Dolphin and whale watching

Whale watching features prominently on the Solitary Islands calendar from June to September.

  • Humpback whales travel through the park from the cool Antarctic waters to Southern Queensland's warmer waters to give birth. Most pass through in June and July, the stragglers a little later.
  • Their return journey in August and September is at a more relaxed pace, and many mothers and calves spend time in the park's sheltered waters.

The many great land-based vantage points to watch the whales include:

  • Muttonbird Island at Coffs Harbour;
  • Look-at-me-now Headland at Emerald Beach;
  • Woolgoolga Headland (where you don't even have to get out of your car).

Several dolphin pods call the marine park home.

  • The common dolphin and bottlenose dolphin are commonly sighted.
  • Although not consistently sighted at specific locations, vessels will often find dolphins riding their bow wave.
  • Pods can be seen in the inshore waters on calm days near Sapphire Beach, Moonee Beach, Arrawarra Beach and at Sandon Beach, in the park's northern end.

Several commercial operators specialise in whale and dolphin watching cruises in the park.

Visit the NSW Destination website for more information.

What else can I do and see?