In the past five years, the number of humpback whales making the journey north from feeding grounds in Antarctica to the warmer tropical waters of the Pacific to breed has risen from 18,000 to more than 22,000. The whales travel past New Zealand, through the Tasman Sea, towards Sydney and then continue north towards Port Stephens where they swim quite close to the shore to avoid the East Australian Current.
The whales migrate north between May and August, the whales and their calves then make the return journey south between August and November. And the round trip? Only a mere 12,000 kilometres!