Forster Tuncurry Whale Watching, Bush Walks and Dog-friendly Beaches


Forster and the nearby town of Tuncurry offer endless opportunities for whale watching, dolphin spotting, treks, trails and hikes – along with some of the best beaches around. If you’re looking to get away from it all just a few hours from Sydney, then we have the property for you! With a variety of Forster holiday accommodation options perfect for couples, families, solo travellers and even the family pet, get ready to explore the best the local area has to offer – like a local.

To help you plan an amazing itinerary, here are just a few of the amazing experiences to enjoy when in town. Beautiful holiday accommodation, stunning natural beauty and everything you need in one place.

Whale Watching North of Sydney

During the whale watching season from June to late November, why not head out to sea with Amaroo Cruises. Experience an unforgettable Whale Watching Tour aboard the brand new $2.1M Whale Watching Adventure Cruise vessel the “AMAROO.” It will carry you into a wonderful world of majestic whales, where dreams come true. Humpback whales are the most inquisitive and acrobatic of all the great whales. They love to leap out of the water, smash their huge tails and pectoral fins against the surface, and will often approach the boat for a closer look.

Dolphin cruises run most days at 10:00 am (weather permitting). The cruise duration is approximately 2½-3 hours and includes morning tea. There are approximately 250-300 resident inshore Bottle-Nosed dolphins inhabiting the waters of Forster/Tuncurry. These local dolphins seem to be as interested in The Amaroo as we are in them. Further offshore you may encounter Common dolphins, sometimes massing in the hundreds – all as one pod. Quite a spectacle to say the least!

Dolphin Watch Cruises depart most days at 10:00 am from late November to May. These Common Dolphins are very active. Groups often surface, jump, splash and play together. The third species of dolphin you may also stumble upon is the Oceanic Dolphin. Sea birds including Ospreys, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Whistling Kites, Gannets and Albatross are a common sight, along with sharks, seals, penguins and turtles being frequently sighted

Reel Ocean Adventures

The aim of Reel Ocean Adventures is to offer passengers a fishing experience like no other in the Forster/Tuncurry area. A charter that will have you feeling welcomed from the moment you step onboard the immaculately presented 55’ charter vessel the ‘Illusion’. You’ll be treated to a happy vibrant atmosphere from the professional charter and cruise operators Phil and Noel Gogerly and Reel Ocean Adventures staff, who will have every guest feeling like they are more than just a number. 

Reel Ocean Adventures focuses on charters with a difference, along with Fishing Charters, relaxing sunrise/sunset cruises and whale and dolphin watching is a major drawcard for tourists. Due to the size of ‘Illusion’ and the deck space, you’ll be able to get up close with some of the most breathtaking mammals or have space to relax and unwind on a cruise. As passengers walk around the deck, they will be able to take photos and videos to relive their experience to friends and family. Passengers will be treated to light snacks and refreshments on each charter/cruise

What are the best walks in Forster Tuncurry?

Sometimes, the best way to explore the best natural beauty, points of interest and attractions is on foot. Forster Tuncurry doesn’t disappoint on the walking trail front. Here are some of the best.

Forster – Tuncurry bridge around to the break walls. 

Start at Beach Bums and grab a coffee, head north around to Forster Breakwall past the Forster Boat Harbour. Continue around to the bridge and walk along the dedicated path over the Bridge. Once to the end head to the right and walk around to Tuncurry Breakwall. 

Forster boat harbour to Bennetts Head bicentennial lookout around to One Mile Beach. 

Start at Forster Boat Harbour which can be accessed from the main street, head around to the right through the back of the caravan park, head past Forster Main beach and up the cliffs on the south end. Walk past Pebbly Beach and the Tanks, head up Frewin’s walk and continue up the hill along the cliffs to the lookout. Head to the right of the lookout down the windy paths through the bush until you get to the Sand Dune at One Mile Beach.

Cape Hawke lookout. 

Positioned right at the northern end of the national park, this superb lookout is worth every step of the 500m hike through regenerating littoral rainforest. Pull-on your walking shoes and bring some binoculars and a camera – after approximately 420 steps you’ll reach an 8.4m tower with 360-degree views of the surrounding area. There’s Booti Booti to the south and Wallingat National Park beyond and slightly to the west. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Barrington Tops and Crowdy Bay National Park. Birdwatching is wonderful year-round here, with pelicans and terns in great abundance, but winter holds an extra special surprise – whales break the surface of the sea, blowing water, and there’s no better place to watch them in their annual migration.

Rainforest walk – North end – one-mile beach – suitable for dogs. 

Head to the Northern end of the beach to where the toilets are, instead of walking out to the beach on the path head to the left to a walkway between the Golf course and the Toilets. This beautiful short walk is on a raised path and suitable for all ages. You walk along through the rainforest and end up at a small lookout at the end of the beach near the sand dunes.

Dog-friendly beaches in Forster Tuncurry?

If you’re travelling to Forster with your dog, you’ll be pleased to know that we offer some pretty amazing pet-friendly accommodation. Spend long days hiking the trails, exploring the national parks and relaxing on the beach with your four-legged fur baby. There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in Forster/Tuncurry and the surrounding areas, but not all of them are dog friendly. Make sure you check the beach rule signs to check for timings on arrival.

Forster dog-friendly beaches

  • One Mile Beach – Off leash area (North end) 5am – 8am & 5pm – 8pm
  • Blueys Beach – Off-leash area 5 am – 8 am
  • Boomerang Beach – Off-leash area 5 am – 8 am
  • Pebbly Beach & The Tanks – On-leash but does include a long walk around Bennetts Head to One Mile Beach 
  • Forster Keys (Pipers Bay) – Off-leash (Great area for kayaking & paddle boarding)

Forster Dog-Free Beaches

  • Forster Main Beach – Not permitted on the beach but there are walking paths around including a long walk around to the Forster Tuncurry Bridge
  • Burgess Beach – Not permitted 
  • Seven Mile Beach – Not permitted

Tuncurry dog-friendly beaches

  • Nine Mile Beach – Off-Leash (watch for 4WD) 3 pm – 8 am 
  • Tuncurry Dog Park – On/Off-leash area and fenced all times
  • Diamond Beach – Off-leash (watch for horse riders) 

Where are the boat ramps in Forster?

Looking to enjoy a little bit of seafaring on your own boat? If you’re towing and wondering where the best boat ramps are for easy access to the ocean, here are a few of the best local ones.

  • Forster Boat Harbour
  • Little St Baths
  • Elizabeth Parade Reserve – Forster Keys
  • Belton Park Point Road Tuncurry
  • Elizabeth Beach Lakeside Crescent
  • Pacific Palms Boat Ramp

Horse rides on the beach at Forster

Horseabout Tours is more than just a trail-ride. With experienced local guides who share their love of not just horses, but also the love of the local area and a passion for preserving the glorious surrounds – you are guaranteed an experience to remember. The horses are trained and nurtured by an experienced team and are rotated through the various grounds so they remain fresh and happy for your ride. 

Each new rider is matched to a horse via a range of criteria from height, weight and experience ensuring you enjoy the most comfortable day of riding. All guides are locals and have a wealth of knowledge about the area, following strict environmental guidelines to preserve it for future generations.  

How to reach Forster from Sydney?

The distance between Sydney and Forster is 223 km. The road distance is 304 km Taree Airport is 7km from Taree’s town centre. Forster Tuncurry is approximately a 3.5-hour drive north of Sydney. Follow the signs towards Taree and connect into Forster through Pacific Palms for the scenic drive or through Failford Road for the quickest time. 

You can catch the train to Newcastle with a connecting bus straight to Forster or the train to Taree, where you can organise a taxi in advance. Use a taxi service to make the short trip northeast. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the regions of Manning Valley and the Great Lakes at your own pace.

Fly Pelican operates direct flights between Sydney and Taree six days a week and flies to Newcastle once a week. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney to travel into Taree.

That’s the Itinerary sorted, now where to stay?

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beachside property or holiday accommodation near the lake, we have options perfect for everyone. Our selection of Forster pet-friendly accommodation also makes it easy to enjoy your holiday without worrying about your pet’s wellbeing. Pack your bags, load up the car, get fido and the kids prepared and escape to a little slice of heaven just hours from the heart of Sydney.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Speak to our experienced team directly.