bay: 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise

Enjoy the rare opportunity to witness migrating humpback whales on this 2-hour whale watching cruise. Cruise across the immaculate Jervis Bay on a sunny winter’s day. Watch the migration of these incredible animals, set against rugged cliffs and ancient sea caves. On the northern migration, sport whales within a mile or so off the dramatic cliffs on Jervis Bay’s peninsula. During the southern migration, view mothers and their newborn calves coming to rest in Jervis Bay's sheltered waters. Enjoy historical commentary on Jervis Bay and learn about the migrating humpback whales. On the return journey, see the 100-meter cliffs of Point Perpendicular. See some of the whitest sand in the world and the crystal blue water.

Jervis Bay: 1.5-Hour Dolphin Cruise

3. Jervis Bay: 1.5-Hour Dolphin Cruise

Jervis Bay has been a Marine park for 18 years and is now one of the most unique and healthy ecosystems in Australia. That’s why the crystal clear waters of Jervis Bay and stunning unspoiled white sand beaches are home to over 100 bottlenose dolphins. Listen to the commentary about the history of Jervis Bay as you travel.  On this tour, you will have the privilege of watching these beautiful mammals. Discover pods of dolphins feeding around the reef systems, particularly Plantation Point and Callala. Sometimes they swim and race hundreds of meters to play on the bow. The Bottlenose dolphin is highly recognizable and known for its long snout and distinctive smile. Friendly and active, you will fall in love with them the moment that you lay eyes on them. 

Byron Bay: Premier Whale Watch Cruise with Marine Biologist

4. Byron Bay: Premier Whale Watch Cruise with Marine Biologist

Depart from Ballina’s Richmond River and enter the pristine waters of Cape Byron Marine Park. Encounter astonishing humpback whales in their natural habitat as they migrate past the breathtaking coastline between Ballina and Byron Bay. A friendly marine biologist will share in-depth knowledge of the area and humpback whale encounters that you'll get to experience within Byron’s Marine Park. You can also listen to live humpback whale song using a specialized underwater hydrophone. The purpose-built eco-vessel seats 20 guests and has a 360-degree views for unparalleled whale watching and sightseeing experiences. It has a unique hull design, which ensures a smooth, comfortable ride in all cruising conditions. The friendly, professional team guarantees a first-class, unmatched, eco tour to remember.

Huskisson: Dolphin Cruise & Boom Netting Experience

5. Huskisson: Dolphin Cruise & Boom Netting Experience

Discover the Bottlenose dolphins that live in the pristine ecosystem of Jervis Bay. A protected marine park for 20 years, Jervis Bay is home to over 80 Bottlenose dolphins who love to frolic in its crystal-clear waters. Embark on a tour and search for the pods of these playful and friendly creatures. While on tour on the pristine waters, take part in the boom netting activity on board. As the boat cruises through the water, enjoy a fun jacuzzi-like experience as you sit in the boom net, sometimes surrounded by curious dolphins.

Sydney: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour by Catamaran

6. Sydney: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour by Catamaran

Reach a top speed of almost 30 knots on Sydney’s largest purpose-built whale watching vessel, Fantasea Catalina, and take only 15 minutes to get from Circular Quay to the open ocean. Spend less time in the harbor and more time watching whales. Enjoy unobstructed views from spacious, wrap-around decks over 3 levels. Check out the open top sun deck, providing 360 degrees of viewing. Whale watch in comfort with air-conditioned cabins with large windows and great indoor and outdoor seating. Listen to informative commentary by an experienced crew. Know exactly what to look out for with onboard multimedia presentations. Don't worry if you don’t capture the perfect whale photos, as an onboard professional photographer has that covered with photos available for purchase onboard. Tea, coffee, and bottled water are included in this cruise. Additional drinks are available for purchase from the onboard licensed bar.

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Lunch

7. Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Lunch

Make your way to Circular Quay to board your whale-watching vessel. Numbers are restricted on this whale-watching cruise, allowing for ample elbow room in the cabin and on the outside decks of your boat. You have the choice of two options on this cruise which will allow you to enjoy the whales with ultimate comfort and a delicious meal! Every day the cruise with lunch is available and on the weekends whales with brekky is an option! Seeing these giant mammals of the sea has the ability to change your whole view on life. The gracefulness, the peacefulness, the playfulness, the curiosity, the showmanship and the awesome power of a humpback whale is something everyone should witness in their lifetime. Whale watching is an exhilarating adventure - seeing these incredible creatures frolicking and swimming in the ocean is an awe-inspiring treat that you will remember forever! Breaching, tail slaps, spy hopping, fluke dives and peduncle throws are all some of the great moves you may see from the whales on their migrations. The whale population is increasing each year and and this year there are 30,000+ whales expected to migrate past Sydney. Whale watching season runs from May to November. From May to August, the whales are on their Northern migration to Tropical North Queensland and then from mid August to November, they're on their southern migration back to the Antarctic along with their new born calves - the little calves are just gorgeous!

Jervis Bay: 1.5 Hour Dolphin Cruise

8. Jervis Bay: 1.5 Hour Dolphin Cruise

Embark on the experience of a lifetime, departing twice daily from the picturesque seaside village of Huskisson, on board a fleet of custom built dolphin cruise vessels. Travel past incredible natural scenery, taking in white sandy beaches, untouched bushland, and the clear sparkling waters of Jervis Bay Marine Park. Enjoy free tea and coffee, or kick back with a beer or wine from a fully licensed bar when cruising on the flagship, The Spirit of Jervis Bay. With 80% of the space on the boat under cover, you can enjoy this cruise rain or shine. The ever-curious resident dolphins love interacting with the boats and their human passengers, with incredible photo and video opportunities from any of the 5 viewing platforms. The dolphins live wild and free, so the exact route of the trip changes day by day, but Jervis Bay is gorgeous in every direction! Returning to Huskission in 1.5 hours, this is an experience not to be missed.

Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

9. Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

Your dolphin adventure begins at d'Albora Marina, Nelson Bay at 6:15 AM. Once you've checked in and been fitted with your wetsuit, mask and snorkel, the vessel leaves the dock and travels out through the heads of Nelson Bay. Whilst traveling out to the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, you'll be trained in the swim protocols and given a snorkel briefing (if swimmer option selected). Once the dolphins have been located and their behavior monitored and found to be favorable for a swim, the the first group of swimmers enters a net at the bow of the vessel, all the while attached with a safety lanyard to the catamaran. The vessel will stop while your group (and your divemaster) enter the water - it will then begin to move slowly forward. The dolphins will swim back and forth between the bows of the vessel, quite often within a meter of the swimmers and seemingly fascinated by the strange creatures being towed in the water behind them! You'll be so close to the dolphins, it will be just like being a part of the pod! You can of course also just observe the dolphins from the boat without entering the water.

Sydney: Ocean Whale Watching Experience

10. Sydney: Ocean Whale Watching Experience

Daily whale watching trips offering personal and up close experiences with migrating humpback whales in the open ocean. Our whale watching trips depart from Darling Harbour and have you back again in under 3 hours. You will get to view the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and world famous Opera House before heading out of the harbour to get up close and personal with the migrating humpback whales. Our custom built Whale Watching boat is designed to get you as close as possible to the amazing whales, we also only take small groups in order to make the experience as close to nature as possible. We provide a commentary throughout the trip including the history of Sydney Harbour's whaling days and facts about the majestic humpback whale and their annual migration journey to warmers waters to calve. Our trips are family friendly and we welcome all ages. Our friendly crew will help with all aspects of the trip. We offer a 'Whale Sighting Guarantee' if you don't see whales you can come again free of charge!

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What people are saying about New South Wales

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 188 reviews

Pleasant surprise to know that a marine scientist was part of the crew! We managed to catch 3 whales up close, dolphins that rode the waves with our boat, and very excellent commentary on the marine mammals. To top it off, we were also guided on the harbour's sights and stories behind landmarks. Glad I got on this tour on my birthday and the whale sightings were a gift from nature

if you are prone to seasickness avoid this trip in rough weather we saw a lot of whales and we loved it. but I wouldn't advise bring small children it can get pretty rough and they get bored

Booking online was easy, lots of information provided so we knew what to expect and what to bring.

10/10! The staff were fabulous! The cruise was everything we expected and more! Highly recommend.

Lucky to see some whales and dolphins. Warm reminder of sea-sick.