Whales can be seen from Port Macquarie-Hastings region vantage points

Whale of a time: Alan Hudson photographed whales from the Lighthouse at Port Macquarie on Wednesday, May 30.
Whale of a time: Alan Hudson photographed whales from the Lighthouse at Port Macquarie on Wednesday, May 30.

The giants of the ocean have returned to the Port Macquarie-Hastings region much to the delight of avid watchers.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is encouraging residents to head to their nearest coastal national park to see the whales on their annual migration north.

The whales are migrating to their winter breeding and calving grounds in the warmer tropical waters of the Pacific.

Some of the region's top vantage points include the Port Macquarie coast walk in Tacking Point, the Cape Hawke lookout in Booti Booti National Park, the Headland Walk in Saltwater National Park, Front Beach in Arakoon National Park, Smoky Cape Lighthouse in Hat Head National Park and Charles Hamey lookout in Kattang Nature Reserve.

Alan Hudson spotted the whales from the Lighthouse in Port Macquarie and Camden Head over the past week.

Breaching: A whale show for watchers on Wednesday, May 30. Photo: Alan Hudson.

Breaching: A whale show for watchers on Wednesday, May 30. Photo: Alan Hudson.

On Wednesday, May 30 Mr Hudson based himself at the Lighthouse in Port Macquarie from 9am until 1.30pm and estimated he saw about 14 whales.

Mr Hudson also saw a baby humpback, which he believed would have only been six metres long. The whale had some marks on its back, which Mr Hudson believes was some old injuries.

"There were about 15 or 20 dolphins swimming near the baby," he said.

"They looked like they were trying to protect it."

Mr Hudson has also spotted whales at Camden Head from Kattang Nature Reserve.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said NSW has over 860 national parks and reserves, many of which are great coastal vantage spots for whale watching.

Spectacular: A whale puts on a show for tour attendees. Photo: Alan Hudson.

Spectacular: A whale puts on a show for tour attendees. Photo: Alan Hudson.

"During May to November, more than 30,000 humpback whales migrate from the cold waters of Antarctica to the warmer waters off north east Australia to mate and give birth before heading south again," Mr Kean said.

"Almost 50 per cent of the NSW coastline is national parks, with vantage points located at lookouts, headlands and foreshores. These are great spots to see these amazing creatures, some of which weigh 40 tonnes and are as big as a city bus.

"Coastal national park visitors may be lucky enough to see more than one species of whale, with southern right and minke whales often spotted during the season."

Meanwhile, the annual ORRCA Whale Census will be held on June 30. To sign up and participate, go to www.orrca.org.au

To find out more about the best whale watching vantage spots along the NSW coast, to learn about whale behaviours and different species of whales, and to download the free Wild About Whales mobile app (to log and view the most up-to-date whale sightings near you), go to wildaboutwhales.com.au.

And don't forget to share your whale photos with us on Instagram by tagging @portmacnews and using the hashtag #MNCwhales.

For stranded, entangled, or sick whales should be reported immediately to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Environment Line on 131 555 or ORRCA Whale and Dolphin Rescue on (02) 9415 3333 (24 hours hotline).

Comments