Far North Coast

The lush rainforests of the far north coast cling to ancient volcanoes, intersected with rivers that tumble into the sea. The World Heritage Gondwana rainforests are the jewel in the region’s crown. The Far North Coast is also famous for its long open beaches that are perfect for swimming, while marine parks safeguard the underwater wonders of the Solitary Islands off Coffs Harbour.

The region is home to many great land based whale watching spots including:

Cape Byron State Conservation Area

The rugged headland, jutting out into the sea is the perfect spot to watch turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales on their annual migration.

Location and Access

Cape Byron State Conservation Area is located 2km east of Byron Bay, along Lighthouse Road. You can drive up to the lighthouse precinct. The cottages, walkways and toilets are wheelchair accessible

Fees

Vehicle entry fees apply to Cape Byron Lighthouse precinct, Tallow Beach and The Pass car parks

Facilities

  • A cliff-top walking track winds through diverse plant communities, offering panoramic views of the ocean and hinterland.
  • Accommodation is available at the lighthouse cottages and four beach cottages.

Top Experiences

The Cape’s lighthouse has stood on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland for more than a century, and today, a tour of the lighthouse is a must do.

Iluka Bluff (Bundjalong NP)

The Iluka Bluff picnic area has a great whale watching lookout, along with an informative cultural heritage display in the picnic shelter

Location and Access

To get to Iluka Bluff Lookout, you just need to go to the Iluka Bluff picnic area and take the steps up to the top of the bluff, where a viewing platform provides a spectacular outlook over Iluka Nature Reserve, coastal beaches and the mouth of the mighty Clarence River.
This is a 150m, 10 minutes walk (one way), of medium difficulty.

Fees

Vehicle entry fees apply

Facilities

  • Bundjalong National Park protects 38km of coastline. Basic camping is available at Black Rocks, whilst camping caracan and cabin accommodation is available at Woody Head.

Top Experience

Outstanding canoeing opportunities exist, starting at the pontoon at Black Rocks camping area. Enjoy a paddle on the tranquil tea tree stained waters of Jerusalem Creek.

Angourie Headland (Yuraygir NP)

Angourie Headland is a great spot to look for whales, in between watching the world famous surf break.

Location and Access

Angourie Headland is located 10 minutes outside Yamba and 1 hour north from Coffs Harbour. Wilsons Headland walk is a coastal cliff top walk, there are barrier-free lookout platforms with seats and magnificent beach and ocean views. The walk might be steep in places, but it’s worth the effort! The northern entrance at Boorkoom rest area is wheelchair accessible.

Fees

Vehicle entry fees to Yuraygir National Park apply.

Facilities

  • The best viewing points for whale watchers include Dirrangan Lookout, Red Cliff, Rocky Point and Wilsons Headland.
  • Boardwalks, walking tracks and picnic spots are scattered throughout the park.
  • Car-based and caravan camping at Red Cliff, Lake Arragan, Sandon River and Illaroo, and car-based camping at Station Creek.

Top Experience

Discover one of the many striking cliffs, rocky headlands, isolated beaches, or secluded lagoons that make up the 60km of coastline.  Yuraygir is the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in NSW.

Water based whale watching activities

Once you have explored the many land-based whale watching opportunities that this region offers, you may want to go on a whale and dolphin watching cruise tour.

  • NSW Government
  • National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW