Humpbacks having a whale of a time
Over 30,000 humpback whales are about to make their mighty presence felt as they begin their annual migration from Antarctica, along the coast of NSW to the warmer waters of Queensland.
Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton said today that NSW's national parks up and down the coast provide some of the best vantage points in the world to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants.
"Whale numbers have been steadily recovering and they are becoming so much easier to see," Ms Upton said.
"At this time of year they are particularly visible along the coast from Wollongong and Sydney to the north coast before arriving in Queensland where the females will calve.
"These whales will eventually start their return south, travelling with young calves, around July and will be more visible on the Far South Coast of NSW from August onwards."
The annual migration provides a timely reminder of the safe approach zones for whale watching and the importance of keeping a distance from these wild animals.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to remind people that there are some sensible rules in place that govern how close you can go to whales. Boats should go no closer than 300 metres and 400 metres if there is a calf," Ms Upton said.
"There are also restrictions for how close drones and other aircraft can go to whales. These approach distances are there for the safety of the whales as well as the general public."
To find out more about whale watching vantage spots along the NSW coast, tips for whale watching and coastal accommodation, visit Wild About Whales
You can also download the free Wild About Whales smartphone app to see the latest whale sightings and record your own – just search 'whales NSW' in your app store.