It was a moment that a nature photographer and marine conservationist dreams of. On Wednesday a small boat floating along the coastline of Byron Bay in Australia, was approached by two playful humpback whales who interacted with passengers for around 30 minutes – swimming, diving and rolling alongside the vessel – giving ‘hump day’ a whole new meaning.

Locally based and internationally acclaimed Byron Bay photographer, Craig Parry, was fortunate enough to capture the spectacular display put on by the duo. Here he answers a few questions for us:

Tell us about the moment the whales surfaced: 

I had been out on the water for a few hours focussing on getting some landscape photos of the local area. Spring has sprung and Byron Bay is really putting it on! We were slowly motoring into shore whilst capturing the final few shots when two humpback whales appeared from nowhere – swimming under the boat to surface in front of us.

What were your initial thoughts when these two beauties appeared? 

We hadn’t seen any marine life all day, so it was unbelievable when they popped up. It was amazing that they had come up to the boat of their own accord and were so interactive – I have never seen anything quite like it, truly a once in a lifetime experience and one I’ll never forget. As soon as we were in a safe position to do so we turned the boat off and brought the camera in, but I was fortunate enough to get this footage first.

Tell us a about the video: 

I wanted to create a video to share with people the grace, beauty and intelligence of the great humpback whale. These kind of moments keep me striving to share stories and experiences with the world, so they too can gain an appreciation of the many wonders of our world. The short video below, was captured at the start of the interaction – they continued on for some time afterwards!

For all the budding photographers, what camera did you film this with?

Sony A7R2

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Craig is conducting whale photography tours to Tonga in 2015 and 2016. This year is SOLD OUT but there are still places available for next year – be sure to get in fast to secure your place. More information is available HERE.

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Watch the moment two humpback whales came to play: 

Music Credit: Nick Saxon

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