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Wondrous whale watching in Whitsundays

Australia's whale watching season got underway this month as the waters around the Whitsunday islands saw the annual migration of humpback whales.

From July to September, the warm and sheltered waters around the Great Barrier Reef become a birth ground for the humpbacks as they migrate north.

Visitors to Hamilton Island are provided with particularly exquisite opportunities to watch the grand but elegant creatures in some of their most intimate moments.

"Visitors come from all over the world to see humpback whales in the Whitsundays and describe this as a life-changing experience," said Mike Mahoney, general manager of Fantasea Cruises, a company offering popular whale watching trips from the island.

"There is no feeling on earth that compares to that of sharing the sea with these fascinating marine mammals."

The gentle giants grow up to 16 metres in length and can weigh up to 40 tonnes. Humpback whales have been migrating annually from Antarctica to the Whitsunday islands for thousands of years to give birth to their young.

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