White whale spotted in waters off NSW, but is it our Migaloo?

A rare white whale has been spotted migrating up the east coast of Australia, but is it our famous Migaloo?

Social media erupted on Friday morning after the giant all-white mammal was spotted cruising north in waters off Port Stephens, north of Newcastle.

But there is some confusion as to whether or not the whale is indeed Migaloo – a rare enigmatic albino humpback whale who was first spotted in Australian waters back in 1991.


The 27-year-old male whale, whose name means “white fella” in Aboriginal language, has been missing in action for the last two years.

He was not spotted in Australian waters in 2014 or in 2015.

Experts are waiting on closer imaging from today’s sighting to determine if the whale is, in fact, Migaloo, or one of two other juvenile white whales that are known to frequent the east coast during the migrating period.

Each year from April to November, thousands of humpback whales make the 10,000-kilometre journey from Antartica north to the warmer waters of tropical North Queensland and back again to mate and give birth.