Whale watching spots on the Tweed Coast
There’s is nothing quite like winter on the Tweed Coast, with our temperate climate the days can be spent swimming, fishing and relaxing on uncrowded beaches and the cooler evenings offer the chance to get cosy in bed with the sound of the ocean lapping on your doorstep. Each year from May to November grey nomads meander along the east coast of Australia with their families. Hugging the coastline, waving as they pass by old friends and singing playfully is all part of the journey along the Humpback Highway. That’s right, it’s whale season which means there is no better time to plan your winter holiday along the Tweed Coast!
Over 35,000 humpback whales will make their annual journey north from Antarctica to the warm waters of the Pacific where they will breed or birth their young before returning south again to feed. If you’ve ever travelled with young children, you’ll know there is no better path than the one of least resistance, whales know this too, so you’ll most likely spot a mother and her new calf sticking closer to the coastline for safety and ease from September to November. Just north of Byron Bay, the most eastern point of the Australian mainland, The Tweed offers a handful of spots to spy a whale from the shore.
One of the best vantage points for whale watching is Point Danger headland, located just a 6-minute drive north of Tweed Holiday Park Tweed Heads. Overlooking the mouth of the Tweed River and Durranbah Beach, the iconic Captain Cook Memorial Light marks the border of New South Wales and Queensland and provides the opportunity to watch whales breach with the Gold Coast skyline in the distance. Point Danger offers a sprawling grass picnic area, barbecues, plenty of picnic tables and amenities making it the perfect place to unwind, check the surf, or welcome the sunrise. Live like a local and start the day with a coffee and warm pastry from The Bread Social bakery in Bay Street, Tweed Heads then keep your eyes peeled for whales as you walk the coastal track to the famous Snapper Rocks surf beach.
Fingal Head Lighthouse
The lighthouse is located within walking distance of Tweed Holiday Parks Fingal Head and connects Fingal Head Beach with Dreamtime Beach to the south. The headland itself is a tessellated basalt rock formation that was formed over 23 million years ago from the lava flows of the nearby extinct volcano Wollumbin (Mt Warning) and offers an uninterrupted 180-degree view of the ocean.
A well-worn, red dirt trail will lead you around the headland, past the Giant’s Causeway and a modest lighthouse to rockpools and clifftops ideal for longline fishing. Perch up under the panadas trees with a picnic and wait for the fin slaps and waving tails. From the clifftops you can see the wildlife protected Cook Island in the distance, local tour companies offer snorkelling around the island and it is a notorious spot to spy green sea turtles and maybe even listen to the songs of whales passing by. Whalesong is their primary communication and at 160 decibels it can be reminiscent of a rock concert, though from a safe distance at Cook Island it would be a melodic parody of Dory from Finding Nemo.
Surfari Luxe tents at Tweed Holiday Parks Kingscliff North are the ideal base for those who like a little luxury with their costal getaway. Celebrate a birthday or anniversary in style by spotting whales from your cosy bed with ocean views before setting out for the day to explore. Kingscliff is just a stone’s throw from Red Earth Brewery, Husk Distillery, Farm and co, and the famous Tropical Fruit World, you will be spoiled for choice before even setting foot in the main township. Once you have wandered through town, exploring the boutique shops, escape to the great outdoors and enjoy the pristine, uncrowded beaches, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding in the Cudgen Creek Estuary.
The revitalised foreshore and boardwalk offer an easily accessible perch to watch the whales pass by. Bikes can be hired from Tweed Holiday Parks Kingscliff Beach, situated in the heart of Kingscliff, an easy ride along the boardwalk will connect you to the break wall where you can experience extensive views along the coastline and play eye-spy with the passing whales. If you catch a glimpse of a whale’s face popping out of the water this is called spy-hopping, they do this to reorient themselves with the coastline, be sure to give them a wave as whales love to show off for their audience.
Hastings Point Lookout
Located just a 6-minute drive north of the family-friendly Tweed Holiday Parks Pottsville South and a couple of minutes walk away from Tweed Holiday Parks Hastings Point, there is no greater spot along the Tweed Coast to whale watch from the comfort of your car or motorhome than Hastings Point lookout. A spacious carpark perched high atop the headland allows panoramic views of the ocean. Pack your binoculars, snacks and a great playlist while you settle in and join in the tradition of trying to spot the famous white whale. Migaloo is a rare albino humpback who has been making this annual migration like clockwork. His stunning contrast against the steel-blue winter ocean has delighted whale watchers for decades.
Why wait? Book your winter holiday to stay with us on the Tweed Coast, we know you’ll have whale of a time.
Photos sourced via Instagram:
Point Danger: @catr13
Fingal Head: @nikkibings
Hastings Point: @jacinta_sultana