White Whale
White whales swim in their temporary enclosure at an oceanarium at the Russky Island in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, February 17, 2015. Reuters/Yuri Maltsev

Migaloo, the famous white humpback whale, is migrating up the coast and has been spotted off Byron Bay. Migaloo was spotted swimming with another whale about 18km off the coast of Byron on Tuesday, south of the Gold Coast.

Migaloo is expected to reach Gold Coast today and is reportedly travelling alone after his companion left. The white humpback whale was in fact expected to reach Gold Coast on the weekend. However, his slower pace made Sea World adjust its predictions to Tuesday.

According to 9News.com.au, a Sea World Whale Watch spokeswoman revealed Migaloo was off the coast of Coffs Harbour on Sunday. He was covering an average distance of about 2.7km nautical miles per hour.

News of Migaloo has made whale watchers gather at the Cape Byron Lighthouse. However, the White Whale Research Centre, that runs the Twitter account of Migaloo the Whale, has urged people in the area to respect Migaloo’s privacy and keep their distance.

“He could sneak through the night but we expect to see him off the [Gold Coast] sometime on Tuesday. He won't get too far even if he does pass overnight. He'll probably make it to Moreton Bay,” said the Sea World Whale Watch spokeswoman.

Migaloo has been spotted for the first time in two years. The whale’s passage up the east coast has become a highly anticipated event since it was first sighted in 1991 in Byron Bay. During that time, it was the only documented white humpback whale in the world.

As he was not spotted in 2014, people feared the worst. In his place, smaller white whale was spotted and was quickly named “son of Migaloo.” As per Sky News, there is a special legislation that comes into effect whenever Migaloo is spotted as it’s so rare.

Aircrafts cannot approach lower than 2,000 feet and no vessel can approach the whale when it passes. A hefty fine is imposed on those breaking the law.