Before the establishment of whale watching tour operators in Sydney, the ‘go to’ place to watch Humpback whale migration was Port Stephens on the Central Coast.
Apart from whales, there is a resident pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in the harbour. This species has been separated from the Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in early 2000s based on significant genetic and morphological differences.
The Common bottlenose dolphins are also very common further out at sea and can be seen on most whale watching tours. Australian fur seals (Pusillus doriferus) could usually be found around Cabbage Tree Island and Southern right whales are also occasionally seen.