Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept NSW Dine and Discover Vouchers?

NSW Residents can redeem their discover NSW vouchers with CoastXP by using the promo code “DINEANDDISCOVER” when booking online. Vouchers will then be redeemed in-person on the day of your tour, prior to departure.

What is your COVID-19 response?

As a responsible tour operator, we are committed to providing our guests with unforgettable nature-based tours in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. CoastXP has taken a number of additional measures to keep our experiences as safe and as comfortable as possible for our guests.

CoastXP’s full COVID-19 Response Plan can be found – here.

Where should I park?

Each of our departure locations, along with parking suggestions, are listed on the getting here page of our website.

Are your tours suitable for kids?

Boat Tours – Our boat tours are perfect for kids over 3 years old, we even offer discounts for children under 12. Unfortunately, we cannot accept children under the age of 3.

Guided Hikes – Our guided hikes are perfect for kids over 8 years old.

What happens if the weather is not suitable?

We operate in the natural environment, which can be subject to change. If the LIVE weather conditions are different to what is forecast, we may choose to postpone or cancel your tour. If this happens, bookings can be rescheduled (subject to availability) or refunded. If there is light rain on the day, the tour will still run.

What should I wear on the tour?

You should dress for the conditions on the day. Make sure to wear enclosed shoes, and warm clothes (particularly in winter).

Boat Tours – Our crew will provide you with premium weatherproof jackets (should you need them), ensuring your tour is both enjoyable and comfortable.

Guided Hikes – Make sure you bring footwear appropriate for walking/hiking as well as sun-safe clothing including a hat and breathable clothing.

Will I get seasick?

The level of seasickness or motion sickness someone feels differs from person to person. Our custom-built boat provides a fast, safe and smooth ride which often reduces a person’s level of seasickness. If you know you suffer from seasickness, or are considering taking seasickness precautions/medication, it is recommended you speak to a healthcare professional.

What can we expect to see on our tour?

Each of our tours are unique, tours focus on the marine life which inhabit the coastline, local geology, Aboriginal heritage as well as unique destination landmarks including wrecks, cliffs, islands, sea caves and ships. The Newcastle and Lake Macquarie coastline is home to pods of resident dolphins, local sea-birds and in season whales (Jun – Nov).

What tours do you offer?

We offer a range of tours along the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie coastline, to see our full range of experiences – click here.

What type of boat of you have?

We operate a 10.8 metre, eco-tourism rigid inflatable boat (RIB), called ‘Atmos’. Our vessel provides a fast, safe and smooth ride for up to 20 passengers. Atmos is the only eco-tourism RIB to operate coastal sightseeing and whale watching tours along the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie coastline. Atmos is custom-built to the highest standards of safety and reliability, and even has a marine toilet onboard!

Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?

We take payment at the time of booking, and it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance so that you don’t miss out, as sometimes our tours book out.

Do you offer Private Charters?

Yes! We offer private charters or ‘Bespoke Tours’ to suit almost any occasion. If you would like to know more information about our private charters, or what options are available, get in contact with us.

What happens if I want to change the date of my tour?

We understand that sometimes you need to change the date of your booking, for whatever reason. We require a minimum of 48 hours notice, prior to departure to be able to change or cancel a booking. Bookings canceled within 48 hours, or no attendance on the day, will not receive a refund.

Is the vessel wheelchair accessible?

Harbour Square Boat Dock is wheelchair and walker accessible, although there is a 40-50cm step down into and out of the boat. If you have special requirements with boarding or disembarking, please get in contact with us, and we would be more than happy to help.

Do you see dolphins on your tours?

Fortunately, guests aboard our tours are likely to see dolphins on almost every trip. In Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins are two of the most regularly sighted cetaceans on our tours. For more information on touring with dolphins – click here.

Whale Watching

What is the Whale Watching Season in Newcastle?

The whale watching season in Newcastle runs from June to November each year. Whereby humpback whales make the mammoth 5000km journey from Antartica, past the Newcastle coastline towards Tropical North Queensland to have their calves.

When is the best time to see whales in Newcastle?

On their annual migration the whales are typically travelling north around June and July. In August, the whales tend to be crossing over, with some of the ‘early’ whales on their return journey, and some of the ‘late’ whales still heading north. Then come September and October, all of the whales are on their way south.

Do you guarantee that we will see whales?

We have an extremely high success rate of seeing humpback whales during peak season. While we don’t specifically guarantee you will see whales (as they are wild marine mammals), if whales are not spotted on a designated whale watch tour, we offer a free return trip (t’s and c’s apply).

How close can you get to whales?

Many of our whale watching tours have enjoyed close encounters with humpback whales. We follow both state and national whale watching regulations meaning we are not able to approach a whale closer than 100 metres, or 300 metres if there is a calf present. Many of our tours have enjoyed humpback whales very close to the boat, when they choose to swim to us!

Our whale watching practices have been designed in line with the Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2017 and the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.

Gift Cards

How do I purchase a gift card?

Gift cards are available on our website here. These are emailed to your nominated email address and can be printed at home.

How long are your gift cards valid for?

Our gift cards are valid for 3 years from the date of purchase.

Can I receive a physical gift card?

Our e-gift cards are delivered straight to your inbox. If you would like an additional physical gift card posted to you, simply add this to your order during checkout (domestic postage only).

Coastal Prints

Can I purchase a print from my tour?

Yes, you sure can! Simply click here. When checking out, you will be able to nominate your chosen image and tour date. Guests must place a print order within 48 hours of your tour finishing in order to guarantee a print from your tour.

Do you sell other types of prints?

We do! CoastXP’s Coastal Prints bring the essence of nature, the coastline and its marine life to your home. To view the range – click here.

Can I get my print framed?

Absolutely! To view CoastXP’s premium framing options – click here.

For any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.