The headlands of the Camden Haven: Diamond Head, Kattang Nature Reserve, Grants Head and Bonny Hills offer great whale watching vantage points.

Every year, humpback whales and southern right whales migrate along the NSW coastline.

They head north throughout June and in the first week of July, and return southwards from around September to November. During their northern migration, most whales come within 3 km of the NSW coast.

Headlands and lookouts in national parks can be the perfect place to see them. In the Camden Haven the best places are Grant’s Head at Bonny Hills, Perpendicular Point in the Kattang Nature Reserve and Diamond Head in the Crowdy Bay National Park. Late morning and early afternoon are reasonably good times of the day to whale watch from most vantage points, as the glare off the water doesn’t make sighting the tell-tale ‘blow’ too difficult. Early morning can also be a good time as the ‘blow’ is often highlighted by the back light of the morning sun.

Vessel-based whale watching is popular in NSW. Unlike Hervey Bay in Queensland, where whales are resting with new-born calves, most humpback whales in NSW waters are actively migrating. Any disturbance by vessels could affect these animals. Whales require ‘personal space’, and harassment may severely stress them – possibly causing accidents both for humans and whales if the whales feel threatened. This is especially important in the case of the adults with calves, which may be either resting or suckling. Research has shown that whales are highly sensitive to engine noises. You should also be aware that during the mating season, males competing for females may engage in rough physical contact.Whales are protected animals, and if you go out on the water, you should follow the regulations for whale watching. They’ve been designed to make whale watching enjoyable and safe, without interference to the whales.