A love for nature is what drew Port Macquarie's own veteran whale spotter to the area in 1999.
During the whale migration season each year, Leigh Mansfield can be found at Tacking Point Lighthouse with his binoculars and walkie-talkie in hand.
A wealth of knowledge, he speaks with people who also make their way up to the iconic lighthouse to catch a glimpse of the giants of the sea.
He said he has always loved nature.
"I have been on the sea for most of my life. I just love it," he said.
"My dad was always on boats when I was younger, so I have a deep love for the ocean and for nature in general.
"Why live inside four square walls all the time when you've got all of this outside on the back doorstep."
While imparting knowledge to visitors and locals, Mr Mansfield also helps coordinate whale watching boats along Port Macquarie's coastline from the lighthouse.
"I first got involved with a mate of mine who owned the whale watching boats at the time I moved up here from Sydney and have been involved with them since then," he said.
While interviewing Mr Mansfield at Tacking Point Lighthouse during the start of this year's whale migration season, he's interrupted by curious members of the public asking questions and his walkie-talkie crackles to life as he helps direct a whale watching boat into the best position to see the giants of the sea cruise past.
"A lot of members of the public don't know much about whales. Some people don't even know what species we've got going past," he tells me.
"There's people from Port Macquarie who come up here and never knew there are this many whales and that we have some of the best views to see them.
"People just don't always know the ocean. A lot of people travel here who don't live along the coast and speaking to them about whales and the migration is always something I'm happy to do."
Mr Mansfield said although he's a seasoned whale watcher, he still gets excited when he spots one.
"I always enjoy seeing the whales, especially when out on the boat when you can get up close to them. They're the largest animals in the world and people don't realise how gentle they are," he said.
"Every time you see them, it's just fantastic."
Mr Mansfield said the trick to whale watching is being patient.
"First thing you have to do is not just use binoculars, but use your eyesight to look at the ocean and look for any type of movement that is not standard," he said.
"It's a matter of looking out at the ocean and noticing the one thing that wasn't there a minute ago."
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