A look through these photos of migrating whales captured at Shellharbour's Bass Point paints a rich picture of these beloved giants as they head back to the Southern Ocean with their new offspring, born in the warmer climes of Queensland.
A dedicated community of whale watchers can be found there most days in season - and that means now.
Among the most prominent posters is Anthony Crampton, 73, who has been avidly photographing whales after retiring. He said he was inspired by seeing pictures by local photographer Glenn Fenwick about five years ago.
"It's just their sheer size - they seem to be so regal," he said. "It's an 'I do what I want to do' [approach]. They're just massive things."
During the northern migration earlier in the year Bushrangers Bay is a good vantage point but when the humpbacks are heading south, the Boston Memorial carpark is the spot. The photographers share their stunning work on the Facebook page Shellharbour Whale & Wildlife Sightings.
While a pod of 50-60 humpback whales was spotted this week feeding off Jervis Bay, it hasn't been as busy at Bass Point.
"Between Port Kembla and Bass Point, the past five years we've had pretty much constant action, but this year is different for some reason, we can't work out why," Crampton, from Dapto, said.
"Maybe it's current, or too much bait food for them so they're not coming in - they're not very active. Further down the coast it's been a real bumper season.
"It depends on where you are. Down at Kiama they've had a very busy year. Like I tell everybody, you're going to have a bad year eventually, and I think this one is ours."
Rebecca Labriola had been going there for three years.
"Best thing I have gained though through my whale watching is meeting some of the most beautiful and whale crazy people down at Bass Point," she said.
"There is never a lonely time down at Bass Point during the whale migrations that's for sure. We are definitely a 'whale family'."
Ivanka Feher, 36, from Albion Park, has had plenty of sightings.
"The whales have definitely been putting on a show," she said. "I've noticed more in the late afternoon. On Tuesday I saw around 15 whales in a hour and so many breaches - I even got three breaches in one shot.
"I'm a scuba diver, and have always had a passion for marine life. The humpbacks are just so majestic, they are so graceful. Watching them nearly every day you get to know their behavior and routine. I love watching the babies learn from their mums - they are incredible."
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