Even the most dedicated whale watchers at Bass Point were taken aback by what they say earlier this week: two humpbacks swam right into Bushrangers Bay.
Whale season is in full swing with hundreds of the giant mammals passing the coast each day as they head for Queensland waters where females give birth.
Anthony Crampton is one of the keenest whale watchers in the Illawarra, spending hours each day at Bass Point looking out for photo opportunities, and helping count passing whales for the group ORRCA - the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia.
Crampton has seen plenty of whales but he'd never heard of them actually entering the small bay, which is a marine reserve popular with snorkellers and family groups for its sheltered waters and protected wildlife.
"These two, we watched them for about an hour as they were coming up from Minnamurra and Kiama, they were breaching as they came, and they went around the corner and just kept on going into the bay."
As soon as they realised they were in a small bay the whales turned around and left as soon as they could.
"I think they're a bit like humans in a lot of ways - I think it was a miscalculation on their part," Crampton said.
"They swam out with their heads out of the water so they could see where they were going. I think they were a bit anxious.
"They went in, hit a dead end, then they turned around straight away and got out of there."
He estimated they were about 12m long and said it was the first time current residents had seen or heard of whales entering the bay.
"I talked to divers and others around the place and none could ever remember whales going in there at all. They're all spitting chips because no-one was in the water when they went in. It's just the luck of the draw I'm afraid."
Crampton spends a lot of time at Bass Point but is at pains to say he's not an expert, just an observer.
"I'm down here just about every day I can - especially for the northern migration, trying to get an idea of numbers and what they're doing up close," he said.
"There's been a lot more this year than I've been used to seeing at this location.
"Yesterday 58 passed, a couple of days ago it went up as high as 68. They really are running now."
ORRCA is holding a whale census on June 27 and is encouraging people to join in the whale count. People are asked to register by contacting ORRCA by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
They can then print off some whale spotting log sheets from the ORRCA website, and pack a picnic and supplies plus binoculars and a camera.
"Off you go and enjoy the sights that unfold in the great whale migration," ORRCA's social media post says.
"To join in the fun, you don't need any experience, just an interest in marine mammals, the ocean and some time to watch the great migration happen before you."