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A night's aquatic: Top spots for a quick overnight whale watching adventure

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Wild About Whales
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National parks
Whale watching from Tomaree National Park. Photo: S.Cohen/OEH

NSW national parks make up about half of the NSW coast and offer great whale watching vantage points. If you are interested in an overnight whale watching adventure, there are a range of fantastic locations less than two hours’ drive from Sydney. A couple hours north of Sydney, the Port Stephens region is a great place for a whale watching adventure. This region provides the perfect combination of relaxation, wildlife and nature based activities to keep the family entertained. Meanwhile, a couple of hours down south in Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven, you will find a spectacular stretch of the NSW south coast from which to spot the whales.

Port Stephens

With vantage points all along the coast, you’re sure to spot a whale or two on their migration past Port Stephens. Take the short walk to Tomaree Head Summit in Tomaree National Park (pictured above) and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular ocean views and a great whale watching spot. Check them out here on Google Street View Trekker. Or see these amazing mammals as they make their journey along the coastline from a boat with one of the many tour operators in Port Stephens.

You could easily spend a long weekend or week in this amazing region. Stay at the historic lighthouse keepers’ quarters at Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse or experience the tranquility of bush camping in a nearby national park. Munmorah State Conservation Area just north of Gosford offers the secluded Frazer and Freemans campgrounds by the beach. Or take the kids to a family favourite, and enjoy lakeside camping at Mungo Brush campground in Myall Lakes National Park. Also in Myall Lakes is Broughton Island campground, the only place in NSW where you can camp among an active seabird colony. 

Snapper Head, Munmorah State Conservation Area Snapper Head, Munmorah State Conservation Area

Head there now!

Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven

The Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven region will mesmerise nature lovers, as you experience the magnificent beauty of the south coast. Memories will be made here, with world renowned white sands and outstanding diving and snorkeling in the clear waters of Jervis Bay.

Jervis Bay National Park offers some truly remarkable experiences and best of all, it boasts some of the finest whale watching in NSW. Explore the area's Aboriginal heritage, immerse yourself in pristine forests and discover perfect beaches where you can spot whales migrating along the coast. Try the incredible White Sands walk and Scribbly Gum track to really appreciate the feel of untouched beauty this place has to offer.

Greenfields Beach, Jervis Bay National ParkGreenfields Beach, Jervis Bay National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

The Shoalhaven region offers fantastic experiences for a night or two away. Go out in search for migrating whales and explore the spectacular stretch of the coast on a South Coast whale watching tour. You can go whale watching, visit nearby sites like the Kiama blowhole and enjoy a scenic drive through Kangaroo Valley and the Southern Highlands. 

Framing Wollongong, the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area offers scenic lookouts ideal for watching whales in the distance. Hiking, walking, birdwatching and beautiful picnic spots also await you. Extending from Shoalhaven Heads east of Nowra to Gerroa, Seven Mile Beach National Park also offers beautiful beaches, coastal bushwalking and picturesque places to picnic.

Seven Mile Beach National ParkSeven Mile Beach National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

Head there now!

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