Whale Watching in Sydney – A Season to Remember.

  • By Daniel Da Silva

Whale Watching in Sydney – A Season to Remember.

I’ll never forget the feeling of the warm sun on my face contrasted against the freezing cold sea spray being whipped up by the wind to kiss my cheeks. Almost as if the elements were trying to remind us that despite the sun - winter was very much upon us, and really – what are we doing out on the harbour anyway?

It is of course during these colder months, generally from late May until September that we are lucky enough to partake in Whale Watching and in so doing, experience some of the most amazing and breathtaking sights around. Nothing prepares you for the spectacle of a breaching whale, and they certainly can’t prepare you for the feeling of inadequacy and insignificance when their sheer size is contrasted against your own quivering frame.

Sydney Whale Watching – Where, When and How

Humpback whales travel tens of thousands of kilometres from May until November, swimming between their winter breeding ground to the area they feed in summer – which just so happens to be the east coast of Australia.

That’s right folks, we Australian’s really are the lucky country, because we get to witness one of the longest whale migrations in the world – all just off the coast of Sydney!

whale watching in sydney harbour Sydney meet the Humpback. Humpback, Sydney.


On average, 20,000 Humpback whales will pass by and through Sydney each year, leaving thousands of thrilled Sydney-siders to witness this incredible migration and see for themselves the sheer awesomeness that is the Humpback Whale.
Contact Any Boat for more information or visit our Sydney Whale Watching Tours Page for specific dates and times.

Humpback Whales – A Sydney Schedule

  • In May Humpback Whales begin passing by Sydney on their Northern Migration coming from antarctic waters in the south.
  • By early August they have moved onto their breeding grounds up north around the equator.

On the northern Migration you are likely to see a lot of breaching whales as the active males show their dominance to impress females for mating.

  • From July to September there may be occasional sightings of Southern Right Whales. These whales are nowhere as common as the humpback whale, which you are almost guaranteed to see on every trip, mainly due to the fact they don’t follow a yearly migration like the Humpback Whales.
  • In September we also have the first whales on their way south again. This is the closest the whales will come to peak hour traffic, with both whales of all species heading in either direction at any one time.
  • Mid to late August to the beginning of December the whales are now all swimming south and – this is my favourite time of the year – we start to see the mothers with their newborn calves. Amazing!

The reason this is also exciting is because the chance of spending more initimate times with the whales increases as they tend to spend more time on the surface and swim slower (so that the calf can keep up!)

This part of the season is the most memorable, at least in my own experience as the smaller, younger whales will come up close to the boat and investigate!

What’s Next for the Great Humpback Whale and Sydney

Recent years have seen a dramatic decline in the number of whales swimming our oceans, and although it is a plight we are all made aware of, the dramatic effects of our destructive life style and our insistence on waiting until it is almost too late before doing anything about it has indeed negatively impacted our gentle ocean dwelling mammal friends.

The good news however, is that the humpback whale doesn’t appeared to have received that memo, and the latest news from the scientific community is that humpback whale numbers are increasing as a result of conservation efforts and the fact we are no longer sticking our heads in the sand.

humpback whale breaching in Sydney Harbour

This of course is great news, not just for the beautiful creatures and our wonderful city of Sydney, but for all of those who have not yet been lucky enough to experience the majestic thrill of whale watching off of Sydney Harbour.

Contact Any Boat today or visit https://www.anyboat.com.au/sydney/whale-watching today