A humpback whale is tangled in netting off Australia's most famous beach

Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Wildlife authorities will have to wait until Wednesday morning to attempt to free a 10-metre humpback whale caught in netting off Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

The seemingly exhausted animal, with rope wrapped around its tail, was discovered by a whale watching cruise about 4km off the coast on Tuesday afternoon. Crew members used a boat hook, reef anchor and knife in an unsuccessful attempt to cut away the ropes, which has caused cuts and abrasions.

A NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service crew went out to check the whale, which some observers said appeared exhausted and “extremely distressed”, but returned at dusk.

An NPWS spokesperson told Business Insider a rescue team look try to relocate the animal in the morning, weather permitting, to make an assessment an assessment of its condition and whether and how the entanglement can be removed.

The annual migration north from Antarctica has just begun with around 30,000 whales expected to pass along Australia’s east coast over the next two months to calve and breed in tropical waters, such as Harvey Bay in Queensland, before returning south with their offspring.

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