Images supplied by Mooloolaba whale
Images supplied by Mooloolaba whale "encounter" company, Sunreef, of some of the humpbacks they have met this year.

Whale season ending: So long and thanks for all the pics

AS THE 2015 humpback whale migration draws to a close, Mooloolaba dive company Sunreef has shared some of the amazing images they took over the year.

The company last year launched a new "swim with the whale experience" and says they've already got people from across the world lining up for a go.

"The calves are so curious and their mums so patient - they would just swim around and check us out," Sunreef's Dan Hart said in a statement.

GALLERY: Some of the images from this year's Swim with the Whales program

Images supplied by Mooloolaba whale
Images supplied by Mooloolaba whale "encounter" company, Sunreef, of some of the humpbacks they have met this year.

"Its so special when you get to see these magnificent creatures up close - I am totally in awe every time - and I wonder what they think of us.

"We had guests from the US, Canada and Asia and heaps of visitors from Europe, and particularly Germany came to the Sunshine Coast specifically to Swim with Whales, and then stayed and experienced this magical destination."

The program was designed to avoid putting stress on the whales.

"When on the Sunreef Swim with the Whales experience participants can expect that once a whale is sighted, the boat will be put into neutral 100m or more away from the whale, and if the conditions are determined safe by our trained crew, swimmers will be allowed into the water with a floating line attached to the boat," Mr Hart said.

Images supplied by Mooloolaba whale
Images supplied by Mooloolaba whale "encounter" company, Sunreef, of some of the humpbacks they have met this year.

Mr Hart said the program had hooked up with researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast who had worked with the company to look at the way visitors responded to the whales.

The company was now planning its 2016 whale season with bookings already coming in.



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