Whales were spotted at Cowrie Hole at Newcastle on Wednesday afternoon. Photographer Peter Lorimer captured these stunning photos as the whales continue their migration north from from Antarctic waters where they have spent the summer months feeding on krill.
Thousands of humpbacks hug the east coast of Australia on their way to the warmer waters of North Queensland and the Coral Sea during the annual migration, which gave this stretch of coast its colloquial moniker - the humpback highway.
Thousands of visitors flock to the Hunter and Nelson Bay between May and November each year to get a closer look at the majestic mammals. The whale watching industry is vital to the region's visitor economy. Destination Port Stephens says whale-related tourism contributed $621 million to the local visitor economy in 2019, which equates to an estimated $70,000 of revenue per hour. The majority of visitors stay in Port Stephens for two nights.
Last year Moonshadow TQC Cruises alone took 15,298 passengers out on whale-watch cruises (not including dolphin watch and other cruises). At the moment, even with restricted passenger numbers due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, they believe they are on track in comparison to the same period last year.
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