July 2018

21st July 2018

Onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer this morning we saw two Humpbacks who were spending good time on the surface while traveling North.

We traveled out again at 1.30pm where we found two very active Whales behind Boondelbah Island. They put on a whole show for everyone onboard, preforming constant breaches, tail dives and head lunges!

Onboard MV Spirit at 11.00am, we saw five really big Humpbacks on a heat run! We than headed over to Cabbage Tree Island to watch the seals who were playing on the rocks.

At 2.00pm, we traveled out past Cabbage Tree Island where we had one breaching Humpback who was showing off pectoral fin slaps and tail slaps.

Dolphins were seen on all cruises today.

20th July 2018

Hinchinbrook Explorer saw one juvenile onboard the morning cruise. We traveled out past the outer islands where we saw the juvenile showing off tail dives, swimming North and spending great time on the surface.

We then traveled a little further North where we met up with two more Humpbacks who who were performing tail dives and showed off a couple of breaches!

On our afternoon cruise, we headed over to Fingal Beach where we saw one juvenile who was swimming close to the bow showing off his tail! Four more Humpbacks were seen showing off tail lobs, tail slaps and tail dives!

Dolphins were seen feeding on both cruises as well as the playful seals who were swimming and laying on the rocks at Cabbage Tree Island.

19th July 2018

Is this really winter! Today has felt like a spring day with gorgeous sunshine and calm sea conditions blessing our whale watch cruises at Port Stephens.

Hinchinbrook Explorer has spent time with two adult Humpback Whales making their way slowly north bound, both whales were very quiet but we did view a couple of beautiful tails as they dove beneath the water on sounding dives.

For passengers on the 11am MV Spirit whale watch cruise Captain Daniel has found three pods of whales near Fingal Island. We traveled along at the same pace as a pod of five whales that were very relaxed, and slowly continued their journey past the Port Stephens coast line. We have also spotted a small pod of Common Dolphins off shore.

The seal count at Cabbage Tree Island was up to 20 seals this morning, with a few in the water swimming near the rocks of the island. As we cruised back to the d’Albora Marina we have found a pod of Port Stephens local Bottlenose Dolphins.

Our passengers on the afternoon cruise have been very lucky with a new born calf being sighted just behind Boondelbah Island. The calf only looks to be a couple of days old and is traveling with mum and another adult escort. The adult whales have breached a couple of times. We have been very content cruising along watching nature at its awesome best, and who doesn’t love a new born.


18th July 2018

A beautiful sunny day in Nelson Bay today!

Onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer we saw two pods of Humpbacks on either side of the vessel who were swimming nice and close to the boat and showing off their tails.

We traveled over just South of Fingal Island on the afternoon cruise where we stayed with a pod of two Humpbacks who were spending good time on the surface traveling alongside the boat.
A pod of Common Dolphins joined in on the fun, swimming around the whales.

On MV Spirit at 11.00am, we had two Humpbacks who were preforming tail dives about 50 meters off the boat. Twenty two seals were seen at Cabbage Tree Island and a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen playing inside the bay.

On the 2.00pm cruise, we had two very big Humpbacks at Fingal Lighthouse. They spent great time on the surface showing off a few tail dives. A huge pod of Oceanic Common Dolphins were seen swimming around the vessel.

17th July 2018

With a warmer morning than yesterday, Hinchinbrook Explorer headed North towards Boondelbah and Little Island, spotting a pod of 2 Humpback. These active whales had great surface time, and when they did go down for their sound dives where truly showing off there amazing tails.

We have had our first Southern right whale of the season, and what more with a breach nice and close to the bow. This is so exciting, as we don’t always get to see these beautiful species of whale every year. Hopefully that’s the first of many.

Today we counted 21 seals, swimming, sunbaking and even more exciting a few extra pups have been noticed on the rocks as well.

During the afternoon cruise, Hinchinbrook Explorer saw 2 Humpback Whales around the outer islands. They were traveling close to the boat, showing off some beautiful tail dives.

Distant breaching was seen by another pod behind the vessel and a huge pod of Oceanic Common Dolphins were seen out at Bennetts Beach feeding on some fish.

Five big Humpbacks were seen straight out the headlands onboard MV Spirit during the 11.00am cruise. They were chasing after a female on a heat run.

On the afternoon cruise, MV Spirit cruised straight out the heads again where they saw four Humpbacks. One whale kept coming over to the boat, breaching, showing off tail lobs and mugging the boat.

A big pod of Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins were seen having a feeding frenzy at Cabbage Tree Island.

16 July 2018

It was an icy approach to the morning, but that didn’t stop our whale watchers from venturing out past the heads. Our morning Hinchinbrook Explorer headed South towards Fingal Island and were accompanied by breaching whales. These active humpbacks showed off with ample tail lobs.

MV Spirit found a very active juvenile whale, constantly tail lobbing as it was traveling North. With sound dives of 4 minutes and good surface time they spent a majority of time with this whale.

Both cruises ventured to the Outer Island Cabbage Tree and gazed at the  fur seal colony, counting 19 seals as they were lazing on the rocks, we had 4 swimming in the water as they pleased. To live the life of a seal. Fish, sun and salt water.


15 July 2018

Conditions off shore for today’s whale watch cruises are glassy with beautiful clear and calm waters.

The MV Spirit has cruised towards the Fingal Island Lighthouse where we have spotted three pods of Humpback Whales. A few of the whales have approached the vessel, as the water is so still they look like they are glowing under the surface of the aqua water with the white marking really standing out. Passengers also were lucky to glimpse a large turtle before it dived deep into the water.

Hinchinbrook Explorer has been greeted by a friendly juvenile Humpback Whale who came in quite close to the vessel, we have spotted another six Humpback Whales including a mother and her calf.


14 July 2018


Onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer today we saw three Humpback Whales on our morning cruise. We headed over to Little Island where the whales showed off their beautiful tails with some tail lobs. Nineteen Seals were seen out sunbaking at Cabbage Tree Island.

On our afternoon cruise we watched two Humpbacks who were traveling North past Little Island. We headed over to Cabbage Tree Island to watch the seals and Bottlenose Dolphins were out playing at Yacabaa Headland.

MV Spirit saw two Humpbacks at Little Island during the morning cruise. They were breaching close to the boat and slapping their tails about with tail slaps and tail lobs. Both Common and Bottlenose Dolphins were seen on the cruise.

We cruised straight out of the headlands on our afternoon cruise where we had two pods of two Humpbacks who were breaching either side of the boat and rolling around on the surface!

13 July 2018

Four Humpback Whales were seen onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer today. They showed off a few tail lobs as they swam past heading North.

MV Spirit saw two Humpback Whales off Fingal Island during the morning cruise. One Humpback must have been feeling a little tired from his big journey, as he was floating on the surface sleeping! The other Humpback had more energy as he showed off a big breach near Little Island.

During the afternoon cruise, four Humpbacks were seen near Shark Island. They spent most of their time traveling but showed off a massive breach next to the boat before continuing on their Northern migration.

12 July 2018

Today is one of those days that we love sharing the experience of searching for the mighty Humpback Whale at Port Stephens.

Conditions are perfect, the ocean is flat as a tac, making it very easy to spot the whales. Hinchinbrook Explorer has spent time with a pod of three Humpback Whales all involved in a chasing heat run. We are able to see more pods of whales in the distance.

Passengers onboard MV Spirit have spotted three pods of whales, each pod consisting of four to five whales. We have been joined by a pod of Common Dolphin swimming on the bow wave of the boat as we travelled north bound with the whales.  One of the pods of whales has been very friendly coming into close to the vessel and diving for everyone to see the beautiful fluke of the whale.

Last stop on both morning whale watch cruises was to Cabbage Tree Island to view the seals lounging in the sun on the rocks.

11 July 2018

Oh my what a day! Calm seas and blue sky have returned to Port Stephens with perfect conditions for whale watching off shore. The Hinchinbrook Explorer did not have to travel too far out before being mugged by three Humpback Whales for the duration of our time spent with this pod. All whales were incredibly curious about the vessel and everyone onboard. Think there was actually a bit of people watching happening this morning.

For passengers on the 11am whale watch cruise, they too have had a close encounter with a pod of three inquisitive Humpback Whales mugging the boat over ten times, with one massive breach off the bow which left everyone gasping in amazement. The pod was very active with one male chasing the two females with the pod zigzagging all over the place.

We have then caught up with a couple of Oceanic Dolphins that swam the pressure wave on the bow of the vessel.

The seal count on Cabbage Tree Island was up to seventeen seal today.

As we have traveled out for the afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer we can see whales everywhere with breaching whales in the distance. We have then come across a pod of whales on a heat run with the whales rolling about in the water. The Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins have greeted the vessel as she has come back inside the heads.

On our 2pm whale watch cruise we have cruised towards Boondelbah Island to find one pod of 2 large Humpback whales along with a new born calf, we have then spotted a second pod of juvenile whales near Little Island, this pod has mugged the boat with a few beautiful tails on display as they dived off the bow. The last pod of the day was a pod of four large Humpback whales, this pod spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water and again showing off their large tails as they dove beneath the surface of the water.


10 July 2018

A bit choppy offshore today, but that didn’t stop the whales from coming out to play!
Our 10.00am cruise onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer saw three pods of Humpback Whales at Fingal Island who showed off several breaches!

Onboard MV Spirit at 11.00am we traveled from Fingal Island out past the outer islands with four pods of Humpback Whales who were performing tail slaps, tail lobs and breaches with one Whale breaching 20 meters off our bow!
Two Humpbacks mugged the boat and swam ‘donuts’ around us and were rolling on the surface. Dolphins were seen inside the bay.

The sea conditions calmed down this afternoon for our 1.30pm Whale Watch Cruise onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer. Four Humpbacks were seen near Fingal Island who showed off two massive breaches.

9 July 2018

Unfortunately there are no whale watch cruise scheduled for today due to unfavorable sea conditions

8 July 2018

Brrrrr today was a day for the winter jackets and scarfs with cold winds blowing through the Bay. But this has not deterred the whales at all, they actually seemed to be more dynamic today with lots of breaching, pec slaps and tail slaps from all whales sighted. Both of the cruises this morning have taken shelter behind the islands off shore to get out of the wind with the whales being quickly spotted once the vessels went past Mt Tomaree.


7 July 2018

Today has been an action packed day of whale activities with good sightings on all four cruises.  The first sighting of the day was just inside Fingal Island with two Humpback Whales tail slapping and one massive breach. As we cruised towards Cabbage Tree Island we spotted one more Humpback Whales, the seals on the rocks were showing off their teeth with an argument happening between a couple of seals. We were meet by a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins on the way past Yaccaba Headland as we cruised back into the Bay.

For passengers on our 11am whale watch cruise aboard the MV Spirit breaching whales could be seen as we headed off shore in the distance, with whales everywhere. Two Humpback Whales were sighted quite near to the vessel, with both whales tail slapping the surface of the water.

The afternoon cruises have seen lots of active whales, for our passengers on the Hinchinbrook Explorer a good amount of time was spent viewing one pod of two Humpback

Whales near Cabbage Tree Island breaching nonstop, this was simply amazing display to watch. While passengers onboard MV Spirit have spotted a pod of whales near Boondlebah Island, all whales were extremely energetic with an awesome display of double breaches, double tail slaps.


6 July 2018

What a day! With beautiful sunshine, calm seas and whales to be spotted everywhere.

Our afternoon cruise on board Hinchinbrook Explorer followed a pod of two whales to Boondlebah Island, who constantly kept breaching, also presenting the passengers with a double breach and a tail lob not far from the vessels bow.

We had flocks of different seabirds today with at least 6 wandering albatrosses flying around the whales. We had a nice visit from our oceanic common dolphin with large pods closer to shore and out in the distance.

Whilst visiting the Outer Island Cabbage Tree Island we had very playful seals, with numbers still around 15 and a few extra pups today.


5 July 2018

The Port Stephens Whale Highway is getting busy! Today has seen perfect conditions for cruising off shore, like the past few days the whales have been located just outside the headland. We have spotted two pods with three whales in each pod. The first pod consisted of a mother and her calf who were traveling with another female escort, and the second pod was a pod of three male whales. The second pod was quite active with some good breaches seen.

Passengers onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer have spent a good amount of time following along side of a pod of four males on a heat run, all whales have been bulldozing into each other and being quite boisterous towards each other

Conditions for our afternoon cruise have again been perfect, with brilliant sunshine and calm seas. The whales have been a little bit quiet this afternoon, maybe they too are just basking in the Port Stephens Winter sunshine. The seal count on Cabbage Tree Island was up to fifteen, with a couple of seals fighting each other over their rock position on the island. We have also been joined by a large pod of Off Shore Bottlenose Dolphins.


4 July 2018

As the Hinchinbrook Explorer cruised out through the headland at Mt Tomaree we could see whales breaching in the distance, it wasn’t long before finding the first pod of whales for the day just east of Boondelbah Island. This pod consisted of five to six whales involved in a heat run, with the pod zig zagging erratically making it hard to keep track off but allowing our passengers to view an action pack pod of whales with lots of head lunging and tail slapping as the male whales vied for the attention of the females in the pod.

MV Spirit was surrounded by extremely active Humpbacks this morning. There were twelve whales in the first pod who were spread out in nearly every direction, showing off breaches, head lunges, pectoral fin slaps and tail dives all within 400 metres of each other.

Another pod of six Humpbacks approached us from behind who joined in on the show, performing breaches, head lunges, pectoral fin slips, tail dives and mugging the boat.

Once we reached Cabbage Tree Island, we watched the thirteen Seals out enjoying themselves on the rocks and to our surprise a baby turtle came swimming past!

As we cruised back inside the bay, Dolphins were seen out playing and feeding on squid.

It appeared as  though the whales were just sitting outside the heads waiting for us on the afternoon cruise. Again we have found whales near Boondelbah Island with a pod of three whales taking a keen interest in the vessel, with a juvenile mugging the boat and being very inquisitive. We have then cruised further east to another pod that we can see breaching in the distance, before heading for home and spotting another two pods close to the shore line.


3 July 2018

What a morning! We are seeing so many whales traveling along the Port Stephens coastline.

Our first cruise of the day departed at 10am and it didn’t take long for the crew to find lots of whales located between Fingal Island and Boondelbah Island, we also spotted a Humpback mother and her calf.

Everyone onboard the MV Spirit whale watch cruise were blown away by two extremely active and playful Humpback Whales, with every possible behavior displayed by both whales; single breaches, double breaches, twist and twirl breaches, tail slaps, tail lobs and head lunges.

It has been a perfect winters afternoon for whale watching, with warm winter sunshine and great sea conditions. We have cruised between the Fingal Lighthouse and Boondelbah Island to find two pods of Humpback Whales, one pod consisted of  juvenile whales who were very energetic with plenty of action of head lunges, pec slaps, tail lobs, head lunges, breaching and tail slaps.

2 July 2018

Whilst today wasn’t the sunniest of Mondays in Port Stephens, we have certainly had a great morning searching for Humpback Whales off shore with calm seas and light breezes.

There were plenty of whales seen by passengers aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer, which ever direction you looked you could see pods of whales in the vicinity. All of these whales were pretty intent on continuing their journey north bound, spending a good amount of time on the surface of the water and happily swimming within their pods.

For passengers on the MV Spirit 11am whale watch cruise the whales have been in abundance, we have also had Humpback Whales breaching and tail slapping. We also had a close encounter with a big pod of Common Dolphins swimming the bow wave of the vessel.  The dolphins love nothing more than riding the pressure wave of the vessel.

1 July 2018

We can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny Sunday than on the water at Port Stephens whale spotting!

As the Hinchinbrook Explorer approached  Fingal Island we could see a breaching whale in the distance.

This was a pod of three whales consisting of a Humpback mum and a calf with another female escort. We also saw another pod of two male Humpback whales steaming along at a fast pace trying to catch up to the first pod.

At the end of our time with this pod of whales the second pod had almost caught up with the females. As we cruised back into the Bay we spotted a pod of local Port Stephens Bottlenose dolphins.

Passengers onboard MV Spirit have spotted three young Humpback Whales near Fingal Island, all whales have become quite active towards the end of our time with the pod, with each of the whales tail lobbing, and pec slapping, with each of the whales tail lobbing, and pec slapping.

The sound of a whale slapping the surface of the water with their pec fins is like no other, just mesmerising. Before cruising back to the dock we traveled towards Cabbage Tree Island to visit the seals lazing on the rocks.


Leave a Reply