The Beginning - May
Best for - firsts of the season
What makes May such a special time to hit the water is the excitement of ‘firsts’. Heading out in May you will hear skippers and guides exclaim your boat has experienced that particular tour’s ‘first breach of the season’ or spotted this year’s first calf! Head out in May and enjoy the buzz of the very start of the season.
Peak of the Northern Migration - June-July
Best for - surface action from competing males
During June and July the Northern Migration hits its peak. Humpback whales are migrating from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to breeding grounds in warmer waters to the north. During this time you will see pods of males competing for the attentions of prospective breeding partners. In terms of surface action this is the best time to experience the migration. Whales will perform a host of acrobatics including the impressive surface breach. In order to obtain this gravity defying manoeuvre this 30-tonne mammal will dive deep before swimming upwards at around 30 kilometers per hour!
Best for - everything!
Once August hits we will see the beginnings of the southern migration as well as the continuing excitement of the northern journey. There will be lots going on in August and it is this time of year when going out with an experienced skipper is really important. Our operators have over 30 years combined experience leading tours from Sydney’s coastline. All of this knowledge goes into making sure that each tour experiences the best encounters every day
Peak of the Southern Migration - September-October
Best for - calf encounters and curiosity
If you want to see new calves choose a cruise departing between September and October. Mothers will be returning south to feeding grounds with newborns calves at their sides. They will tend to swim slower and closer to the surface so that the calves can keep up.
Newborns are experiencing this journey for the very first time and they are very curious! They will come up and investigate whale watching vessels displaying a behaviour that experts define as ‘Mugging’. During a mugging whales will swim alongside and even underneath a boat checking it out. If you are lucky you may encounter a spy-hop, where a whale will breach the surface with its eyes and mouth.
Best for - warmer weather
For those souls that want to experience the migration but aren’t fans of the chillier winter conditions a November cruise is an ideal compromise. Whale numbers will start to dwindle throughout November but there is still plenty of action on a warm spring day. Get in early to take advantage of the whale guarantee re-ride option offered on all Manly Whale Watching cruises!
Join cruises as we prepare to say farewell to these magnificent creatures for another year. With a lifespan of 45-50 years there is a good chance we will be saying hello again to many of these calves for years to come!