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 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 spotting humpback whales 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.
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.
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 wraps around Mount Tomaree, and is usually completed in 30-45 minutes. Definitely not an adventure for the light-hearted.
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.
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 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.
To Find The Best Spots For Whale Watching At Our Riverside And Sussex Inlet FCSWC Resorts Please Visit: