Migaloo surprises visitors at Great Barrier Reef resort

GUESTS at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort have been treated to an amazing experience after Migaloo the white whale also checked into the Southern Great Barrier Reef holiday destination.

Screaming with excitement, snorkellers on board a glass bottom boat watched on in amazement as the famous albino whale passed under the boat on Wednesday afternoon.

Danille Tippo managed to capture the gentle giant on camera.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort managing direct Peter Gash said visitors flying from the Gold Coast were the first to spot Migaloo, with Kristy Fraser capturing photos from the air.

"Migaloo is quite a celebrity and he was sighted off the Gold Coast about a week ago. Our aeroplanes come up from the Gold Coast as well as Bundy and Hervey Bay so we'd been looking out for him," Mr Gash said.

"As they came into land yesterday about 12.30pm there was just a scream in our plane because they'd seen him," he said.

"We just assumed it had taken him a week to get from the Gold Coast and he was moving past. We just probably assumed he'd gone and then a couple of hours later the guys were out on a glass bottom boat snorkel safari tour.

"All of a sudden someone started screaming because there was Migaloo really close to the boat."

Mr Gash said Migaloo came towards the boat and then went underneath.

"He was letting out a lot of loud noises and he came over to the boat and he started singing and went under the boat and they could see him through the glass," he said.

"The singing was so loud the skipper of the boat, Pedro, told me he was able to hear the singing from out of the water.

"It blew the passengers away. They'll never forget, it's such a rare experience."

Mr Gash said as far as he knew this was the first time Migaloo had been spotted off Lady Elliot Island and it was fantastic for all involved.

"It's fantastic for Lady Elliot, fantastic for The Great Barrier Reef, fantastic for the whales because it broadens people's awareness of these guys," he said.

"When I started flying over the reef 31 years ago the whale herd was so small, it was less than 1000 animals, so you rarely saw one.

"Over those 30-plus years that herd has grown to above 20,000, which is such a positive story because it means the population's come back.

"And they couldn't come back if other populations of marine animals weren't in balance."

"I'm taking it as a really positive sign and I'm excited by it."

Topics:  lady elliot island lady elliot island eco resort migaloo southern great barrier reef

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