Take part in the annual Whale Census
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.