Port Stephens: Whale Watching Capital
When it comes to witnessing the majesty of the biggest creatures on earth, Port Stephens has you covered. The Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park is one of Australia’s most extraordinary marine playgrounds and is home to a diverse range of marine life; whales, dolphins, seals, and turtles all inhabit these waters.
Every winter, more than 25,000 humpback whales complete the great migration from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef, a round trip of almost 10,000km! The whales travel quite close to the shoreline as they make the journey north as this keeps them out of the East Australian Current. The current runs north to south and the whales don’t want to be swimming against it! Later in the year, when returning to Antarctica, our coastline helps them with navigation and protection for the mums and their newborn calves. Generally passing within 3km of the coast, this puts Port Stephens in a unique position to spot them; whether you’re viewing from land or water.
Even from a mile away, you can see the whales ‘blow’ which stands up to 4 metres high. This is followed by their stubby dorsal fin as it breaks through the water before a lift of the tail flukes as the animal prepares to dive. Being out on the boats gives you the perfect vantage point of the leaping whales, with some even getting curious and approaching the boats. No longer will you have to imagine what it is like to watch a 40-tonne Humpback whale launch itself out of the water, before landing with a mighty splash. If you love nature and are looking for a holiday you will never forget, Port Stephens is the place to be!