By Jasmine Kazlauskas

An elated wildlife photographer has captured the spectacular moment an enormous humpback whale majestically leaps out of the water just as the sun sets over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Passionate whale watcher John Goodridge, 54, witnessed the incredible sight while on a cruise boat that was sailing out of Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.

Pic by John Goodridge/Caters News

UK expat John, who moved from Yorkshire to Australia 24 years ago, said it was ‘pure luck’ that the 40-tonne mammal decided to breach just as the sun was setting, after ‘waiting hours’ to spot a whale.

John was delighted when he saw the resulting photographs showcasing the ‘magical’ humpback whale posing for his camera in front of the picturesque backdrop of the Sydney skyline.

He said: “We had been waiting for a while to see another whale and were just about to head back.

“It was such a beautiful sunset, I just kept hoping a whale would come out to say hello.

Pic by John Goodridge/Caters News

“And then just as the sun was about to set, out comes this beautiful humpback. It was incredible.

“For it to happen at sunset, with one of the world’s most famous backdrops was just exhilarating.”

The cruise last month was operated by skipper Simon Millar on his small family business ‘Go Whale Watching’ that has operated out of Sydney’s Darling Harbour for over ten years.

Australia’s eastern coastline comes alive each year between April and November, as pods of humpback whales make the 10,000km (6214 miles) journey from Antarctica to Australia in order to mate and give birth.

John added: “It was perfect. I was so happy to have witnessed it.

Pic by John Goodridge/Caters News 

“There was around 70 people on the boat and everyone was clapping and cheering when it happened.

“We were so lucky. I’ll never forget it.”