Humpback whale © Wayne Reynolds
Each year, increasing numbers of whales, mostly humpbacks and southern rights, migrate along the NSW coast to warmer waters for breeding.
To celebrate this, NSW Whalewatch was officially launched on 1 June, to kick off National Parks and Wildlife Service's (NPWS) biggest annual community event.
NPWS plays a key role in monitoring whale populations, with experts predicting there will be an 8 per cent increase of southern right whales and a more than 10 per cent increase in humpback whales this year in NSW. The increase in whale numbers is largely due to a ban on Australian commercial whaling and efforts by conservation groups to protect numbers. This means there will be more than 6500 whales migrating along our coastline – a very exciting indication that NPWS's whale conservation and rescue activities are a success.
Whale watching vantage points
Experts agree that the best whale watching in NSW is along the state's north coast early in the season as the whales head up to Queensland, with vantage points including Coffs Harbour and Cape Byron. The south coast comes alive during September to November, when the pods head back with their new calves. Montague Island is the supreme spot for whale watching at this time.
Sydney locations such as North Head and Cape Solander are also popular, particularly during the northward migration. It is not uncommon to see whales from the Manly Ferry, as they occasionally rest in Sydney Harbour.
The majority of NSW's premier whale watching vantage points are protected in national parks, meaning that everyone is able to join in the fun of whale watching – all that is needed is patience and a bit of luck.
- Visit the Wild About Whales website to keep up with whale sightings and information on where to spot some of Australia's other beautiful creatures such as dolphins, seals, sunfish and turtles.
- Contribute and subscribe to the Twitter feed @wildaboutwhales and use hash tag: #whaleon.