A PLAYFUL young whale has delighted spectators by performing aerial stunts off Fraser Island.
The calf was captured on camera getting airborne by the crew of the Pacific Whale Foundation about 12.50pm on Sunday.
This incredible sight is exactly why Hervey Bay is known as the whale-watching capital of Australia, according to Andrew Ellis, national operations manager of the Pacific Whale Foundation.
"Any time you see a humpback whale, it's fantastic ," he said.
"(But) it's very rare you get the entire body out of the water like that."
Lucky whale-watchers couldn't peel their eyes away from the calf as it continued to leap from the water on the western side of the island for about half an hour.
Mr Ellis said the baby was learning how to breach by imitating the behaviour of its mother.
He said there were many theories as to why whales breached, including to better see where they were going, to rid their bodies of parasites or to interact with other whales.
The whale-watching season is mid-way through, with many mothers and calves now being spotted in Hervey Bay waters.
Mr Ellis encouraged all locals to get out and experience this world-class phenomenon that takes place right on our doorstep.