BYRON BAY is one of the best locations in Australia for Whale Watching

Now, I’m not being biased, we actually have one of the longest whale watching seasons in the world and a whopping sixty percent of whale species call our waters home making it the perfect place for whale watching in Byron Bay.

So I really can’t think of a better way to spend a thrilling family holiday than whale watching in Byron Bay. That’s just what we did.

The Best Time for a Whale Watching Family Holiday in Byron Bay


From the beginning of May to the end of December, the gorgeous giants embark on their migration north up the east coast of Australia.

The best time to spot one of these glorious mammals is usually around midday, especially as the sun shines right overhead. One of the best ways to get all the tail slapping action is to hop aboard a whale watching cruise.

We took a family holiday in August and managed to see whales every day.

In fact, we didn’t even take a tour, we just set up a spot on the headland and the beach and looked out for them on their journey north. It was by far one of the most exciting natural wonders we have ever experienced and something my family is going to remember forever.

Our favourite location at Byron Bay is at the Cape Byron Lighthouse which offered spectacular views. Even if you aren’t visiting to spot the whales, it’s a great place for a family photo and a day of exploration.

Now, back to the most magnificent creatures that swim in our seas.

Typical Whale Behaviour to Watch Out For


If there’s one thing I learned from our family holiday, it is that whales have a lot of energy and with that comes a spectacular display of surfacing behaviours. These were just amazing to witness. I spoke to an avid whale watcher one day who said that experts believe these habits help the whales work out their position in relation to the land, or they use it as a way to communicate with other whales. Apparently, fin slapping can be a signal that there is danger close by.

We were completely fascinated, so we decided to delve a little deeper.

Cape Byron Lighthouse the Eastern Most Point of Australia

Things to Look for When Whale Watching


There are a variety of physical aspects that you can look out for when determining which species you have spotted. We grabbed a guide book that recommended looking out for:

  • Body length
  • Shape and size of flippers
  • Presence of a dorsal fin
  • Shape of the blow
  • Presence of a beak
  • Swimming characteristics
  • Body patterns and colour
  • Shape of head

If you are keen on a tour, the cheaper rates seem to be in the morning as that’s when sightings are fewer. That’s why we’d head out to our favourite spot at midday. If you really want to see the beautiful baby whales, go in spring as that’s when they are born.

What to Take with You?

If you’ve never spent time in this part of the world, you’re in for a treat for your next family holiday! May to September can be somewhat fresh and can really turn if the wind picks up and the ocean spray hits you. So, I’d say you have got to pack anything waterproof, from shoes to pants, and a good raincoat if you’re planning on heading out on a deep water tour. As spring approaches, you can opt for lighter clothes, which is what we did when we’d head out to spot the beauties.

We never left home without our backpacks that included:

  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottles of water
  • A couple of snacks

If you’ve always wanted to watch nature at its very best and most majestic, head to Byron Bay for the best whale watching experience of your life!