Sustainable Recipe Coordinator @ www.HelpMeCook.com.au - loving my newfound freedom after finishing my 2nd round of tertiary education whilst working full time :)
Published January 1st 2012
The lure of the big friendly giants of the sea is a temptation everyone should subject themselves to. Everyone should go whale watching in Sydney at least once in their lives. Normally, you go whale watching between May and November/December, in order to have a higher chance of seeing them. Many companies offer tours with a 99% or 100% chance of seeing whales. Even when it isn't whale watching season, it is still actually a great time to pre-book tours online and get a discount, which some companies offer.
Sydney Whale Watching offers 100% whale sighting rates, and guarantees a free return cruise if you don't see a whale. Currently, a 20% discount is offered for online bookings. Departure is from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour and there are morning and afternoon sessions. That's good news for night owls such as myself. Adult tickets cost $68, concessions are at $60, children can see whales for $42 and a family pass consisting of two adults and two children is priced at $192. If you don't see a whale between the 1st of June and the 31st of July, you can opt to receive a 100% refund.
Captain Cook Cruises offer a book online and save 15% deal. You get to choose whether you travel on a larger or smaller vessel, with the smaller vessels costing less. Smaller vessel adult prices are $63.75 online and $33.15 for children. Larger vessel tickets bought online cost $72.25 per adult and $42.50 per child. If you're a smoker, you're better off ordering a larger vessel ticket because you will only be allowed to smoke on the outside decks. The smaller vessels hold up to 75 guests and can provide a slightly more intimate atmosphere than the larger ones which hold up to 260 people. There is also a whale guarantee with Captain Cook Cruises.
For those of you more adventurous, there is the Extreme Whale Watching option for $90 per person in season. The tour is high-speed and for 60 to 90 minutes, it goes up to 100km per hour. You don't need to be very fit but you do need to be at least 150cm in height. If you have back or neck injuries or are pregnant, you probably shouldn't participate, and you must be at least 12 years of age. Wear comfortable clothes but not a skirt and ensure to bring sunscreen and sunglasses. Life jackets are optional but recommended and are provided for free. The extreme whale watching tours depart from Darling Harbour and the Manly Wharf. The groups are quite small, with a minimum of 12 passengers opposed to up to 260 people.
Finally, you can buy gift certificates for whale watching tours for a loved one if you wish, too. This can be a beautiful gift for those who love nature. You can purchase Sydney Eco Whale Watching Tour gifts, which although seasonal, is a unique gift idea.
With so many options and discounts available to you, you should really try whale watching. It's a once in a lifetime experience and you'll remember it for a long time to come. Often, you might even see dolphins while you're at it. Happy hunting everyone and remember to book early for discounts.