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Manly Ocean Adventures
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High-Speed Offshore Thrill Ride to Bondi Beach
Ranked #1 of 25 Tours in Manly
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Manly Ocean Adventures is the home of the 'Whale Watching Safari,' Sydney's smallest, most personal and most exciting whale watching adventure. Our high speed adventure vessel will get you to the whales quicker than anybody else. Our completely open vessel offers unobstructed views of these majestic animals. Our low position in the water offers you unparalleled, up-close viewing opportunities of the whales, dolphins, penguins and even the occasional seal or shark.
Reviewed 27 October 2013 via mobile

Went out with Blake this morning for the whale watching trip and it was awesome!

Prompt pick up in Manly at 9.30 and then straight out through the heads on this very personal boat. Blake told us to look out for spray but it wasn't long until he spotted a pod and we moved in. While we watched for them reappearing Blake gave some insight into dive patterns and the behaviours of humpbacks which was really informative.

We got really lucky with the pod of whales we found, they put on an unreal show and we couldn't believe how much we saw. Blake kept us close enough to see without spooking the whales.

After almost an hour with the pod they started to only come up for quick breaths before diving for long periods and we decided to head back towards the coast. Everyone was over the moon with what we had seen!

Couldn't recommend Manly Ocean Adventures enough, they offer a smaller boat that provides personal friendly service which enhances the whole experience!

Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"whale watching experience"
in 15 reviews
"boat ride"
in 13 reviews
"captain blake"
in 11 reviews
"fast boat"
in 10 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 6 reviews
"incredible experience"
in 6 reviews
"a great tour guide"
in 4 reviews
"high speed boat"
in 3 reviews
"fast fun"
in 3 reviews
"whales and dolphins"
in 3 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 4 reviews
"great captain"
in 3 reviews
"awesome pictures"
in 2 reviews
"professional camera"
in 2 reviews
"the entire trip"
in 2 reviews
"whale tour"
in 2 reviews
"campbell's cove"
in 2 reviews

143 - 147 of 174 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2013

The whale watching adventure was absolutely amazing. We gunned out through the heads on a wickedly fast boat and within 20 minutes we had found a mother and her calf. The calf was really playful, breaching out of the water and getting airborne. Blake was awesome - super knowledgable and professional.
I would highly recommend this to anyone!

Thank gellybeans123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

We went on the Ocean Adventures Safari tour today. On the website they promise
a)12 people on board - we were 21
b)Departure location: only from Manly - but The boat arrived to Manly with already 14 people on board.
c) 2.5 hours duration time - we were back 1 hour and15. minutes after departure. I found my watch on the pier saying 3.22 PM and we left after 2.PM. An other participant said it was closer to 1 hour.
d)Up-close viewing possibilities - well we were the boat most distant to the whales. The big cruise boats where a lot closer. There were 5 boats in total.

We made an instant complaint together with 3 other tour members however, the captain said we were lucky to find the whales just out of North Head and therefore we had the same 40 minutes with whales as you can expect. He just went back earlier as we had seen whales. We were the last in the group of 5 boats and were quite distant with only short view. We argued there was an hour to look for an other group of whales especially as the other big boats headed back for the harbour, however there was no interest in that.

The manager was contacted from the office however no refund was offered, but we were offered to come out again on another day.

I have given 2 points as we did see whales and the trip as such was fine, the main argue is the duration. It was just way to expensive 85 dollars for 1 hour on the water.

It was a windy day, however none of the participants were uncomfortable (Blake is a competent captain) At no point did the captain tell the group we were going back in earlier that the promised duration and therefore no explanation given- i.e the whether is to rough. At no point did the captain ask the group whether we wanted to go back to harbour or continue looking for whales.

Just a bit more than 1 hour on the water is just too little on a promised 2.5 hours trip.

Thank Noma07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blake H, Owner at Manly Ocean Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2013

Hi Noma07,

Thank you for taking the time to outline your concerns.
Firstly, I would like to point out that nowhere on our website (www.manlyoceanadventures.com.au) do we 'promise' to be out for 2.5 hours. It specifically states "2 hour whale watching." This is not exact with many tours running for up to 2.5 hours and others coming back a little earlier. There are a lot of variables involved in taking a group of people offshore in constantly changing weather conditions, trying to find and then follow a group of wild animals in there natural habitat.

As you mentioned, the wind on Sunday was excessively strong. We were lucky we encountered the whales where we did because in those conditions we would not have been able to venture very far from the coastline. In saying that, the whales continued to move further and further offshore and with the wind increasing further and due to shift to the south at any moment I deemed it unwise to continue to track out to sea any further. We had, after all spent an hour with the pod having encountered them just outside the heads.

To be able to spend an hour with the whales, out of a '1 hour 22 minute' trip, in the conditions we were faced with on Sunday, I consider to be a huge success.

As for the other concerns you raised:
a) I am currently trialling a new vessel before I decide to purchase it. It does indeed carry 21 passengers, which still keeps us as the smallest, most personal vessel operating out of Sydney. If we did not have access to this new vessel on the weekend that tour would have been cancelled in those conditions.
b) We sometimes offer pick up's from other wharves before heading Manly
d) There are strict guidelines in place for how vessels must behave when watching whale pods. A 100m exclusion zone applies but when there is a calf present (as there was on Sunday) this zone extends to 300m. In some instances the whales become curious and choose to approach the vessels. This is fine and the vessel is permitted to sit and wait until whale has finished and moved on.

Cheers for now.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Thanks, Blake, for a great trip out on Saturday - even managing to lay on a fly-past of helicopters and a fleet of warships for some lesser event going on in the harbour! Don't know how your eagle eyes managed to spot that puff of air ahead but there they were, a mother and baby elegantly wallowing in the swell. Our photos aren't going to be your best, but for us they are a fantastic memory of a wonderful day. Really enjoyed the sea birds too - I love albatrosses! Will definitely come out again.
PS I hear that you found a great spot for viewing the fireworks. Are you taking bookings yet for New Year's Eve?

Thank Lindsay F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 September 2013

Blake showed me and my Girlfriend around Sydney in the off season. We didn't see whales, but he went out of his way to make our Trip special. Not only was it the best experience I had in a boat in Australia, I've made a friend for life! Blake and his crew are no regulars! They enjoy their work and they make sure their Guests know it :) (Beaches Blast)

Don't miss out on this adventure!

Thank Aragornius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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