Migaloo – Our Favourite Whale

Migaloo Sightings

(Unofficial) 20 June 2019 – Hat Hat, NSW
(Heading North) 27 July 2018
(Heading South) 16 September 2017
(Heading North) 11 July 2017
(Heading North) 26 July 2016
(Heading South) 10 August 2015

Our beloved Migaloo

Australia is lucky to play host to a rare white humpback whale named Migaloo – a word meaning ‘white fella’ in some Aboriginal languages – that migrates past the East Coast every year. He is the namesake of our whale watching vessel Spirit of Migaloo II.

Migaloo was first spotted in 1991 swimming past Byron Bay and has been gracing Australian shores and delighting whale watchers ever since. Researchers estimate that Migaloo was born in 1986. He was thought to be 3-5 years of age at first sighting and is now approximately 30 years old.

Australian’s have lovingly adopted Migaloo as their own with the Queensland and Commonwealth governments awarding him a ‘special protection’ status that prevents any vessels from getting any closer than 500-metres to him or else penalties apply.

For a memorable wildlife encounter, join Sea World Cruises on their daily whale watching adventures and keep your eyes peeled for the beloved Migaloo.

Migaloo Facts

Everything you need to know about Migaloo

Migaloo’s white colouration is most likely caused by albinoism or hypo-pigmentation. Migaloo is often seen with his companion ‘Milo’. Milo is another male humpback whale who can be recognised – like all humpbacks – by his distinctive pigmentation pattern.

Despite his extra protection, Migaloo collided with a vessel on the Queensland coast in 2003 leaving him with a tell-tale scaring pattern.

In 2004, Migaloo was confirmed as a male from a skin sample collected by researchers from Southern Cross University.

Why we love Migaloo

“For an animal in the wild with albinism to reach adulthood is very impressive. Their lack of pigment brings all kinds of health concerns and disadvantages, such as a lack of camouflage from predators. However, that hasn’t stopped Migaloo, who has been returning to our shores for almost three decades.

I have been lucky enough to see Migaloo three times and it’s the kind of close encounter that stays with you for the rest of your life. He has this strange aura that, quite simply, makes you feel good. Once you have seen Migaloo, there is immense and lasting satisfaction in simply knowing that he is out there, wild and free.”

Anthony Ardern
General Manager, Sea World Cruises

Cruise amongst the whales

Book online or call one of our friendly staff for any enquiries you may have.

Book Online NowCall Us