The Northern Migration – Whale Watching off Sydney Heads

I’ve been really lucky over the past couple of weeks to have been out whale watching from TWICE from Sydney – yes TWICE 🙂

Both days were warm and sunny and we were SO lucky {and grateful} to see some ‘Humpback’ whales heading north during their annual migration.

Each year – around May, Humpback whales leave the cold waters of Antarctica and swim north to the warm tropical waters of Queensland, Australia, to mate and give birth to their young.

They are such amazing creatures…We spotted our first couple of humpbacks not far off Sydney heads..



These majestic creatures can grow to an average length of 12-18 metres and weigh as much as 45 tonnes.

The two whales travelled along together for a while, diving and giving us a glimpse of their tails – {click, click, click went my camera :)}

Whale Tail

Humpbacks are VERY acrobatic {considering their size} and one of the two whales we were observing really decided to put on a show…

Breaching is said to be either purely for play, to loosen skin parasites or it may have some social meaning. Check out the splash he made when he hit the water!



He then ‘spyhopped’ {poked his head out of the water for around 30 seconds} to check out what was going on.


Again this was followed by a playful ‘splash.’ 🙂



Finally, he waved good-bye…and they continued on their journey north…


Then just to top off a fantastic day, an albatross flew past {for anyone that knows me, I LOVE albatross.}


Our second day out whale watching was completely different…it was two weeks after the first trip and the whales seemed to be more intent on heading north as quickly as possible….

We just observed them for a while before we headed back to Darling Harbour…


I can’t wait to photograph them again when they head south down the East coast. Have you seen any humpback whales this season? I’d love to hear your stories. Please let me know in the comments below 🙂

bye for now,

Chris 🙂

4 thoughts on “The Northern Migration – Whale Watching off Sydney Heads

  1. Looks great Chriss we were lucky enough to be able to swim with them in Tonga never will forget it you remaindered me again AK

  2. Hi Chris! Love your blogs. I had an amazing whale experience last November. Lou and I went out to Montegue Island specifically for the bird colonies and on the way met a whale who was putting on a fantastic show. A little while later another young male joined him and they began ‘playing off’ each other. It was magic! We stayed as long as we could taking photos – although the weather wasn’t as kind to us as it was for you: late afternoon, overcast, rough seas, only colour was muted greys – then continued on to the island. Before I had time to change lenses a pod of say 30 dolphins just surrounded the boat, leaping and playing – so close we could almost touch them, but too close to take photos with a 300 lens! Arghh! Approaching the island we came across Australian and NZ fur seals (some swimming right up to the boat) and babies that showed no fear. An unexpected but thoroughly enjoyable experience.
    Our main reason for going to the island was for the birds and they didn’t disappoint either: White Bellied Sea Eagle, nesting seagulls (noisy as!) and Crested Terns then after nightfall we joined the ranger to count the Little Penguins in the nightly “Penguin Parade”.

    1. Hi Gail,
      How are you? Thanks so much for your lovely comments about my blog…We had such an awesome time out whale watching and it’s such a coincidence that you’ve written about your fantastic experience on the way to Montague Island, we are having a weekend at Narooma in October to do this exact tour!!!

      I would love to see your pics from this experience, it sounds like photography heaven!!….Do you have a flikr site? if so please send me the link….
      I’m off to Condobolin this weekend to judge the photography section of the ‘Condobolin show.’ Very keen to do some sunset, sunrise and night photography as well…

      talk soon,
      Chris 🙂

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