Avoiding a whale mugging

One of many humpback whales heading south back to their feeding grounds. As you can see they can be quite inquisitive.
One of many humpback whales heading south back to their feeding grounds. As you can see they can be quite inquisitive.

WHALE watchers were treated to a close encounter with two humpback whales at Cape Byron on Sunday.

Rob Dalton, a skipper with Whale Watching Byron Bay, said two adult whales, spotted about 1.5 kilometres north of Cape Byron, thrilled whale watchers by coming within metres of his vessel for a close look at the boat and those on board.

Mr Dalton spotted up to 40 whales within 300 to 400 metres of his boat on Sunday, and said that while that is a good number, it's not especially high for this time of the year.

Peta Beeman of Southern Cross University's Whale Research Group said the peak whale season in our water was usually from mid September to mid October.

"The whales are moving south from the breeding and birthing area of the central Great Barrier Reef," she said.

"Byron Bay is an important rest stop for mothers and their calves because there is not a lot of boat traffic and they don't have to go too far off the migration path to come in and rest and feed."

Ms Beeman said that humpback whales were inquisitive, and whale watchers may experience a 'mugging' at this time of year.

"A whale mugging is when a whale will come close to a boat for a better look.

It is often the sub-adults - those whales aged two to three years. They seem to be as curious about us as we are about them," she said.

Mr Dalton said that boats must keep a 100 metre distance from a whale; and 300 metres if there is a calf in the pod.

Ms Beeman said the distance limits were important because calves were born with practically no blubber, so feeding along the route is important.

"If feeding is disrupted (by onlookers), the calf may not have fuel for the trip south and may not have the blubber needed for colder waters."

Topics:  cape byron humpback whales whale watching

Warwick driver wins Wallangarra billy cart race

Cyril Brown, from Warwick, claimed the Border 1000 at Wallangarra on Sunday.

THE rain didn't deter Warwick driver, Cyril Brown.

Jury sworn in for Warwick indecent treatment trial

The alleged offences took place on a day in 2015.

The trial is expected to last a day.

Alleged Warwick arsonist set to face judge

A house fire overnight in Warwick is being treated as suspicious

A MAN accused of burning down his Dragon St home will be sentenced.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

PICS: Campdraft action gets underway at rodeo

Some of the action from the campdraft first round at the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft this morning.

Check out the pics galore from the morning's action at the campdraft

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.