Its that time of year when we all get excited about whether or not Migaloo will be sighted along the Australian East Coast. As the popular form of communication these days is via social media we have decided to announce all sightings of white whales live via Twitter @Migaloo1 and if you are lucky enough to sight the white whale and would like to report the sighting for our log for future research purposes please send details about the sighting such as time and date and the direction it was traveling and if possible please send a photo so we can confirm the sighting and we will add you name to the photo credit.
As the Excitement builds for the 2018 Whale Watching Season along the Australian East Coast and dedicated whale watchers and researchers are taking up positions on all the many Capes and Head Lands along the New South Wales & Queensland coast line, with binoculars in hand searching for a pod of Humpbacks breaching out across the Pacific Ocean or Coral Sea horizon, hoping to get a glimpse of the elusive all white whale called Migaloo which is a local aboriginal word meaning “White Fella”.
Migaloo the all white humpback whale was first sighted in 1991 of Cape Byron by researchers from Southern Cross University who latter collected his DNA and confirmed he was a boy estimating he was born approximately around 1986. Because of an absence of teeth (which can be used to estimate age in other mammals), it is difficult to tell the age of a humpback whale. Life expectancy for humpback whales may be up to 80 years. So potentially and hopefully Migaloo could be entertaining us for the next 50 years.
So this is what we have learnt over the years as to where and when Migaloo was sighted. This data has been collected by Oskar Peterson as he has been recording Migaloo sightings since 1991
In order to share the love and to assist in helping people plan a whale watching adventure in search of Migaloo you can use the information below to plan your adventure and hopefully this helps you in allowing a Migaloo sighting to be ticked off your bucket list.
Below is a basic overview covering the past 11 years and a more detailed sightings log will be uploaded onto the new website once it has been revamped and refreshed.(Hopefully very soon)
Migaloo sightings past Cape Byron as he heads north have been:
21st June 2004
13th June 2005
23rd June 2014
25th June 2016
11th July 2017
Migaloo sightings past Cape Byron heading South have been:
30th September 2007
28th September 2009
17th September 2017
Migaloo sightings in the Cairns & Port Douglas area have been:
July 16th 2006
July 25th 2007
Aug 14th 2009
July 21st 2010 (Port Douglas)
July 25th 2012
7th August 2013
7th August 2017
So if you are really keen on sighting Migaloo, consider taking a holiday on the Gold Coast or Byron Bay between mid June to early July as he heads North and goes past Cape Byron and along the NSW North Coast and the Tweed Coast under the shadow of Mt Warning and on into Queensland waters and the Gold Coast.
Consider Cairns or Port Douglas between Mid July to Mid August as he cruises the pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea Islands just of the coast and easily accessible by the many daily reef charter boats departing daily from Cairns or Port Douglas.
Consider Byron Bay late September and then Sydney late September early October.
He can travel/cruise between 10-14 klh and covers a vast distance in a short time as he sings his love song in search of a new girlfriend up and down the Australian East Coast.
Also note Migaloo can be sighted anywhere in between Port Douglas Far North Queensland or Eden on the far Southern New South Wales Coast. Unfortunately no other white humpback whale (Migaloo Jrn or Barloo or Chalkie) has been sighted for over 5 years so it is possible Migaloo is the only one still alive. The other known white whales were all young humpbacks and either their pigmentation gene kicked in and they are amongst the general population or they have simply succumbed to the harst Southern Ocean or Japanese whalers. It should also be noted that sometimes when a baby humpback is born it can appear to be all white or greyish in colour and as the whale grows the normal pigmentation of their skin darkens.
Migaloo can be identified from has scarring on his back and from his tail as each humpback has a unique sequence of individual bumps and grooves that are different on every whale, much like the fingerprints on a human are different from each other.
Remember if you would like some assistance in planning this adventure and the whale watching vessels that I suggest to use to ensure you get the best opportunity to sight Migaloo just email firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to offer some suggestions.
Peace and Happiness,