The stunning clear waters of Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven make for some remarkable whale watching. With sands that are the whitest of white, and an ocean teeming with marine life, the region is a favourite spot for romantics, families and adventurists alike.
The Jervis Bay area enjoys an extended whale-watching season due to its southerly position, and marks the halfway point on the humpback migration from Antarctica to the warm waters of Queensland, and back again. Mothers and their calves use the protected Jervis Bay waters as a resting spot, which makes their return journey the optimum time for whale watching.
Haven Holiday Resort is the perfect secluded getaway you didn’t know you needed. Nestled in amongst private bush land a few minutes south of the main township of Sussex Inlet, the resort offers great access to headland and lighthouse vantage points a short drive to the north and south.
Our top picks for spotting humpback whales from the coastline:
Warden Head, Ulladulla
47 mins from Haven Holiday Resort
The Warden Head reserve is only a five-minute drive from the township of Ulladulla, and offers several viewing platforms making it a favourite whale watching and walking spot for locals and visitors. The headland provides clear views of passing whale pods that hug the rugged coastline here as they pass. The ~150 year old lighthouse was originally built in 1873 on the Ulladulla breakwater, but moved five years later to its current position atop the headland. It is one of only two lighthouses in the state of NSW’ to be created out of wrought iron sheeting (the other is located in Wollongong). Although it is no longer open to the public, the lighthouse itself also makes for a terrific photo op.
Cape St George Lighthouse, Booderee national Park, Jervis Bay Territory
54 mins from Haven Holiday Resort
Geographically closer to Haven Holiday Resort, and positioned at the end of the gravel Stoney Creek Road in the Booderee National Park, the ruined landmark that is Cape St George Lighthouse is an impressive backdrop to your whale watching adventure. Perched atop cliff tops, there is a viewing platform that is our personal pick for best whale watching vantage points.
The lighthouse itself is now heritage listed after being destroyed in the early 20th century after Point Perpendicular Lighthouse in 1898 after being not very affective a its job in preventing shipwrecks from northbound ships due to the poor light visibility from the lighthouse’s location on the headland. The lighthouse also possesses a fascinating and grisly history, for more information visit Parks Australia.
The Booderee National Park belongs to the Wreck bay Aboriginal Community so all care and respect of the land should be taken on your visit.
Penguin Head, Culburra Beach
54 mins from Haven Holiday Resort
Penguin Head is renown for the incredible views all the way to Shoalhaven Heads to the north from the lighthouse at Crookhaven Heads, and Currawong to the south from the Penguin Head lookout. You can take a leisurely stroll along the beach from headland to headland, which will take approximately an hour each way, or it is a less than a ten-minute drive.
Point Perpendicular, Beecroft Peninsula
64 mins from Haven Holiday Resort
Another headland, and another lighthouse, located on the southern end of the Beecroft Peninsula, and at the northern entrance to the Jervis Bay, this spot offers views all the way to Hyams Beach and is the perfect spot for a day trip and picnic lunch. Although there is no access into the lighthouse itself after its closure in 1993, the views from the headland is a great whale watching vantage point, although we do recommend traveling in good sized vehicle as the road can sometimes be described as a bit rough. Another drawcard for many visitors is that it is home to a Navy weapons range.
Only accessible weekends and School Holidays. Check times by calling the Shoalhaven Visitors Centre.
Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven Whale Watching Tours
There are a range of intimate whale watching experiences to be had in the protected waters of Jervis Bay, and the greater South Pacific Ocean that will stay with you forever.
Jervis Bay Wild- Huskisson
This two-hour experience will take you on a journey through Jervis Bay to the South Pacific Ocean and is best experienced on the return migration of the humpbacks for sightings of the mothers and their calves.
Departs 10:30am and 1:00pm daily
Dolphin Watch Cruises – Huskisson
Dolphin Watch Cruises offers a variety of exciting tour experiences from dolphin, seal to the majestic whales. There are two different whale-watching tours available, with a 1.5-2 hour eco experience, or 2.5-3 hour cruise option depending on your preference.
Departs 10am weekdays and 9:30am and 12:30pm weekends, however departures may vary during holiday periods so best to visit the website to check availability.
Jervis Bay Sailing Charters – Huskisson
If you are seeking a sailing adventure, Jervis Bay Sailing Charters offer several sailing packages where you may get an opportunity for whale viewing, with options varying from two-hour sightseeing trips to several days out at sea.
Bookings are made by email or phone enquiry.
Ulladulla Fishing Charters – Ulladulla
Shoalhaven is a favourite fishing destination, and Ulladulla Fishing Charters offer both fishing charters and sightseeing trips to view both whales and the superb coastline.
Booking enquiries for this two-hour experience are by phone, website enquiry form, or their Facebook page.
Dive Jervis Bay – Huskisson
A four-hour Swim with Whales and Seals diving experience is offered through Dive Jervis Bay for both snorkelers and divers. Although a swim with whales is not guaranteed, 56% of customers will be lucky enough to enjoy this incredible experience, with a 97% of a whale sighting.
Generally departing daily, but please check with the operator for available dates and times.
* Please check with individual tour providers prior to booking for any changes to services.
Check out more ideas of things to do when visiting Shoalhaven.
To Find The Best Spots For Whale Watching At Our Riverside and Fingal Bay FCSWC Resorts Please Visit: