Sisters, cousins and whales

This story starts with me booking a whale watching cruise for a completely different day than the one I meant to. It continues with me then making a silk purse out of it by realising that my sister and cousin would both be in town at that time, and that perhaps we could all go together.

So we did.

Here follows the story [in pictures] of the sisters, the cousins, and the whales.

{Photo taken on Emma’s camera by stranger, so not sure who to credit here}

We prepared for boating by making sure we had layers, more layers, and sensible shoes

Further preparations involved stocking up on anti sickness medications, although as it turned out all the actual medications contained gluten (sidenote: whaaaat) so I was stuck with just the natural ginger tablets

We queued, we wobbled aboard. As requested by the crew we shared a table with people we didn’t know. No bother, we thought

We listened to the loud lady behind us insist she would not share her table, as it ‘invaded’ her ‘personal space’

We queued for the buffet and marvelled at the skyscrapers of Barangaroo slipping past, and then suddenly the whole city skyline was there

What a view!

Surprisingly, we enjoyed our lunch a lot. Most of the buffet was gluten free (everything except the bread rolls) which made me very happy

We counted suburbs, mansions, and waterfront views

We spotted secret beaches, famous beaches, and nude beaches

We avoided the small boats zipping about in the stiff breeze

I cracked into my emergency chocolate supply

We hit the choppy waters as we exited the heads and put our sea legs (and anti-sickness medication) to the test

We squinted out to sea, concentrating on looking for whale breath

We saw sail boats, oil tankers, yachts, other whaling boats… and no whales

A whale!

Which whale to follow?

We found a larger whale making its way up the coast with purpose. Our captain decided to follow it as it looked like it might be a breacher (some whales are more likely to do this than others, apparently)

The whale did not breach

The whale did surface very close to the boat on numerous occasions, at least once giving the captain a fright at how close it surfaced

We saw whale tail

{Photo taken by Emma}

We saw Manly beach, with an ominous bushfire cloud spreading across the horizon. We hoped for controlled backburning and not an actual bushfire

We followed the whale for a few surface spells, then left her on her merry way before heading back towards the heads

We bounced and jounced around the boat as it picked up speed, getting rather closer to people we did not know than we may have otherwise done

We enjoyed the warm sunshine and the fresh sea air

As the heads came back into view we saw the views, views, and some more views

I took all. the. photos

Because how could you not? I still can’t believe this city is my home now

My camera definitely got a workout

{In action – photo taken by Emma sneakily while I wasn’t looking}

The harbour really is beautiful from the water

I highly recommend whale watching as a great way to experience the city of Sydney from a different angle. We went through Oz Whale Watching and I was impressed with the boat, the food, and most importantly the quality of guide and captain. I would recommend to a friend (especially if they’re gluten free). We went for the lunchtime BBQ cruise and got our vouchers off Groupon. Not sponsored by anyone; least of all sisters and cousins.

[When a whale surfaced behind S as he was taking a photo of us]

Have you ever gone whale watching? Can you tell who is my cousin and who is my sister!?


Postscript: The loud lady behind who valued her personal space so highly got seasick. Very seasick. I did not mention the word karma (but I certainly did think it)

Pin me for your next trip to Sydney:



  1. 29th August 2017 / 20:31

    That looks so much fun and you got some awesome snaps! I could tell straight away who was your sister, you two are almost twins. Looks like such a fun day out!

  2. 29th August 2017 / 22:04

    bahahaha at the loud lady. serves her right! so cool the buffet was mostly GF, even the snags? wow. super cool. but the medication, wtf? we went whale watching in auckland and it was so fun. we did not get a buffet though, rude.

  3. Jen
    30th August 2017 / 05:24

    Yay for seeing whales! I did a whale watching tour in Hawaii and it’s incredible seeing those giant creatures in the water. It looks like you all had a great time!

  4. 30th August 2017 / 05:38

    I’m glad that you were able to make lemonade out of lemons! This sounds like when I booked a tour while we were in Paris for a wrong day and realized it too late and tried to make the best out of the situation. I’m glad that you were still able to go and with your cousin and sister, and that y’all got to see some whales during your cruise! I’d definitely want to do this when I visit Australia!

  5. 30th August 2017 / 10:52

    Wow, what an amazing experience! The pictures are beautiful!

  6. 30th August 2017 / 23:35

    oh karma, i just love her. haha. seriously what a fun experience though! i think i’d def add this to my list if i ever get to visit that lovely city 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

  7. 31st August 2017 / 20:31

    So fun to have your sister and cousin here! I’ve only ever seen a whale once waaaaay in the distance. I think it was Migaloo the white whale because I remember it being a HUGE deal and there were heaps on people there. I’m pretty sure we were at manly heads or some place like that!

  8. 2nd September 2017 / 10:57

    Going whale watching sounds like so much fun!

  9. 3rd September 2017 / 04:18

    I feel like Australia has the prettiest oceans water. It’s such a rich, deep blue that seems different than most oceans. I wonder what causes that. Needless to say, I loved all the photos of this adventure!! Looks like a great time with your family!

  10. 9th September 2017 / 06:15

    As always, loved reading this. It’s such an interesting new way of seeing the town. I didn’t know they did whale boat tours in Sydney! (p.s. I can’t seem to be able to pin your image 🙁 )

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