A whale of a time in Sydney
If you’re visiting Sydney in winter make sure you join a whale-watching cruise that departs from Circular Quay, Sydney Harbor. The whale-watching season along New South Wales’s east coast starts from May and continues till November.
Our flight from Alice Spring (Northern Territory, central Australia) landed at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport around 6 in the evening. With dazzling light and sparkling billboards, Sydney looked incredible at night.
We had our booking at Sydney Central Inn. We took a cab from the airport. The Chinese cabbie welcomed us with a ready smile. For the first time in Australia, I found a cabbie who is a Chinese. The guy told us how and when he migrated to Australia. He said he has been driving on the streets of Sydney over the past twenty three years and knows every lane and by-lane of the city like the back of his hand.
Sydney Central Inn is located in CBD area and close to the Sydney Central rail station. It took twenty minutes to reach the hotel. If you want the excitement of staying in the heart of Sydney, Central Inn is just the right place. Located on Pitt Street, it is close to big shopping malls, theatres and restaurants. Surrounded by coolest bars and cafes, every night of yours will be a unique experience.
Formerly known as Chamberlain Hotel, this beautiful heritage building was home to actors and performers playing at the Capitol Theatre. Those looking for a quality budget accommodation, Central Inn will be the right choice. Rooms are elegantly done-up. Corridors are spic and span. Kitchen is equipped with all the stuff one needs to make his or her meals. The employees are extremely friendly.
We took bus No 555 which takes passengers to Circular Quay free of charge. It was 10 in the morning. It was drizzling as we walked towards the bus stop. The sidewalks were spotlessly clean. The bus stop was just ten minutes walk from our hotel.
The bus No 555 arrived at 10.20am. It was filled with tourists from all over the world. The bus went past Bridge Street and Alfred Street. It took less than 15 minutes to reach Circular Quay from where we were supposed to take the Captain Cook Cruise. We got off the bus and walked toward wharf no 5.
On Saturdays and Sundays, the Captain Cook Cruise operates only in the morning, while afternoon cruises depart daily.
The three-hour-cruise was excellent with superb commentary and information from the crew. It was an awesome experience as the crew explained whales’ behavior, movements and their activity. We were told that Humpback whale sightings continued to increase in recent years and the amazing mammal just loves to show off its tails slapping on the water.
It was 11.30am and time for our catamaran to leave the wharf. As the vessel left the wharf, we could see the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House against the backdrop of the city’s spectacular skyline. The catamaran sailed by the famous Taranga Zoo, a must-see tourists’ destination.
It took almost an hour to reach the spot from where we could see whales. There were two other vessels also carrying tourists. We waited with bated breath to have a close encounter with the gentle giant of the sea. The captain of the vessel kept changing the catamaran’s position so that we can see whales. About half an hour passed by, but there was no sign of whales. Our impatience was wearing thin. We almost gave up hope of seeing whales.
Suddenly, we could hear the commentator saying: “Hey, there it is,” his excitement palpable. Everyone was in a hurry to take a glimpse of the whale. We saw a huge tail slapping on the water! That’s a Humpback whale.
What a majestic view! For about half an hour we saw the creature moving majestically and showing its huge tail on and off, throwing water.
We were told that in June and July whales migrate north for breeding before returning south with their calves from September. Occasionally a mother and calf make Sydney Harbor their home for a short while.
We also saw numerous dolphins playing with the whale. Some dolphins were swimming so close to our vessel. Truly an unforgettable experience!