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Whale watching directly from Lake Macquarie aboard a custom-built adventure boat.

Whale Watching from Lake Mac

Whale Discovery Tour

The Whale Discovery Tour is a unique opportunity to observe whales migrating along the stunning Lake Macquarie coastline. Departing from Chalmers Street Jetty, on the oceanside of Swansea Bridge, cruise through the pristine waters of Swansea Channel, before exploring the Lake Mac coastline in search of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Keep an eye out for long-nosed fur seals and common dolphins, too! Our custom-built boat offers protection from the elements while providing a wide view of wildlife at water level.

June – November
2 hours

Highlights include:

  • Water-level views (close to the action)
  • Premier whale watching experience 
  • Professional wildlife guides
  • Safe and comfortable eco-tourism vessel
  • Premium weatherproof jackets provided
  • Comfortable, slim-profile lifejackets provided
  • Accredited quality and sustainable tourism business

Price:

  • Adult – $125

  • Child – $99 (5 – 12 yrs)

Learn about Humpback Whales

Each year, tens of thousands of humpback whales pass the Lake Macquarie coastline on their annual migration from their summer habitat in Antarctica to their winter habitat around the Great Barrier Reef. This huge journey can be more than a 10,000 km round trip!

Even more astounding, most of them do it on an empty stomach. The thick layer of blubber just under the skin not only keeps them warm but fuels this epic migration, including mothers supporting calves and energetic aerial displays, such as breaching and tail slapping, that we are often fortunate to see on our tours. These are big mammals with big brains and energy to burn, making them one of the most exciting wildlife species to see in the wild.

Notes:

  • Minimum age is 5 years old.

Live Availability

Departure Location

Whale Watching Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Whale Watching Season from Lake Macquarie?

From Lake Macquarie whale watching season runs from June to November each year, when humpback whales make the mammoth 5000km journey from Antarctica, past the Lake Macquarie coastline, on the way to their winter habitat in Tropical North Queensland.

When is the best time of year to see whales from Lake Macquarie?

On their annual migration, the whales are typically travelling north around late May, 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 mid-September and all of October, the whales are on their way south.

When is the best time of day to see whales?

There’s no ‘best time’ of day. Fortunately for us, whales migrate all day and all night, so we’re lucky to be able to observe whales at all hours of the day. Each whale has its own personality, and some are very energetic, while others are more relaxed (and sometimes they can surprise you).

Do you guarantee that we will see whales?

We have an extremely high success rate of seeing humpback whales during peak season. While we cannot guarantee you will see whales (as they are wild marine mammals), we do want everyone to have the opportunity to see them – therefore, we offer a free return trip if no whales are spotted on your Whale Discovery Tour (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.

Where should I park?

Free parking is available near Swansea RSL or close to the Swansea Swim Centre on Channel Street. Click here for a map of how to find our departure location, including our best parking suggestions.

Are there toilets on the trip?

Yes! There are toilets at the Swansea RSL, Swansea Woolworths, Quinn Park and we even have a toilet on board!

Can I join the waitlist if a tour is booked out?

When a tour books out we have a waitlist feature. It’s free to join, and should your preferred tour be fully booked, we recommend joining our waitlist, if spaces become available we will contact you to see if you’re still available to join us. In the meantime, we also recommend making a confirmed booking for a different day/time as that means you’ve definitely got a place on board. Should your waitlist booking become available, we can always bring forward your confirmed booking in its place.

Marine Mammal Research and Rescue

CoastXP is an active supporter of ORRCA the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia, we are regularly involved in local marine mammal rescues as well as the annual whale census. To report injured or distressed marine mammals call ORRCA’s  24-hour Rescue Hotline on (02) 9415 3333.