When the blue whale made an appearance yesterday afternoon to conservationists and tourists it was an epic moment, it’s thought there are only 5,000 of this species in the whole ocean.

These giant sea beasts haven’t been spotted for years and were close to extinction before the whaling ban. This one was thought to be on its way to Antarctica.

The whale, approximately 30  metres long came to the surface off the coast of Sydney and was munching away on krill, claimed a lucky voyeur.

“The blue whale is the largest known animal ever to have lived on the earth,” said whale expert Geoff Ross to the Sydney Morning Herald. “which makes it absolutely amazing that we’ve seen one off Sydney.”

Meanwhile, Jonas Liebschner, from Sydney Whale Watching, said to the Daily Mail “It’s very, very rare to see a blue whale in Sydney.

 “I’ve been whale watching in Sydney for five years and I have never seen one.”

Photo: Getty Images