Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience

Aboriginal Experience

During the peak of the southern migration in October. Cruise Details

Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience

$94.66/ Adult

Adult $94.66
Child (4-15) $62.75
Family (2A+2C) $254.21
Concession $84.03
Prices shown include a 6% online booking fee. Concession only valid with Australian seniors, pensioners or student card.

Indigenous Experience

An Aboriginal Elder will share their stories about Gurawil the whale and its importance to the Aboriginal communities with you.

3hr Premium Cruise

Onboard Sydney’s best whale watching boat Ocean Dreaming 2. Custom built for whale watching with 3 levels of outside viewing decks.

15min to the ocean

Don’t waste hours traveling to the whales and back. Minimal time in the harbour, maximum time with whales. Only 15min from Circular Quay.

  • During the peak of the southern migration in October
  • Departs Darling Harbour - Aquarium Wharf at 8:30 and 12:45

Whale Watching Sydney is bringing back their popular and unique Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience during the peak of the southern migration in October.

Join us for a 3hr whale watching cruise onboard Ocean Dreaming 2 and learn about Gurawil the whale and discover the connection and responsibility of Aboriginal communities to this important animal.

Along the east coast of New South Wales, the presence of whales in Aboriginal culture is embedded in many forms, from Dreaming stories to whales recognised as totem animals for various language groups. There are many significant sites of artwork depicting whales – particularly around Sydney.

An Aboriginal Elder and Aboriginal cultural guide will lead you through the cruise and share their stories of land, water and sky which have been passed down from Aboriginal ancestors. Passengers can also participate in an ancient whale song to summon the whales.

Meet Your Aboriginal Cultural Tour Guides

Elder Aunty Barb Sims


Community advocate, respected Elder, teacher, carer, living educational library (and telephone directory) and most of all collaborator!

Barbara Simms (affectionately and respectfully known as Aunty Barb), was born in Sydney and grew up at number 24 The Reserve, La Perouse.

A mother of 5 children, a foster carer for 15 children, a grandmother to 19 grandchildren and great grandmother to 6.  You’d think that would be enough to keep anyone busy, but life was never too full or busy to focus on other matters close to the community’s heart.  Aunty Barb has invested immeasurable unpaid hours to this.

Throughout the years Aunty Barb has used her wealth of knowledge of culture to provide talks and education on the local area; beaches, nature trails and bush tucker.

She provides rich cultural mentoring to too many people and organisations to name individually and has also in the past provided cultural awareness training in GP practices in the Eastern Suburbs and Sutherlandshire.

In 2012 Aunty Barb received the Pauline McLeod Award from the Eastern Region Local Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Forum.  The award recognises “silent achievers” who have worked diligently in promoting Reconciliation through their selfless acts with a desire to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Not long after this Aunty Barb was also acknowledged with an award from NSW police for Dedicated Services to the Police by providing guidance on cultural awareness.  Local MP Matt Thistlethwaite has also acknowledged Barbara Simms with a community services award.

At 73 years young, Aunty Barb’s most recent employed role has been as the Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation as the Respite and Transport Coordinator for some 20 years. Just retired in December 2020 Aunty Barb is now lending her time to providing education and cultural mentoring.

Dean Kelly


I am Dean Kelly and identify as a South Coast NSW Saltwater Yuin, Walbunja, Dhoorga Gurandgi cultural man through my father, and Western NSW Freshwater stone country cultural Wailwan, Nypampai Man through my mother. I was born in Sydney NSW on Gadigal land in 1967.

I am member of the Botany Bay Aboriginal Community and am also accepted as belonging to the La Perouse Aboriginal Community. I have also served for two terms (4 years) as a Board Member on the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council. I currently remain a member of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

As a Cultural Practitioner my true passion and cultural obligation is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage. My cultural knowledge has been passed down through my family for countless generations, and I’m told by my Elders to give it away to keep it!

Les McLeod

 

Les McLeod is a Yuin, Dharawal and Ngarigo custodian working with Taronga Zoo, Discovery Ranger Kuringai NP, Kadoo Tours and Tribal Warrior.

Calita Murray

I acknowledge my Boorooberongal and Kameygal ancestors from Sydney and my birth country Yuin. I am from the sunrise saltwater people of the eastern sea-boarder. My people have maintained a resilient, spiritual, cultural relationship to country – the land, waters and sky.

I graduated from NAISDA in the early 1990s and have continued my passion of dancing over the years with Jannawi, Buuja Buuja Butterfly, Warada Dance groups and Burrundi Theatre performing at prominent events;

World Youth Soccer Tournament, Woggan-Ma-Gule Morning Ceremonies, World Masters Games, South Sydney NRL Indigenous Rounds, NSW Waratahs Rugby Union Indigenous Round, Yabun Music Festivals, various local opening ceremonies and gatherings.

As a cultural facilitator I like educating all people about Aboriginal history and culture, as it’s important to me. I’m also passionate about supporting young Aboriginal youth to maintain a strong sense of cultural identity and values through my work as an educator.

I am honoured to share the knowledge of the whale Dreaming that was passed onto me through my Elder and Cultural Teacher the Late Uncle Max Harrison.

Vessel Features

On the 9th of June 2021 we unveiled a new-look for our flagship vessel Ocean Dreaming II to mark the commencement of our Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience and the start of the Sydney Solstice festival which runs until Sunday the 20th of June 2021.

Gomeroi artist Warwick Keen was selected to produce this beautiful piece of art that borrows from the Aboriginal tradition of bark carvings to aid in wayfinding when on country. It connects to the songlines of Aboriginal clans that intersect our waterways. To enhance the artwork, the vessel carries the names of the different clans of the Eora nation that abound the Sydney Harbour.

  • Three levels of outside viewing decks
  • Comfortable cushioned seats
  • High speed vessel for minimal travel time
  • climate controlled cabin
  • Purpose built for whale watching
  • multimedia presentations on screens
  • wheelchair accessible
  • Toilets on board (1 disabled)

Sydney Map

  • During the peak of the southern migration in October.
  • Departs Darling Harbour - Aquarium Wharf at 8:30 and 12:45

  • Ticket Office
  • Departure Wharf

Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience

$94.66/ Adult

Adult $94.66
Child (4-15) $62.75
Family (2A+2C) $254.21
Concession $84.03
Prices shown include a 6% online booking fee. Concession only valid with Australian seniors, pensioners or student card.

NRMA Members Save 20%

Simply enter your Membership number when booking online.

If you’re not a Member, join for just $5/month and start saving on dining, attractions, experiences, accommodation and more.

Discover All Benefits

Whale Guarantee

We see whales on 99% of our cruises, but if we don’t…

In the unlikely event no whales are successfully watched on your cruise, you get a free return trip.

How it works

Free Manly Transfer

Book a cruise with us and get a free return trip from Manly to Circular Quay.

Simply add “Manly to Circular Quay Return Ticket” during checkout to add a free return ticket on Manly Fast Ferry. Booking confirmation must be presented to staff at Manly Wharf to redeem.

View Timetable

NRMA Members Save 20%

Simply enter your Membership number when booking online.

If you’re not a Member, join for just $5/month and start saving on dining, attractions, experiences, accommodation and more.

Discover All Benefits

Whale Guarantee

We see whales on 99% of our cruises, but if we don’t…

In the unlikely event no whales are successfully watched on your cruise, you get a free return trip.

How it works

Free Manly Transfer

Book a cruise with us and get a free return trip from Manly to Circular Quay.

Simply add “Manly to Circular Quay Return Ticket” during checkout to add a free return ticket on Manly Fast Ferry. Booking confirmation must be presented to staff at Manly Wharf to redeem.

View Timetable

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which our business operates. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and emerging.