Sutherland Shire is bordered by the coast and has many great vantage points from which to view the ocean's most majestic creatures. From May to November, this coastline becomes the Pacific Highway for whales as more than 20,000 of these marine mammals make their annual migration north to breed. Here are the top 5 places to spot whales in the Shire.
Cape Solander in the Kurnell section of Kamay Botany Bay National Park is one of the best whale-watching spots in the country. June and July are the best months to see humpback and southern right whales, which have been known to swim as close as 200m off the coast. NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service do an annual whale count, so they can track the number of whales migrating each year, you can volunteer and spend time staring out to sea to help spot these mammoth mammals.
Ask any local and they'll tell you: the Cronulla Esplanade, which winds its way from Wanda to Bass and Flinders Point, is a hot spot for sighting whale spouts. Plonk yourself on one of the benches along the path near Shelly Beach or the Oak Park Pavilion, as they make ideal whale-watching rest stops.
Enjoy whale watching from one of the spectacular lookouts spots along the Coast Track, which runs from Bundeena to Otford, or if you are feeling adventurous then try tackling the entire 26km walk in sections. A great way to complete the Coast Track is to make it a two-day trek with an overnight stop at North Era Campground.
If you are looking for a more luxe weekend away, you can book a stay at the Hill Top Cottage in the Royal National Park, which is also a prime location for spotting local wildlife. Wake at dawn, when the light is buttery and soft, and make the short drive down to Garie Beach, which truly is a picturesque location to whale watch.
Another inspired pit-stop is at the Governor Game Lookout, which offers soaring views over the heathlands and coastline. Pack a picnic and stay and play all day. BYO binoculars.
Feel free to share any whale sightings you have in the Shire with us, you can tag @visittheshire and @wildaboutwhales on your posts or send us your images and we will share them with the Visit the Shire community and credit you for the image. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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522 Kingsway (Corner of Jackson Avenue), Miranda
T: 1800 004 321
Gerrale Street, Cronulla
Old Princes Highway, Engadine
20-38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9710 0333
20 - 26 The Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 9527 3100
1 Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 8536 3600
Bonnie Vale Picnic Grounds Off Sea Breeze Lane, Bundeena
T: 0419 254 981
104 President Avenue, Caringbah
T: 02 9710 0333
Corner Rawson Avenue (Old Princes Highway) and Pitt Street Adjacent to Loftus Railway Station, Loftus
T: 02 9542 3646
1 Tonkin Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9523 2990