Whale watching in Australia has never been the same since 28 June 1991, when an all-white humpback was photographed passing Byron Bay, the country’s most easterly point. It was the first time the world witnessed the existence of a real-life Moby Dick; never before had anyone heard of or seen a completely spotless white humpback whale anywhere else on Earth.
The incredibly rare creature was soon christened ‘Migaloo’, which is an indigenous Australian word meaning ‘white fella’. Since then, he has been spotted traveling up and down the east coast of Australia at least 50 times. As he migrates up from Antarctica to the warmer waters of Tropical North Queensland every year, his arrival is eagerly awaited by locals and tourists alike.
During this year’s migration in June, Australian photographer Ray Alley managed to capture a few stunning pictures of Migaloo off the coast of Nelson Bay in NSW. Alley had been trying to get images of the humpback for the past nine years and his hard work finally paid off. Migaloo stopped for a rare display of showmanship on his way through Nelson Bay, a moment that Alley describes as the ‘holy grail’ in his 27-year career.