Our guide to the 2017 whale watching season in Port Stephens

With whales already sighted up and down the coast of New South Wales, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best whale watching vantage points, tours and activities in Port Stephens to give you insider tips on this year’s whale watching season.

Just two hours north of Sydney, Port Stephens and the Newcastle region is a great place to start your whale watching adventure. This region is one of the most diverse with relaxing resorts, wildlife and outdoor activities to keep the family entertained.

Explore towering dunes and majestic rocky headlands, alongside World Heritage parks and coastal rainforest. The region is also home to pods of bottlenose dolphins, a lively koala habitat and a little penguin breeding colony, and most importantly is a favourite playground for the migrating whales due to its calm waters.

We recommend taking a short hike up to the Tomaree Head Summit in Tomaree National Park, with one of the best vantage points in the region you’ll be sure to spot a whale or two on their migration north. It’s free, and only a 2.2klm return trip which should take around 1-2 hours. The views from the summit are unparalleled, you can even see as far as Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands, but don’t forget your binoculars! You can take a virtual tour of the Tomaree Head Summit walk captured with Google Street View Trekker here.

Alternatively if you’d like to get up close and personal you can float alongside these majestic mammals as they splash and play with their young with one of the many tour operators in Port Stephens. One of our favourite’s is Moonshadow Cruises who offer the largest and most luxurious vessel in the region, keeping you warm, dry and even providing refreshments along the way. You can book direct by calling 02 4984 9388 or simply ask at Reception.

It’s been a busy season to date and with sighting already happening on the North Coast, we recommend getting in early, however the season will span from late May-November as more pods make their way north. Oaks Pacific Blue Resort is the ideal base from which to explore the region and is located in the heart of Port Stephens, catering to families, groups and couples alike with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom self-contained apartments. With the largest pool in the Southern Hemisphere wrapping around the entire resort, the hotel is well-known and a firm favourite in the region. Search for available dates and pricing here.