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Whale breaching
Photograph: Unsplash/Todd Cravens

Dust off your binoculars, because a record number of humpback whales are on their way past our coastline

There are thousands of majestic whales migrating down the east coast of the country and they're a beautiful sight to see

Maya Skidmore
Liv Condous
Written by
Maya Skidmore
Liv Condous

Us Aussies have a deep appreciation for the ocean and all its wonders, as many of us spend most of our summers getting sandy by the sea at our many beaches. While there's lots to love about our crystalline coasts, few things can top the majesty of a whale sighting. And there's never been a better time to experience this magic, as experts have said that there are currently record numbers of humpback whales off Australia's shores, making their annual migration down the east coast of Australia to southern waters. 

After the total eastern Australian humpback population declined down to a measly 150 due to commercial whaling between the 1850s and 1960s, numbers have built back to a staggering 40,000 over the last 30 years – and they're currently all making their way down the east coast. 

Whale tour operators have reported seeing record numbers of whales and calves this season, while Dr Wally Franklin from the Oceania Project has said to the ABC that the whale numbers are almost at ‘carrying capacity’, which means that “the number of whales born equals the number of whales that die of natural causes every year”.  

A humpback whale coming out of the water.
Photograph: Supplied

This amazing news is made all the more miraculous given that all whales we’re seeing in our eastern Aussie waters today are the direct descendants of the tiny group of whales who managed to survive mass killings up until the early 60s.

Using careful conservation and collective action, Australians have managed to help bring back these incredible animals from the brink of permanent extinction, with experts saying that their population has been steadily increasing by 10 per cent, year on year.

So with thousands of whales swimming off our shores, why not head out and go whale watching to appreciate the beauty of these gentle giants of the sea. 



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