Don’t miss the best whale watching tours in Australia

From late May through to November you’ll find thousands of whales off the Australian coast. For lucky locals and visitors this incredible natural spectacle is a sight not to be missed. Humpbacks and southern rights are mostly commonly spotted, but you may also see minke whales, orcas and blue whales. Sound good? Thankfully, we’ve got you covered for the best whale watching Australia has to offer. 

Take a look at our round-up of great whale watching locations in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. Strap in for the adrenaline rush of extreme whale watching or sit back and enjoy the ride with a more traditional whale watching cruise.


New South Wales

There are few cities in the world where you’re blessed with such easy access to incredible natural sights, so make the most of it with a whale watching Sydney adventure. With departures from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and Manly, plus options to suit a range of budgets and tastes, there’s a Sydney whale watching trip for everyone. 

Keen for a weekend getaway? Head a couple of hours north of Sydney for whale watching Nelson Bay, Port Stephens. These trips are just one of the many fun things to do in Port Stephens, making it a great place to take a break. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Stockton sand dunes while you’re in the area. They’re perfect for quad biking and sandboarding! 


With its pristine white sands, sparkling blue waters and picture-postcard views, whale watching Jervis Bay is an experience not to be missed. A cruise through Jervis Bay Marine Park is also a great opportunity to spot other wildlife, making this an experience you’ll want to take your camera for. 

You’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled when whale watching in Newcastle, NSW. As well as mighty whales these ocean waters and the surrounding coastline are home to dolphins, sharks, penguins, seals and sea birds. 

Or how about whale watching Byron Bay? Hop aboard a small purpose-built whale watching vessel for the fastest route to the whales and unobstructed 360-degree views. There are lots of activities and things to do in Byron, but whale watching is sure to be a real highlight.



Whale watching Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast is a best seller year after year. And it’s for good reason too, as it is a wonderful place to see whales up close. Keen to go the extra mile? Swim with humpback whales in Mooloolaba for some extra wow-factor! If it’s whale watching Gold Coast you’re looking for, you’re spoiled for choice with trips departing Main Beach and Surfers Paradise. You could even make a great family day out of it with a Gold Coast whale watching family pass!

For Brisbane, Moreton Bay, which is often said to be one of the best whale watching locations in the world. These eco-accredited tours are also a great way to learn more about whales and the importance of protecting our oceans. The tour provider even donates a portion of your ticket price to whale organisations for whale research purposes.


No round up of Queensland tours would be complete without mentioning whale watching Hervey Bay. Cruise alongside the famous Fraser Island and look out for the local dolphins, dugongs, turtles and dingoes in this world-renowned whale watching paradise. Hervey Bay whale watching trips in September and October often see mother’s and calves in the water!

As the ‘gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’ Cairns needs little introduction. It’s an amazing place to visit for fun loving Aussies and people from around the globe, thanks in part to thrilling experiences that take whale watching to the next level. How good does a minke whale snorkel or diving tour sound? With a four-night stay on the vessel this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 


Western Australia

Want the best whale watching Western Australia has to offer? Perth and Fremantle are good places to start. Take your pick from a range of weekend and weekday options. Make your day even more memorable with the luxury of a VIP Captain’s Lounge Experience. 

Head south to Busselton, Dunsborough or Augusta and you’ll find even more superb WA whale watching trips. Some whale watch tours even come with sighting guarantees!

If you’ve always wanted to see orcas (aka killer whales) in the wild, the coastal village of Bremer Bay in the Great Southern Region is the place to do it.

These fascinating creatures come to the area to feed, making it the perfect spot to see them and learn about their unique habits. The nutrient-rich waters of Bremer Bay also attract beaked, pilot and sperm whales, plus you’ll have the chance to spot sharks, dolphins, sea lions and more too. 

Western Australia also offers unforgettable swim with whale experiences. From Exmouth, you can swim with humpback whales in Ningaloo Marine Park or head to Ningaloo Reef to swim with whale sharks. Adrenaline rush experiences don’t get much better! 

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