Migaloo, the ghostly white humpback whale travelling annually along the Mid North Coast is expected to arrive near Port Macquarie in late July.
The adult male whale is a unique rarity for scientists and coastal photographers alike, and is celebrating his 30th birthday this year.
Migaloo was first spotted in 1991 passing through Byron Bay as the only known white whale in the world, and was thought to be three to five years old at the time.
There are around three other known white humpback whales named Bahloo, Willow and Migaloo Jnr.
Dr Wally Franklin, an adjunct fellow at Southern Cross University and founding director of The Oceania Project said Migaloo is utterly distinctive and scientifically valuable.
"We are always on the lookout for reports of his movements," said Dr Franklin.
"In the last couple of sightings we've had reports initially from New Zealand that he was passing through Cook Strait, and then he turns up on the east coast.
"This year he is 30 years old so he is now well and truly fully grown and fully mature.
"He's mature socially and physically.
"It doesn't appear that he has had any issues with predators and he has an expectation to living as long as 100 years, which is the generally-believed life expectancy.
"Reports of his sightings have been available for just about every year of his life and so he has been very useful in cataloguing whale movements.
"Those sightings are very valuable in confirming migratory timing."
Port Macquarie professional photographer Jodie Lowe, who has photographed Migaloo in 2014, 2016 and 2017 said it was a special honour in photography.
"He's pretty cool and very unique, it's very different seeing a fully white whale in the flesh," said Ms Lowe.
"It's a very special moment to see Migaloo.
"We might only see him once in a few seasons, I feel very lucky that I have photographed him in three different seasons.
"He's usually a once in a lifetime thing to see."
The 40 tonne, 15 metre whale has been given extra protections under Commonwealth Government legislation due to his uniqueness.
Vessel can be fined $16 500 if they come within 500 metres of the white whale.
Byron Bay professional photographer Craig Perry, who has won international awards with photos of Migaloo said the white whale keeps a consistent routine travelling along the coast.
"I've taken photos of him on July 24 in 2016 and he arrived in Byron Bay on the July 24 last year as well so I'm going to go off that this year," said Mr Perry.
"I'm hoping that I do get the opportunity to photograph him again and July does seem to be the correct time frame as he heads up.
"When I saw him last year he was pretty much in the same spot as I had filmed him two years before.
"As a marine photographer I think he is the pinnacle (of marine photography).
"A lot of photographers aspire to get a photo of Migaloo because he would be their pinnacle or spirit animal."
Mr Perry said Migaloo is a vital representative of marine animals.
"He's the ambassador for the east coast of Australia for marine animals," he said.
"Considering we almost destroyed their population it just shows you what a little bit of conservation can do and what we could have damaged permanently.
"Each year I look at my photo (of him) it grows on me, I realise the significance of it.
"I feel Migaloo chose me to take a portrait of him to show the world."
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