Whale watching season

by Elisa Parry

Whale watching season is here! Earlier this year, you may have seen a hilarious video on Will Smith’s Instagram account of his Ocean Extreme boat trip to Bondi Beach (you can view the video here). Let’s just say, it perfectly captures the “thrill ride” aspect of a trip on the fastest commercially operated vessel on Sydney Harbour… If you’re looking for a relaxing whale watching cruise, this probably isn’t the experience for you, but if you’re up for an adventure the speed boat thrill ride is the only way to do it!

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Whale watching season

I’m not going to lie, I took two travel calm tablets before embarking on this tour and I’m happy to report that there was no feeding the fish over the side. The boat reaches speeds of up to 100km an hour so the trip from the Circular Quay out to the Harbour entrance absolutely flew by.

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Whale watching season

Once we were out in the open sea, our Captain Blake gave us a quick run-down on “Whale Spotting 101”. With our eyes scanning the horizon we began zig-zagging south in pursuit of a lone humpback last seen a couple of kilometres north of Botany Bay.

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Whale watching season

Within ten minutes of the journey, we were joined by a pod of dolphins that swam right up to the side of the boat and played around in the waves of our slipstream. We continued our bumpy ride south (the wind had picked up and the swell was rising) before stopping the engines to sit and wait for a glimpse of a whale! We had the pleasure of waiting with another curious pod of dolphins coming to see what all the fuss was about.

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Whale watching season

Our wish was granted when a humpback was spotted a little further out to sea. After coming up for a breath and a few tail flicks, the humpback emerged again a few minutes later to give us another wave with his tail. Even though it was still a few hundred metres away, it’s mind-blowing when you realise just how large these animals are.  

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Whale watching season

All too soon, it was time to make the journey back. We cruised closer to shore this time around with Captain Blake giving us an awesome close up look at a couple of seals sunbaking near the entrance to the Harbour.

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Whale watching season

Windswept and salt-sprayed it was time to return to land. With a tally of two pods of dolphins, a humpback whale and a couple of seals thrown in for good measure – it was an awesome day out on the water.  

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