Between May and November each year humpback whales migrate between feeding grounds. During this time the whales pass by Sydney, on the East coast of Australia. I was in Sydney in late August so decided to take whale watching trip to see if we could spot some of these amazing creatures.
My afternoon trip commenced in Darling Harbour where the sun was shining and Spring was definitely in the air. I was one of the first on the boat as I was so excited and eager not to miss the departure. Once onboard I was issued with a sailing outfit that was warm and waterproof. This seemed unnecessary while we sat basking in the sun in the harbour. On the way out to the Heads we detoured to Circular Quay to pick up more passengers. This meant even more photo opportunities to capture that bridge and the Opera House. I almost wished I’d not bothered with my harbour cruise earlier in the week as I got to see everything again. I love being on the water so much I wasn’t really fussed though and I just lapped it up.
As we reached the edge of Sydney Harbour the wind started to pick up and it became evident that the fetching one size fits none sailing gear was necessary and my fellow passengers and I began to put the giant dungaree style trousers and jackets on over our regular clothes.
Outside the safety of the harbour the water was decidedly choppy. As the waves built, I spent the majority of our trip out towards the whales leaning against the railings at the front of the ship. It was an exhilarating journey riding the waves. There were huge crests and then deep troughs and we appeared to be travelling diagonally across them so we’d float up on a crest and then the ocean would disappear from beneath the boat and we’d go crashing down! It was a roller-coaster ride and I loved it. I did get slightly wet feet and wished the waterproofs provided included shoes too.
When the captain announced that we were nearing the whales everyone was so animated and excited. The first sighting was incredible. I couldn’t believe that I was so close to a real life whale. They really are beautiful, graceful animals. We didn’t get any major displays, just one tail fluke up in the air so quickly that I couldn’t capture it on camera, but just seeing the whales was enough for me.
This trip was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I would highly recommend it to anyone. One of the most incredible things is how close the whales are to such a major city. There are various companies offering whale watching cruises. I chose Sydney Whale Watching because of the small size of the boat and guarantee to see whales. It is possible to book online for a 20% discount and ISIC, YHA and VIP Backpacker card holders can purchase concession tickets at A$52. Bargain for an unforgettable experience and a nearly 5 hour trip.