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The Whales You Might See


When you are visiting Sydney, or even if you are a resident, you should take advantage of opportunities to go whale watching. Because of its southern position in the ocean, Australian whale watchers have a unique opportunity to see many different types of animals throughout their migration cycles. Many animals, especially whales, migrate as the temperatures shift. Water temperatures around Australia tend to stay warm a little bit longer than other parts of the world, therefore, the best times to see whales are winter and spring.

Humpback Whales

Humpback whales, which are a very large species of whale, are the most common whale you will see when you are whale watching in Sydney. They’re distinct in that they have the signature humped backs. They are also known for leaping out of the water, which makes them a favourite for whale watchers. Their characteristic leaping also makes them distinctive enough to be featured on company logos.

Humpbacks migrate north from about April to August. From August to December, they migrate south so that they can take advantage of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. These are also some of the best times to see humpback whales, though they are not the only whales you will see.

Blue Whales

Even though the blue whale is the largest animal in the world, they are typically very difficult to spot. Nonetheless, there is still a good chance you may see one. Because of their incredible size and a few other factors, blue whales tend to stay near the continental shelf where the water is deeper. The continental shelf is about 40km off the coast of Australia, so you will not see them near the shore very often.

Other Whales

There are many different species of whales, and many of them can be found off the coast of Australia. You can see blue whales, Bryde’s whales, Minke whales, killer whales, false killer whales, and a few other species.


Spotting whales is something you can do from the balcony of your beachfront hotel if you have binoculars or a telephoto lens on a camera, however, the best way to do it is by hiring a company that will take you on a whale watching tour. The tour guides will be able to take you out on the water closer to the potential whales.

Whale watching tour guides understand the flows of water. There are many different streams and temperature patterns to the water. Whales instinctively sense these things and use them to assist their motion. You need a tour guide who knows them as well.

For example, when humpback whales are migrating north, they use the readily warming water in the north to help them. As the water warms up, it begins to move through various intercontinental currents to assist their travel. This is also when they are closest to the shore because the shallower water sometimes creates the fastest currents.

If you are looking for a great holiday activity or just a fun weekend, watching the whales is very fun. It’s enjoyable for children and adults alike.

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