The Humpback Highway is experiencing rush hour in the waters off Queensland's Gold Coast, as the massive marine mammals make their epic annual migration from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef.
In the middle of the incredible spectacle is Griffith University's Dr Jan-Olaf Meynecke, who spends his days collecting snot samples from whales.
Collecting mucous from a marine mammal weighing more than 30,000 kilograms isn't a simple process, but with the help of drones it's now possible.
"We have a small drone and that drone actually has a Petri dish in between its legs. We let that drone fly over the whales to collect the mucous from the whale's blowhole," says Dr Meynecke.
Getting the timing right to capture the whale's mucus in a Petri dish carried by a drone is a big part of the challenge.