Beautiful white humpback whale delights watchers off Byron Bay

A famous white humpback whale has been spotted He has been sighted off the coast of New South Wales state, including the resort town of Byron Bay, on his annual migration to Australia’s north coast.


‘Migaloo’ is known for his distinctive colouring and is one of only four documented all-white humpback whales in the world.


The 14m-long mammal was spotted with a companion during his venture north but now appears to be travelling solo, and his journey up Australia’s east coast has attracted large numbers of whale enthusiasts.


A Twitter account run by the White Whale Research Centre provides real-time updates of the whale’s whereabouts.


Byron Bay local Alison Reid booked a whale watching boat trip in anticipation of spotting Migaloo, and was not disappointed when she saw a white whale. She took photographs of the whale about 10am on Tuesday and watched him frolic with another humpback for about two hours.


“I cried. I screamed ‘You gorgeous whale, thank you for being here for us today’,” Ms Reid said. “He’s amazing. It was just an incredible sight, it was so unreal.”


The white whale was also spotted from Iluka in northern New South Wales on Monday afternoon, and off the Gold Coast shortly after passing Byron Bay.


The White Whale Research Centre recorded the first white whale sighting of 2016 off Port Stephens on July 22.


The famous whale Migaloo was first photographed in June 1991 off Byron Bay, and at the time was the only documented all-white humpback whale in the world.


The annual southerly migration of humpback whales usually occurs between September and November. The whale is expected to gradually make his way as far north as Cooktown in the Australian tropics before the return trip to Antarctica later in the year.


Australia’s east coast humpback population has been brought back from the brink of extinction following the halting of whaling in the early 1960s.