Photos | Cape Solander visitors thrilled by mother and calf humpbacks 50-100 metres from shore

Timing is everything when it comes to whale watching.

Thousands of people have visited Cape Solander at Kurnell since the annual migration season started early last month.

Some have seen whales up close, while others have had to settle for a distant view through binoculars.

Wildlife photographer Greg Tannos, of Alfords Point ( was lucky to snap some close-up photos on Monday, June 11.

“What appeared to be a mother and calf humpbacks came within 50-100 metres and put on a show for the 100 or more spectators who braved the cold weather,” he said.

”We had the extra bonus of a rainbow in the backdrop.”

The Leader’s chief photographer John Veage has been just as fortunate in the past, but during an hour-long visit two days later had to settle for whales frolicking about 500 metres offshore.

The advisory board for visitors, which official volunteer whale watchers update daily, said on Wednesday morning 25 humpbacks had 10 pods of dolphins were counted.

So far this season, 486 humpbacks and 18 minkey whales had been spotted, the board advised.

An estimated 30,000 humpback whales will migrate from Antarctica, along the coast of NSW to the warmer waters of Queensland.

They will start their return south, travelling with young calves, around July.

Cape Solander, in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, is one of the best vantage points.

Last year, volunteer whale watchers Wayne Reynolds and Chris Rasborsek counted 4813 whales heading for warmer waters compared with 3033 the previous year.

The most number of whales ever counted in one day was also recorded on June 26, 2017, when 224 whales were spotted.

The majority were humpbacks, with 17 minke whales and two southern right whales also spotted.