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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Whale-watching season back again in earnest

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A humpback whale breaching. Photo Wild About Whales
A humpback whale breaching. Photo Wild About Whales

With an estimated 20,000 whales currently migrating along the NSW coastline, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is encouraging whale watching enthusiasts to visit a coastal national park to experience a bumper whale watching season.

NPWS whale expert Geoff Ross said now was the time for Byron and Tweed locals to experience the wonder of the great whale migration.

‘Whales migrate northward to warmer waters for breeding and are commonly seen off the NSW coast between May and August meaning thousands of whales would be passing along the far north coast of NSW,’ Mr Ross said.

‘The whales will bask in warmer waters then make their southbound journey with their calves in tow between September and November, hugging the coastline to nurture and train their offspring in calmer waters.

‘Humpbacks are the most commonly sighted, but people may also spot minke, blue whales and orcas.’

National parks make up almost 50 per cent of the NSW coastline and provide excellent vantage points from lookouts, headlands and foreshores to spot the ocean’s most majestic creatures on their migration.

NPWS recommends these top whale watching spots in the Byron and Tweed region:

  • Cape Byron Lighthouse, Cape Byron State Conservation Area – Situated on the most easterly point of mainland Australia, this spot boasts panoramic views of Byron Bay’s golden beaches and dramatic coastline while it’s a renowned spot for sighting turtles, dolphins and whales.
  • Broken Head Nature Reserve – Take the scenic walking track to the Three Sisters lookout for a fantastic vantage point to see migrating whales, as well as wonderful coastal views of secluded beaches, rocky coves and dense rainforest.
  • Iluka Bluff lookout, Bundjalung National Park – This lookout provides an aerial view of the Bundjalung area, including stunning beaches and the mouth of the Clarence River, making it a great place to spot dolphins near the river inlet or whales on the annual migration along the coast.

NPWS encourages people to log their whale sighting using the free Wild About Whales mobile app or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildaboutwhales.

Visit www.wildaboutwhales.com.au to find the perfect whale watching vantage point near you.

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