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Get amongst it in national parks this winter

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Wild About Whales
The Coast track, Royal National Park. Photo: D.Finnegan/OEH

National parks are dotted along the NSW coastline and they offer plenty of great winter experiences for the whole family. The cooler weather brings with it a variety of winter wildlife, and there are so many ways to get back to nature.

Here’s our top 5 reasons to migrate to the NSW coast this winter:

Spot a whale

Now is the best time to catch a glimpse of whales as they pass the NSW coastline on their annual migration. It’s early in the season and there’s already been many sightings of both humpback whales and southern right whales as they head north. NSW national parks offer some of the best coastal vantage points to view the annual whale migration with whale watching top spots found all along the coast, stretching from Byron Bay in the north, to Eden in the south. The annual whale watching season runs from May through to November, so winter is the time to really get Wild About Whales.

Humpback beaching off Sydney. Photo:OEH

Spot a whale. Humpback off Sydney. Photo: OEH

Take to the bush

Nothing beats a bush walk on a cool winter’s day to invigorate the body and soul.

Take in the clean and fresh air in NSW’s national parks where you can discover some truly amazing places on foot with trails suited for walkers of all ages and fitness levels, and if you’re lucky you may even spot a whale from one of the many lookouts and headlands. Check out NSW’s national parks for information on the best walks NSW has to offer.

Spot the winter wildlife

Wildlife love the cooler weather, making winter the perfect time to get outdoors and spot fascinating animals.

The waters off the NSW coastline are abundant with whales and dolphins and many can be spotted easily from the scenic beaches and headlands throughout coastal national parks. The waters off Port Stephens on the north coast, and Jervis Bay on the south coast, are well known for seeing dolphins.

Seals are commonly sighted along the NSW coastline, and they’re often seen lazing on large rocks in the sunshine, and Montague Island Nature Reserve on the south coast near Narooma is packed with hundreds of seals at this time of year.

Seabirds also love being out and about in the colder weather. Gannets, albatross and other seabirds including little penguins can be seen from coastal vantage points. Keep an eye out for forest birds such as honeyeaters and wrens that are commonly seen in the flowering heathlands.

Little Penguins. Photo: M.Kuhn

Little Penguins. Photo: M.Kuhn

Sleep the night in a national park

Ever thought of actually sleeping within a national park for the night? Or even a few nights? NSW national parks have a great range of accommodation options, from historic homesteads and cottages to campgrounds and even lighthouses! Check out the great range of Wild About Whales accommodation deals and offers, perfect for the whale watching season.

Green Cape Lightstation Keeper's Cottage. Photo: N.Cubbin/OEH

Green Cape Lightstation Keeper’s Cottage. Photo: N.Cubbin/OEH

Surf the waves

Winter weather can generate some of the best waves of the entire year. The NSW coastline has always been known for its many top surf spots, and with many of them located within our national parks, now’s the time to ride the tide in the winter sun.

Smokey Cape Beach, Hat Head National Park. Photo: D.Finnegan/OEH

Surfers at Hat Head National Park. Photo:D.Finnegan/OEH

For more information on whale watching in our national parks as well as other fantastic things to see and do in winter, visit

Humpbacks off Sydney. Photo: OEH

Humpbacks cruising off Sydney. Photo: OEH

For the latest on whale watching and the other great things to see and do in NSW National Parks, sign up for our quarterly e-newsletter Naturescapes.

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