Whale watching in Australia
In Australia and New Zealand we are very fortunate to have annual humpback and southern right whale migrations along our coasts, which gives us wonderful opportunities to spot land and sea whales in winter and spring.
Whale watching on land
The easiest and easiest way to spot whales is from land each year in the winter and spring months. This could be that some dolphins are playing in the surf or passing whales, or if you're really lucky to see a southern right whale in a bay. Tens of thousands of whales migrate from their summer feed areas deep in the Arctic Ocean to their northern breeding areas in the warm tropical waters off North Australia and the South Pacific.
Check with your local wildlife, tourist, or government agency for the best whale watching locations near you.
One of my favorite whale watching locations is North Head in Sydney. It's a great example of what to look for in a good whale watching location. It offers a breathtaking and spectacular view of the sea to the horizon and a height of 90 meters, so that you can see up to 30 km away. The higher the better than at sea level you can see about 5 km to the horizon, at 100 meters you can see up to almost 40 km.
North Head also has the beautiful Fairfax Walking Track, which offers properly fenced viewpoints that are connected by a sealed trail so it's safe and accessible to the whole family. The headland can be accessed by car, public transport, or one of the many hiking trails.
Note: Extreme caution is required on headlands and cliffs. Children should always be kept under strict adult supervision.
When to go?
Imagine your day when you can, bright, clear and sunny. I have found that it is much easier to see the whales earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon than in the middle of the day. Due to the low angle of the sun, they stand out better from the background. Even if the wind comes up and waves form, it is much more difficult to spot the whales between the white caps. The wilder the weather, the more active the whales seem to be.
What to bring?
As on every big day, wear your comfortable outdoor clothing, bring extra warm windbreakers, gloves and hats as well as comfortable walking shoes. Don't forget something tasty to nibble and drink and give yourself a lot of time.
Mother Nature gave us the amazing Mark 1 eyeball and most of the time you can only see whales near the coast with your eyes. The next thing you need to take with you is binoculars.
Binoculars are available in many different flavors and cost between inexpensive and really terrible.
Binoculars are available in all possible magnifications and sizes. For example, a commonly available size is 10 x 50 whale watching binoculars. This is a good balance between magnification, brightness, and price. The first number refers to the magnification.
Useful reference, attractions, things to do, places to visit, accommodation