The Humpback Highway is in full swing off our coast at the moment, with hundreds of whales and their calves stopping by for a splash and a frolic as they migrate south to Antarctica.
Fishing and whale-watching charter operator, Phil Gogerly, of Reel Ocean Adventures, said humpback numbers had swelled in our waters over the past week as they moved closer to shore.
"They're really thick at the moment," he said.
"I would've seen 40 whales today alone."
He said conditions were ideal for whale-watching at this time of year as the whales moved slowly to keep pace with their calves and ventured far closer to shore than they did during their northward migration in late autumn.
The afternoon sea breeze also brought out their playful sides.
"The wind excites the whales so they do more breaches," he said.
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Forster drone-operator Adam Fitzroy has also spent plenty of time photographing the migration of humpbacks off our shores and said that October was definitely the time to see them.
"I get really excited for the southern migration because I know I'm going to get a really good look at them," he said.
"My favourite time is the start of October until the end of October."
He estimated he'd seen over 1000 whales since the start of September but believed that number would double or even triple by November, when the majority of the creatures had made their way further south.
Asked what was so appealing about whale-watching, Mr Fitzroy said seeing the creatures just gave you an instant rush.
"I just love that they're the biggest creatures in the ocean," he said.
"It's not something you see everyday."
Mr Gogerly agreed.
"I just like the excitement on people's faces when they see the whales," he said.
"It gives really good job satisfaction."
Both men advised anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of the whales to head to their nearest headland, with Mr Fitzroy recommending Bennetts Head and Cape Hawke as great vantage points around Forster.
Alternatively, you could book a charter.
- Eastern humpback whales migrate north along Australia's east coast each year generally between June and August, seeking sub-tropical waters in which to mate and give birth
- They migrate south to the Southern Ocean between September and November, where they spend the summer feeding on krill in Antarctic waters
- Adult humpback whales can grow up to 18m long and weigh up to 50 tonnes
- Humpback whales migrate distances of around 5000km, which is considered one of the largest migratory journeys of any mammal on earth
- The whale-watching industry is estimated to be worth more than $200 million to the Australian economy annually.
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