More than 1000 people took part in forming the “humungous human humpback” to mark the official start of whale-watching season.
Now in its third year, the event also celebrated the end of Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.
“It’s a good trick for the area,” local couple Ellie and Ian Jackson said. “It’s the biggest it’s been.”
Like hundreds of other families, they brought their three children Lilia, 4, Evie, 2, and five-month-old Rafe, who patiently waited in position until a helicopter flew overhead capturing the 100m-long whale for posterity.
Destination Port Stephens chairman Michael Aylmer said more than 50,000 visitors came to Nelsons Bay each year for the whales, putting $10 million into the local economy.
”Around 17,000 whales are expected to be seen off Port Stephens … as they migrate for the winter,” he said.