Whales & Dolphins

The Coffs Coast, nestled between rugged mountains and sparkling sea, offers a wide selection of stunning elevated lookout points that are ideal for watching whales and dolphins.

Between May and October migrating whales frequently put on spectacular displays as they frolic off the coast on their journey between Antarctica and North Queensland. Bring a picnic to one of the gorgeous viewing locations listed below and experience the excitement that bursts forth at the sight of these majestic creatures.

Humpback whales are often seen as they undertakes an epic migratory journey along our coast. In June these massive creatures travel north to mate and calve. From the icy Antarctic waters to warmer waters off the Queensland coast the procession peaks in August. Through September and October the whales return to the southern waters with juveniles in tow.

Whales that are less frequently seen include, Southern Right whales, Sperm whales and Minkes.

You can improve your chances of seeing a whale by knowing what to look out for. Often the first sign of their presence is their ‘blow’.  This is a cloud of water vapour created when the whale exhales as it breaks the surface. Due to the shape and position of the blow hole, different whales produce different blows. Make sure to scan the ocean, looking carefully for tell-tale spray. You may also see a wave from their fins or tail flukes. More spectacular behaviour includes tail slapping, pectoral fin slapping, and breaching. Breaching usually begins with two or three beats of the tail, after which the humpback whale will leap out of the water, roll in the air with its huge pectoral fins outstretched like wings and crash back into the ocean with a tremendous splash.

Throughout the year large pods of dolphins cruise our waters. Local Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins are sleek and streamlined and travel up to 35 km/hour, searching for their food. They consume a wide variety of seafood including fish, squid and octopus.  When the water is clear and glassy it is not uncommon to see large numbers surfing and launching themselves through the waves in awe inspiring performances.

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