Lake Macquarie, one of Australia’s best spots to travel to for whale watching, is located on the coast of New South Wales, only a half-hour’s drive from the coastal regional city of Newcastle. Lake Macquarie is Australia’s largest coastal salt-water lake; the perfect destination for migrating whales in Australia, and for us who travel – whale watching in May.
Why should you travel to Lake Macquarie for whale watching?
It’s uncanny that these majestic mammals choose Lake Macquarie as a migratory destination and Australia is lucky to be en-route for one of the largest mammal migrations in the world. Humpback whales for example travel an average of 500 kilometres from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the warmer climates of Australia’s central coast, then up to the north to Cairns for breeding and feeding. Plus, there’s sun, sprawling sand beaches and warm weather if you’re escaping the winter cold in Australia’s south.
What species of whales will you see in Lake Macquarie during May?
This mass migration occurs between May and November each year, so that whales enjoy the warmer waters and abundant food before heading back after the winter season. Humpbacks, occasional orcas, Bryde’s whale and Southern Right whales all travel along the coast of eastern Australia and travellers can seek out prime whale watching spots to witness these gentle marine giants. All travellers need is a car, backpack with binoculars, snacks and a camera.
Where are the best spots to seek out whale watching in Lake Macquarie?
Walk to Awabakal Viewpoint for one of the best vantage points for whale watching. To get there, walk through the Awabakal Nature Reserve from Dudley South through coastal heath and forest to Redhead. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Lake Macquarie.
The Caves Beach Walk is a picturesque introduction to the Lake Macquarie area, where you can traverse the craggy cliffs, to the secluded beach which is among Wallarah National Park. Walking trails are easy to navigate, and sea caves can be explored during your whale-watching visit.
Another beautiful nature walk is the Ken and Audrey Owens Walk, which is a community-created coastal walkway through restored bushland. A concrete timber boardwalk leads to optimal whale watching, leading all the way to Norah Head from a viewpoint in the Owens Walkway car park.
Travel to the rocky headland of Redhead Bluff with views that span across the ocean and south over Nine Mile Beach towards Blacksmiths Beach and Swansea. This is Lake Macquarie’s prime whale watching viewpoint.
After a day of whale watching at Lake Macquarie, where can you refuel with vegan food?
Head to the Boulevard in Toronto for the all-day breakfast, brunch, lunch at Double Take Café; a café with vegan options on the menu. Common Circus, another café with vegan options is located in Belmont, as well as Sesames on the Lake for Asian fusion cuisine with vegan options. All of these locales are within driving distance of Lake Macquarie.
Have you travelled to Lake Macquarie in May for whale watching? If not, and you’re keen to go, you can learn more by heading to the Visit Lake Macquarie website. Flights to Newcastle run regularly from major cities in Australia and a car can be hired on arrival.