Australia's Famous White Whale Delights Tourists Near Cairns

StoryfulNewsPublished: August 9, 2017
Published: August 9, 2017

Tourists heading out to the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns on Sunday, August 6, had a whale of a time after an up-close visit from Australia’s most famous cetacean – Migaloo, an all-white humpback. Migaloo has been spotted off the east coast of Australia since 1991 and is so famous he has been given a 500-meter exclusion zone under Queensland law. Ocean Freedom skipper Skipper Paul Faherty told the Cairns Post he put the boat in neutral when he spotted the whale – but then “it started to actually swim towards us, which was the amazing part.” Migaloo circled the vessel for a few minutes – as the tourists shouted and screamed – before swimming north. “It was absolutely breathtaking, mate,” Faherty said. Thousands of humpback whales make an annual migration from Antarctica past the east coast of Australia each winter to mate in warmer waters. “Our sighting, is the first this year off the Cairns coast and in fact Migaloo has not been spotted since the southern great barrier reef, which made our experience with him up here in Far North Queensland that even more special!” Ocean Free & Ocean Freedom Office manager Kerry Swanson wrote in an email to Storyful. “He is currently on his migration north for mating but fingers crossed we are lucky enough to spot him on his journey back south!” Credit: Facebook/Ocean Free & Ocean Freedom via Storyful

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