Each year from late May, approximately 25,000 humpback whales migrate north, travelling over 10,000 kilometres from Antarctica, past Sydney and further up Australia’s east coast to the Great Barrier Reef to feed and breed in the warmer subtropical waters. As the Antarctic waters warm for the summer months, the whales return to their southern home with their young.
Brisbane Whale Watching is the only whale watching provider close to Brisbane, in the Moreton Bay Region - departing from Redcliffe during the season commencing 4th July 2020. Tangalooma Island Resort also offers accredited whale watching tours departing from Holt Street Wharf, North Brisbane.
The whales love stopping to play in the waters of Moreton Bay and can be watched from the beaches of Moreton Island as they migrate at this time of year, however, to get up close and personal to these majestic mammals an eco-tour with Brisbane Whale Watching is recommended.
Did you know, whales only follow one migration path their entire lives! That means, each year we get to say "G'Day" to some old friends, easily identified by their unique markings and colour.
Like the bottom of a much loved swag mans cooking pot, "Billy" is unique from other humpback whales that migrate along the Australian Eastern coast, sporting a black underbelly rather than white.
No one seems to know why Billy has such unusual colouring, it's a bit of a mystery! But this doesn't seem to stop Billy from having a great time out in the water, his very acrobatic, breaching, tail slapping and generally likes putting on a show for anyone on a whale watching tour.
Billy was named by our very own Captain Kerry and as yet there is no reports of offspring.
As the name suggests, Stitches has markings all the way up the middle of his fluke that looks like he has been stitched up, but guess what? They are natural markings!
Scientists are still trying to figure out so many things about humpback whales, like why do whales breach, that we are a long way of understanding how they come to have unique natural markings. So whilst there are whales that can be identified due to scares from marine accidents, there are a handful out there that are just naturally unique.
Stitches was named by the Captain Kerry's Crew on Eye Spy.
Migaloo and son MJ or Migaloo Junior, are the only documented albino Humpback whales in the world.
Migaloo meaning ‘white fella’ was first sighted back in June 1991 and believed to be 3 to 5 years old at the time. In October 2004, researchers from the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre collected skins samples from the water after he had breached and were able to have theses analysed for DNA. This analysis was able to confirm that Migaloo is in fact a male.
In 2006, a white calf was also spotted with a normal Humpback mother sparking excitement that it was one of Migaloo’s offspring, known as "MJ" or Migaloo Junior.
Looking for more information on this super star of the deep? Keep reading...
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