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Published July 21st 2015
Some are closer than you think
Image supplied Destination NSW
Sydney is on high alert, for whales that is. Nothing beats the flabbergasting sight of your first whale. The sheer immensity, their staggering proportions. Everyone should experience the sight of a whale.
From May to November such sightings become a possibility as some 20 000 whales travel along the NSW coast on their annual migration to warmer waters.
From Whale Beach to Bondi, there are plenty of chances to see these grand monarchs of the deep. And some of the best spots are closer to you than you might think.
Destination NSW has come up with a list of the ten best lookouts, foreshores and national parks where you can engage with a whale.
1. Barrenjoey Lighthouse is on Barrenjoey Head in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park at Palm Beach on the Northern Beaches. This 1881, heritage lighthouse is the perfect spot to look out for migrating whales. There is a steep walk to the top but the rewards are the amazing ocean views and your chance to spot one of the great ones.
Image supplied Destination NSW
2. The northern headland of Sydney Harbour's magnificent entrance is called North Head Lookout. There are towering clifftops, views over the ocean not to mention the spectacular panorama of the harbour and the city skyline. You can walk on the 1km Fairfax Walking Track which is a paved path from the car park to the lookout.
3. The Headland Park, Georges Heights Lookout, is the perfect place to enjoy an ocean panorama from an elegant sandstone platform. The lookout is in Georges Heights, in Headland Park, Mosman. It provides stunning vantage points for whale watching with uninterrupted views across the harbour.
Photo taken by Scott Portelli Source Facebook Wild About Whales NSW
4. Freshwater North Headland is a beautiful park overlooking Freshwater Beach on the Northern Beaches. Steps take you to a circular stone viewing area with stunning seascape views. Great place to sit for awhile and await the aquatic parade.
Tip: On chilly days there's a car park right on the headland so you can take a thermos and whale watch from inside your car. Or there are steps down to Freshwater ocean pool and a lovely boardwalk along the rocks. More chances to play Spotto.
5. So let's not rough it here. Jonah's: Sydney's only Relais & Chateau hotel is perched on the cliff overlooking Whale Beach. You could spend all day in here just choosing your drink as there are 1600 options on the wine list. While your eyesight might be taken up with the wine list and splendid menu staff are always on high alert and let patrons know when a whale can be viewed. They keep binoculars at the ready. You an even stay in of their rooms many of which have unobstructed ocean views.
6. The viewing platform at Cape Solander in Botany Bay National Park is one of the best whale-watching locations in Sydney. This is why it is the site of volunteer program from June to July each year when volunteers count every whale that they see pass by. Information is collected by the National Park and Wildlife Service.
7. Why not stretch your legs. The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk winds along 6km of beautiful Eastern Suburbs ocean coastline. There are various whale-watching vantage points along the way.
8. South Head Heritage Trail is next to the beautiful Camp Cove Beach in Watsons Bay. The track is a short loop along the coastline and clifftops. The best whale-viewing spot is at Gap Bluff. Afterwards, you might want to relax on the top deck at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Last season, a playful mother whale and calf were sighted from there stopping everyone in their drinking tracks.
9. Royal National Park is an hour's drive from the CBD. There is a 30k Coast Walk, skirting the park's eastern edge along the towering sandstone cliffs. There are plenty of chances to glimpse travelling whales from this lofty height.
North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park- Source Facebook Wild About Whales NSW
10. If you have no luck on land you can still take to the water. There are any number of whale-watching cruise operators offering two, three and four-hour tours on boats departing from Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, San Souci and Manly.
Share your whale photos with Destination NSW @seesydney and #ilovesydney
For more information click here. Did you know that there is a whale sighting app? Click here.
If you have any other suggestions about great places for whale watching please leave them in the comments section to grow this list.