With whale watching season fast approaching, it’s time to round up the best spots to view nature’s most magnificent mammals as they flip and frolic off the east coast of Australia, with Lake Macquarie at the centre of all the action.
Between May and November in Australia, the Pacific Coast whale migration runs from south to north then back again as whales seek warmer waters to wait out the winter months. With humpback sightings galore, these are the spots to stake out and set up camp to catch a glimpse – or more – of these incredible creatures. Bringing along binoculars, snacks and a camera is highly recommended!
Do not miss the incredible sights from Redhead Bluff, a rocky headland boasting views that reach across the ocean and south over Nine Mile Beach towards Blacksmiths Beach and Swansea – a prime spot that’s got the lot.
You’ll find the Awabakal Viewpoint along a walk through the Awabakal Nature Reserve from Dudley south through coastal heath and forest to Redhead. The viewpoint itself offers panoramic views to the north and the walk is full of spectacular wildflowers between July and October. A fantastic choice for whale watching, observing local birdlife and wildflower photography.
Caves Beach Coastal Walk
A top spot for whale watching, the picturesque Caves Beach Coastal Walk – which crosses the clifftops south from Caves Beach to secluded Pinny Beach in the Wallarah National Park – is an easy walking trail ideal for observing the northern migration. The trail features plenty of lookouts where you can enjoy a closer view of the passing pods and when you return to Caves Beach be sure to check out the amazing sea caves which are perfect for exploring at low tide.
Ken & Audrey Owens Walk
A community-created coastal walkway through restored bushland, The Ken & Audrey Owens Walkwayis split into two sections, with one direction taking in Redhead Lagoon and the other heading to Webb Park. With a concrete and timber boardwalk suitable for wheelchairs and prams, this is a fabulous family-friendly option for those keen to catch a glimpse of the whales in action from the easily accessible viewpoint in the Owens Walkway car park.
The view from the sky
For an entirely different way to whale watch, Skyline Aviation operates helicopter joy flights departing from Lake Macquarie Airport and taking in the sights from Blacksmiths to Nobby’s Beach. Along the way take in the stunning cliffs between Redhead around to Dudley and return via Charlestown and Lake Macquarie.
Up close and personal
For the ultimate up close and personal experience with migrating whales, hop aboard a Whale Watching Cruise with Nova Cruises to enjoy an unforgettable 2.5-hour voyage which provides plenty of opportunities to get close to playful dolphin pods, sea birds, seals and humpback whales. And – in the unlikely event you don’t spot a whale – they’ll offer you another cruise free of charge. CoastXP also offers The Encounter Tour, a nature-based immersion experience. The tour give it’s guests the opportunity to spot the magic migration between the months of June and November each year.
Now is the time to start planning your trip to experience the amazing migration of over 35,000 humpback whales this season, and there’s no better place to do so than in lovely Lake Macquarie.