I’m stoked to have woken up this morning to find myself appearing as one of Australia’s Top Nature Photographers in Newscorp’s  Escape feature

In this interview I share with readers my favourite destination for photography in addition to providing a couple of tips on the area.

Craig Parry Underwater Photography Whale
Supplied Travel Travel photos (nature). A humpback whale near Tonga’s Vava’u Islands. Pic Craig Parry

Byron Bay’s Craig Parry, who is leading a photo tour to Tonga in September, specialises in marine and landscape photography.

Place: Vava’u Islands, Tonga.

Like all my favourite destinations Tonga boasts beautiful coral reefs, caves and an abundant oceanic life which makes it a marine photographer’s paradise.

But what is unique is it’s one of the few places in the world you can swim with whales and I was fortunate to spend two hours swimming with this female humpback who put on a show for the camera, followed me to the boat, and even gave me a gentle nudge when I was getting tired.

Photo tip: It’s important to hit the water with an experienced guide or tour operator to get the most out of your journey and, if you’re aiming for underwater photography, make sure you have a camera and water housing your familiar with so you can be in the moment when in the water.

Getting there: Vava’u is the northern islands in the Tongan archipelago so fly to the main island Tongatapu, with Virgin Australia via Sydney or Air New Zealand via Auckland, before catching a domestic flight.

Time to visit: The humpback whales move through from July to late October when you can be guaranteed to see these incredible animals.

To see the full list of Australia’s Top Nature Photographers, grab yourself a copy of the article or check it out online here.

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