When it comes to whales, the Illawarra and the Shoalhaven are in the middle of a "phenomenal" whale super highway right now.
The annual migration has started and scores of whales have already been sighted by keen whale-watchers along this stretch of the coastline.
"It's absolutely fantastic, we've had 40 sightings in the week-and-a-half we've been open in Jervis Bay, and double figures in Shellharbour," Jervis Bay Wild tourism manager Greta Lewis said. "It's just phenomenal.
"The majority of whales spotted down here are humpback whales with the occasional minke and southern right. We have also been fortunate to see two minke whales this season already and one with a calf.
"The water temperature is just right and we've got healthy whales heading north."
Ms Lewis said whales seem to be closer to the shore this year.
"At Jervis Bay they're straight off the heads and at Shellharbour they're in close around Five Islands," she said.
Whale watching season runs from mid-May to mid-November, and animals heading north to warmer waters are often in a hurry.
"They want to mate or they're heavily pregnant," Ms Lewis said.
The pace is much slower on their was south later in the season, with some individuals hanging around Jervis Bay for up to a week.
One year after Shellharbour Wild, operated by Jervis Bay Wild, commenced whale watching operations with one vessel, Ms Lewis said the company has plans for the future.
"Watch this space, we're definitely committed to operating the services out of Shellharbour," she said.
Officials have issued a reminder to everyone heading out to see whales that strict laws do apply.
Powerboats, sailing boats and paddlecraft must keep a minimum distance of 100 metres, or 300 metres if there is a calf present.
Skippers should travel slowly and not approach whales from behind or to wait in front of their path.
"If approaching whales, start at an angle of at least 30 degrees to the direction of their travel while swimmers must not enter the water within 100 metres of whales," Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Stuart Massey said.
"If a whale approaches your vessel slow down to minimal wash speed, move away or disengage your vessel's gears.
"Make no sudden movements and minimise noise and remember there has been some serious damage inflicted on vessels and people when getting too close to whales."
No more than three vessels at a time should approach whales and skippers should wait their turn.
Whales in distress can be reported to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife on 13000 PARKS or ORRCA's 24 hour hotline on 9415 3333.
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