The rugged Shoalhaven and Jervis Bay coastline makes for some exceptional whale watching, with a range of prominent headlands and viewing platforms to spot the humpback whale migration from several vantage points not too far from Sussex Inlet.

Whale Watching Jervis Bay - Jordan Robins

The NSW South Coast area enjoys an extended whale-watching season due to its southerly position, marking the halfway point on the humpback migration from Antarctica to the warm waters of Queensland. 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 National Park bushland a few minutes south of the main township of Sussex Inlet, the resort offers great access to headland and lighthouse vantage points only a short drive away.


Our top Spots for Whale Watching in Shoalhaven and Jervis Bay:


Sussex Inlet Beach

(Less than 5 minutes from Haven Holiday Resort)

If you're looking to stay near Sussex, Sussex Inlet Beach is your top choice. Head to either the viewing platform by the Surf Club or the lookout at the beach's northern headland where the inlet starts. From both spots, you'll enjoy stunning views of the ocean. Take a picnic to enjoy on the tables near the Surf Club and make sure you also keep an eye out for the resident dolphins frolicking in the waves. 

Whale Watching Sussex Inlet


Berrara Cove Reserve and Cudmirrah's Third Avenue Reserve

(10 minutes from Haven Holiday Resort)

Berrara Cove Reserve Lookout on Silver Sands Drive, and Third Avenue Reserve Lookout in Cudmirrah are also great spots to try your luck whale spotting. Only a ten-minute drive from Haven, both offer great ocean views, and there is a small children's playground at the Third Avenue Reserve if you wish to entertain the kids.


Warden Head, Ulladulla

(45 minutes from Haven Holiday Resort)

If you plan on taking a day trip to Ulladulla, Mollymook, or Milton then Warden Head Reserve is a mere five-minute drive from the township of Ulladulla offering 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, and if you are a maritime history buff, the lighthouse that sits atop the headland was originally built in 1873 on the Ulladulla breakwater but moved five years later to its current position. 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). 


Whale Watching Ulladulla



Cape St George Lighthouse, Booderee national Park, Jervis Bay Territory

(50 minutes from Haven Holiday Resort)

Positioned at the end of the gravel Stoney Creek Road within Jervis Bay's Booderee National Park, the ruins of Cape St George Lighthouse are an impressive backdrop to your whale-watching adventure. Perched atop Booderee's coastal cliff tops, there is a viewing platform that makes it possibly the best whale-watching vantage point in the region.

The sandstone lighthouse, replaced by Point Perpendicular Lighthouse in 1898, is now heritage listed after being destroyed in the early 20th century because of its inability to prevent northbound shipwrecks in the area known as "Wreck Bay" as there was poor light visibility from the lighthouse’s location on the headland.

Whale Watching Cape St George Lighthouse Booderee National Park

The lighthouse also possesses a fascinating and grisly history involving a spade of deaths of lighthouse-keepers and their families that you can read about at 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.


Culburra's Crookhaven and Penguin Heads

(55 mins from Haven Holiday Resort)

Although almost an hour's drive from Haven, Culburra is another great place to plan a day trip as boasts two peninsulas perfect for whale watching. The first, Crookhaven Heads on the mouth of the Shoalhaven River and its historic and endangered Lighthouse offer superb views of Shoalhaven Heads to the north, and Culburra's Penguin Head Lookout next to the perfect family swimming spot at Tillberry Cove boasts views to Currawong in the south. If spending the day you can take a leisurely stroll from headland to headland along Culburra Beach, which will take approximately an hour each way, or head to nearby Greenwell Point for some of the region's best oysters.

Whale Watching Crookhaven Lighthouse, Culburra Beach


Point Perpendicular, Beecroft Peninsula

(65 minutes from Haven Holiday Resort)

Beecroft Peninsula with its magnificent seaside cliffs marking the northern entrance to Jervis Bay is home to the impressive lighthouse of Point Perpendicular built to replace Booderee's St Georges Lighthouse in 1898. Built from precast concrete blocks, Point Perpendicular was the first of three NSW lighthouses built like this including Cape Byron and Norah Head. 

This southern-facing peninsula offers views of Jervis Bay's Hyams Beach and Bowen Island, and although there is no access to the lighthouse itself after its closure in 1993, the breathtaking views from the headland which is approximately 90 metres above sea level make for an ideal whale-watching vantage point. 

Whale Watching Point Perpendicular, Beecroft Peninsula

Point Perpendicular is only open on weekends and School Holidays.


Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven Whale Watching Tours


There are a range of intimate whale-watching experiences to be had in Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven for those who want to get up close. 

Jervis Bay Wild Cruises Huskisson - Destination NSW

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 twice daily on weekdays, and four times daily on weekends, however, departures may vary so best to check prior to planning your day.


Dolphin Watch Cruises – Huskisson

Dolphin Watch Cruises offers a variety of exciting tour experiences from dolphins, seals, to the majestic whales. There are two different whale-watching tours available, with a 1.5-2 hour eco experience, or a 2.5-3 hour cruise option depending on your preference.

Departs twice daily weekdays, and four times daily on weekends, however, departures may vary during holiday periods so best to visit the website to check availability.


Dive Jervis Bay – Huskisson

A four to five-hour Snorkelling with Whales and Seals experience is offered through Dive Jervis Bay for those with swimming ability aged 8 and up. This is the best way to get up close to a whale pod, however, it is important to note that a swim with whales is not guaranteed.

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.

Whale Watching Jervis Bay - Jordan Robins-1

Ulladulla Fishing Charters – Ulladulla

Shoalhaven is a favourite fishing destination, and Ulladulla Fishing Charters offers 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 Facebook page.


* 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.

Haven Holiday Resort Sussex Inlet NSW - Escape to Nature at Sussex


To Find The Best Spots For Whale Watching At Our Riverside and Fingal Bay FCSWC Resorts Please Visit:





Taryn Blight

Written by Taryn Blight