If you’re planning a whale-watching trip in Australia, it’s probably best to pack your rain gear …

A group of tourists off the coast of Port Macquarie in New South Wales were recently treated to – and drenched as a result of – a spectacular close-up encounter with a humpback. After a pod of whales were spotted in the distance, tourist Tash Morton - eager to capture some footage of a leaping leviathan – began recording the action.

Morton got a lot more than she was expecting. A whale launched itself out of the blue just metres from the boat, and crashed back into the water with an almighty splash, drenching almost everyone on board. “I wanted one video, however, [I] did not anticipate getting the magical shot I got,” she told ViralHog.

According to whale watch operator Anthony Heeney it’s not uncommon for whales in the area to approach boats. “We've had them close before when they have interacted and come over and swum under the boat and spy hopped beside us," he told ABC News.

"The whale was probably about the same size as the boat,” he said describing the recent close encounter. “We're 10.5 metres and about 5 tonne, I'd say that whale was the same length as us but about 10 or 15 tonne.”

Port Macquarie is renowned as a whale-watching hotspot and regular sightings of humpbacks are the norm here as these behemoths migrate along the Australian coast. During the summer months, populations in the southern hemisphere can typically be found feeding in Antarctica. In late autumn the humpbacks head north to their winter breeding and calving grounds in the tropical waters of the Pacific.

There have been several whales sightings in the area in recent weeks, however, none quite so dramatic as this!