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Take part in the annual Whale Census

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Wild About Whales
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Whale fluke credit Jodie Lowe

Are you ready to take your whale watching skills to the next level? The annual Whale Census is happening on Sunday 24 June.

The census is organised by ORRCA and relies on volunteers to get outdoors and record how many whales are spotted. This data is used to help understand more about whale populations and their migration along the NSW coast.

No skills or experience is required, simply download and print the sighting log from the ORRCA website (make sure to log your sightings on the Wild About Whales app too!)

There will be ORRCA and National Parks volunteers at the following locations to assist with the count:

Blog - Cape Byron Whale Census

1. Cape Byron State Conservation Area

Featuring the most easterly point in Australia, Cape Byron State Conservation Area is the perfect spot to join in the annual Whale Census. Spot whales from the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse or take in the sights along the Cape Byron walking track.

Blog - Barrenjoey Lighthouse

2. Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park

Situated at the tip of Sydney’s most northern point, Barrenjoey Headland is a great place to settle down with a pair of binoculars and watch the whales migrating from the lofty height of 91m above sea level.

Blog - whale watching from Fairfax lookout

3. Fairfax Lookout, Sydney Harbour National Park

Fairfax Lookout is a spectacular vantage point on Sydney’s North Head, just a short distance from Manly. Featuring panoramic views of the ocean and Sydney Harbour, it is a wonderful location to spot whales and relax with the whole family.

Blog - Whale Census Cape Solander

4. Cape Solander, Kamay Botany Bay National Park

Arguably one of Sydney’s best vantage points for whale watching, this vantage point features a whale watching viewing platform that includes handy information on whale species you may see.

If you don’t need assistance, here are some other great spots near Sydney to set up and spot the whales migrating:

Blog - Bouddi Whale Watching

Bouddi coastal walk, Bouddi National Park

Located only 90 minutes north of Sydney, the Bouddi coastal walk boasts spectacular ocean views along an 8km formed track that can be separated into shorter sections if preferred. Relish the brisk ocean breeze as you watch for whales and pack a picnic to enjoy along the way. The Bouddi coastal walk includes sections of boardwalks, making it an easier option for families. Parking is available at the Putty Beach picnic area.

Blog - Hornby Lighthouse South Head image credit Hugh O'Brien

South Head, Sydney Harbour National Park

South Head provides some of the most stunning coastal views on offer without requiring you to leave the heart of Sydney. Walk the easy South Head heritage trail to see the beautiful candy-striped Hornby Lighthouse or take in the views from the impressive height of the Gap. This location is perfect if you want to spend a shorter time whale watching.
Image credit: Hugh O'Brien/OEH

Discover more vantage points near you.

Safety when whale watching

Remember to always be aware of your surroundings as many coastal walks and vantage points have exposed cliff edges. Keep a safe distance (at least five metres) from edges and rock platforms, pay attention to signage and take advice from NPWS staff for your safety.

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