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Where in the world to whale watch if a whale could be watched

‘Tis the season for whales to travel north along the NSW coast and we’ve got three beaut spots for you to stay and play with these majestic beings. Spoiler alert: one of them is the only place in the country that you can swim with whales!

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie - 4.5 hours drive from Sydney

Port Mac does it a lil’ crazier than you might be used to. Stay for two nights then jump in a jet boat for a 90 minute whale watching spin. The jet boat allows you to get up way close and personal to these majestic beings (and feel like James Dean at the same time, right?). Where to stay? Port Macquarie YHA! 

Two nights and a jet boat ride for $105pp - book here.

 Coffs Harbour YHA

Coffs Harbour - 5 hours, 45 minutes drive from Sydney

Just watching? Pfft! How about swimming with whales?!

Coffs Harbour is the only place in the country you can swim with humpback whales! Stay with us for three nights and experience a true gamechanger: a 3 to 4 hour tour where professionals will pop the boat into the perfect position for you to jump into the water and have a snuggle with some humpbacks! Only available from June to October (after that, the whales swim to cooler waters!). Where to stay? Coffs Harbour YHA!

Three nights stay and a whale swim day tour from $230pp. Book here. 

 Port Stephens

Port Stephens - 2.5 hours drive from Sydney 

We’ve got all the delights of this corner of the world tied up in a pretty little bow! Stay in the Asian-inspired Port Stephens YHA for two nights, enjoy a 3.5 hour whale watching cruise plus unlimited sandboarding. Ideally get your sandboarding out of the way on your first day so you can jump in ocean during the whale watching cruise and get all of that sand out of… all of those places!

2 nights, 3.5 hour whale watching tour and unlimited sandboarding from $132pp. Book here


    Coffs Harbour YHA
    From $26 per night
    Coffs Harbour YHA
    Mid way between Sydney and Brisbane, the purpose-built Coffs Harbour YHA hostel makes a great stopover for those travelling the east coast.
    Port Macquarie YHA - Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers
    From $28 per night
    Port Macquarie YHA - Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers
    Located halfway between Sydney & Byron Bay, Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers is more like a resort than a hostel.
    Port Stephens YHA
    From $31 per night
    Port Stephens YHA
    Gorgeous beaches, lush bushland, stunning bay and sea views and a great chill-out spot - that's Port Stephens and its award-winning YHA.
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YHA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We acknowledge and pay our respects to Elders past, present, emerging and the extended Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community.