Nelson Bay Whale Watching

See spectacular displays of humpback whale acrobatics on this exciting whale watching cruise from Nelson Bay.
Port Stephens, Australia
2 hrs 30 min
Start & End Time
Start & End Time
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Not included
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
All ages
Not included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Port Stephens

What's Included

  • Get up to $10 cash back per person when you book with us
  •  A 2 hr 30 min whale-watching cruise off the coast of Port Stephens
  • Opportunities to spot majestic marine displays from humpback whales, such as spy hops, pectoral slaps, & body rolls 
  • Access to a fully licensed onboard bar for drink purchases while you cruise
  • Departs from the meeting point at Nelson Bay Marina, 6 Teramby Rd, Nelson Bay (check confirmation details for dock number)

What's Excluded

  • Purchases from the bar

What to Expect

You will never forget seeing the incredible bulk of a humpback whale, up to 18 metres long and weighing 40 tonnes! Being the most surface active of all the whales, it is possible that you will see spectacular displays – spy hops, pectoral slaps, body rolls and the breathtaking breach.


Enjoy entertaining and informative commentary onboard this 2 hr 30 min whale watching cruise, departing from Nelson Bay near Port Stephens. Watch from the decks for the best views of these friendly giants. 


There are two vessels making multiple departures throughout the day. The 260-passenger Hinchinbrook Explorer is a 30-metre Supercat with two full walk-around decks, an air-conditioned cabin, and a fully licensed bar. Meanwhile, the 18-metre MV Spirit also has two walk-around viewing decks, a bar, and a capacity of 148 passengers. 


The cruise also includes bonus dolphin and outer island cruising, so it's kind of like two cruises for the price of one!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Comfortable casual clothing & footwear
  • Sunglasses, hat & sun cream is recommended
  • Camera
  • Dress warmer for the winter months
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If you or any member of your party experience or feel they may experience motion sickness, it's highly recommended to consult your pharmacist regarding seasickness medication.

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Yes, all the vessels have both male and female toilets. Some vessels’ access to the toilets is by a stairway.

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These are the region's largest, safest, and most comfortable passenger-carrying vessels. However, with all offshore cruising, the possibility of uncomfortable and dangerous sea conditions can force the cancellation of a cruise. The Operator monitors the weather closely, and decisions are made not just on safety but also being able to offer an enjoyable experience when travelling offshore. Should poor weather conditions force the cancellation of any cruise, passengers are notified as soon as that decision is made –  office staff will discuss further cruising options or transfers for you at this time.

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Unfortunately, the vessels are not easily suited for wheelchair access. In the event the guest can access the vessel out of the wheelchair, the chair can be brought on board the main level of the vessel. Due to WHS risk assessments, wheelchair-bound guests cannot be assisted onto the vessel by the crew. Travel is not recommended for guests incapable of accessing the vessel with minimal assistance. All restroom facilities are located down a flight of stairs.

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D’Albora Marina (Nelson Bay) and Victoria Parade (Nelson Bay)

  • Up to 4 hour paid parking between the hours 8.30 am – 4.30 pm
  • Limited up to 8-hour paid parking in Victoria Pde
  • Car parking is free and unlimited on some streets, i.e. Laman Street, Church Street, and Magnus Street, all within walking distance of the marina.

Parking machines
Parking machines are located at Nelson Bay and use smart parking technology. You can pay by card, coin or the Park’n Pay app — remember, your number plate is your ticket to park.

Paid parking operates throughout the Nelson Bay Town Centre and foreshore.

Please check kerbside signs for parking restrictions.

Outside the times indicated, parking is free and unrestricted. However, other parking conditions may still apply to ensure road safety. Please check the information on the kerbside signs before parking your vehicle.

By downloading the Park’nPay app makes finding and paying for parking easier. You can download it from your smartphone’s app store.

With the app, you don’t need to walk to a meter and pay — instead, you can do it from your smartphone. You will receive a notification on your phone when your ‘ticket’ is about to expire to avoid fines.

Once you’ve registered, you can keep track of your parking history and receipts. It’s a convenient and ticketless way to park.

You can also look up where to find a park using the app, all from the passenger seat!

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Even with The Operator's excellent sighting percentage, the crew do on occasion (although rare) not find dolphins or whales. If this is the case on the day you travel with valid tickets on a cruise that does not sight whales (on a whale watch cruise) or dolphins (on a dolphin watch cruise), you will be issued free of charge return voucher. This voucher is issued on a stand-by basis. This offer is only valid for tickets purchased directly with The Operator or one of its agents. Not valid with 3rd party bookings.

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Baby prams are not permitted on board the vessels. Collapsible strollers are permitted but cannot be taken to areas other than the main cabin of the vessel, upon boarding the friendly crew will advise passengers on where the stroller may be stored. 

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Terms & Conditions:

  • Boarding commences 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time of cruise
  • The passenger acknowledges that during the cruise the vessel will be and will remain under the absolute control of the company, and that the direction and control of the vessel and its crew is at all times the sole responsibility of the Master of the vessel
  • Smoking is not permitted on any of the cruises
  • Minimum passenger numbers can apply for cruises to depart
  • Care is taken to ensure your safety whilst on board this vessel. However, be warned that there are inherent risks by being aboard any vessel including, but not limited to, movement of the vessel, unpredictable sea conditions, unfamiliar design features such as stairs, coamings and water on decks, slides, boomnets, ancillary equipment used and/or from the vessel etc. Entry onto the vessel is at your own risk. Neither the owner, Master, nor any members of the crew will be liable for any injury to passengers, or damage to passengers' property, however occurring
  • Children are up to 14 years

Cancellation Policy:

  • 100% cancellation charge – within 24hrs of departure time
  • Travel Voucher or Refund – with more than 24hrs notice of departure time

A fee of $10 may be charged to cover administration costs for any booking amendments. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable unless approved by The Operator. 

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