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The Most Common Species of Whales That You Could See On a Whale Watching Trip in NSW

Australia, the continent down under offers some of the most exhilarating whale-watching opportunities in the world. Indeed, New South Wales, with its stunning coastal locations and diverse marine ecosystems, attracts a variety of whale species during their annual migrations. As a result, if you are planning a whale-watching trip in this particular area of the country, it is likely that you will encounter three of the most common whale species: Humpback whales, Southern Right whales and Orcas.

Humpback whales

Humpback whales are undoubtedly the stars of the show when it comes to whale watching off the coast of New South Wales. These majestic Marine creatures are known across the planet for their acrobatic displays, including breaching, tail slapping and pectoral fin waving. Indeed, Humpback whales embark on one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet, travelling from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the warmer waters off the coast of New South Wales to breed and calve. By booking a whale-watching trip in Australia, you will be able to spot Humpback whales during their annual migration between May and November. This particular species of whale often comes close to the shore, making them easily visible on a whale watch in Merimbula.

Southern Right Whales

In addition, Southern Right whales are another common sight along the coast of New South Wales during the whale-watching season. These massive whales, named for being the “right” whales to hunt due to their slow swimming and tendency to float when killed, are easily distinguishable by their lack of a dorsal fin and large, roughened patches of skin on their heads. These types of whale generally visit the coast of Australia between May and November to give birth and mate.


Lastly, while not as common as Humpback and Southern Right whales, Orcas, or killer whales, occasionally make appearances along the East coast of Australia. Orcas are highly intelligent and social animals that are well-known for their striking black-and-white colours and distinct dorsal fins. However, Orcas are not typically migratory in the same fashion as Humpback whales, but they can be seen all year round in the waters off New South Wales, with sightings being more frequent in the cooler months of winter.

Therefore to sum up, a whale-watching trip off the New South Wales coast is an extraordinary experience, offering the opportunity to witness some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, including Humpback whales, Southern Right whales and Orcas.