Incredible footage as giant humpback whale leaps out of water

Whale watchers say they had the "experience of a lifetime" when a humpback whale fully breached just metres from their boat.

The encounter off the coast of Australia near New South Wales left the tourists on board stunned - and soaked.

A video shows the cheeky adolescent humpback leaping out of the water, twisting in the the air and then crashing back into the ocean.

It was so close to the boat - and the gigantic marine animal so large - that the splash drenched most of the tourists on board.  

The onlookers were in awe of their experience, telling 7 News it was "emotional" and they were "blown away".