Picturesque Fingal Bay is the perfect holiday destination for whale-watching aficionados and photography enthusiasts alike. Situated in New South Wales’ Port Stephens a mere two and a half hours north of Sydney, the region boasts the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern hemisphere and features a plethora of natural wonders from its pristine oceans to its enthralling national parks. 

Fingal Bay, Port Stephens NSWPhotos by Guillaume Astruc and Lovleah via

Fingal Bay is perfectly positioned in the very heart of Port Stephens' most incredible whale watching vantage points of Tomaree Headland, Boat Harbour, and the whale-watching platform at Barry Park in Fingal Bay.


Our top picks for humpback whale Watching from the coastline:


Barry Park, Fingal Bay

2 min drive or 13 min walk from Seaside Holiday Resort

The purpose-built whale watching platform at Barry Park at the south end of Fingal Bay is the perfect spot for a picnic and whale watching. Easily accessible by foot or car, enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery and BBQ, picnic tables, and restroom facilities.

Fingal Bay, Port Stephens, NSWPhotos by Lovleah and Tsvibrav via

Port Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island, Fingal Bay

Time varies from Seaside Holiday Resort

The lighthouse on Fingal Bay Island, also known as Shark Island, provides a spectacular view of the coastline and is a great place to watch whales. Although the island is occasionally accessible at low tide via a 2 km walk along the sand spit, it is very often treacherous or closed for safety, so ensure you check with National Parks authorities and tide times before trying this. If this island adventure is yours to be had, we suggest accessing the island by boat. Imagine Cruises offer a 3.5hour tour of the island and lighthouse via quick boat ride on-board their Fastcat Envision from Nelson Bay.

Port Stephens Lighthouse, Fingal Island (Shark Island), NSWPhotos by Tsvibrav via

Check for alerts and access information HERE

To book your island tour online visit the Port Stephens booking service HERE.  


Tomaree Head, Tomaree National Park, Shoal Bay

11 mins from Seaside Holiday Resort

The Tomaree Head Summit Walk is not to be missed for breath-taking 360-degree views. This 1km hike will have the less fit amongst us understandably red-faced a little sweaty at the end due to the steep incline, however, what awaits at the top is well worth it. The two viewing platforms near the summit can be accessed by the well-maintained trail of paving and stairs that wrap around Mount Tomaree and is usually completed in 30-45 minutes. Definitely not an adventure for the light-hearted.

Mount Tomaree, Port Stephens, NSWPhotos by Upol Tanvir and Lovleah via

Boat Harbour Headand, Boat Harbour

18 mins from Seaside Holiday Resort

Noamunga or Boat Harbour headland is a local’s favourite whale watching spot with the rocky headland offering up a 180-degree view of the ocean.


Port Stephens Whale Watching Tours

If you are after more of a thrill than what viewing these amazing creatures from the shoreline can serve up, then a whale-watching cruise may be just the thing to get close to humpback, minke, and pilot whales whilst holidaying at Fingal Bay.

Whale Watching Fingal Bay Port Stephens-1Photos by MR1805 and UWPhotog via

Moonshadow – TQC Whale Watching Cruise – Nelson Bay

With multiple vessels, this cruise departing from Nelson Bay twice daily offers a two-and-a-half to three-hour experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Enjoy 360 viewing inside or out and included morning or afternoon tea. Plus, if you are unlucky and don’t spot a whale on your tour, your next tour is free.

Departing daily at 10:00am and 1:30pm.


Imagine Whale Watching Cruise – Nelson Bay

A three to three-and-a-half-hour catamaran cruise by sailing and whale conservation experts that with the use of an underwater microphone allows you to hear the beautifully haunting humpback’s songs. Free tea, coffee, and biscuits included with licensed bar and comfortable downstairs lounge if that is the way you roll.

Departs at 10:30am and 2:00pm daily.


Envision Whale Watch – Nelson Bay

Short on time? Not a problem. This 90-minute trip on-board the Fastcat Envision will have you out there sighting whales and back again before you know it. Worried about missing the whales? No need to be, as this trip is guaranteed or your next ride is free.

Departs at 11:00am and 1:30pm daily.


Book your Port Stephens Whale Watching trip HERE


* Please check for any service changes with tour operators before booking.

For more great ideas of Things to Do when visiting stunning Port Stephens, head to the Seaside Holiday Resort website


Seaside Holiday Resort Fingal Bay NSW - Enjoy Life at Fingal


To Find The Best Spots For Whale Watching At Our Riverside And Sussex Inlet FCSWC Resorts Please Visit:






Taryn Blight

Written by Taryn Blight