- Research & Education
- Marine Wildlife
- Discovery Sphere
- Get Involved
- Info Hub
Hervey Bay’s annual Whale Festival will spread its events and activities across the whole whale watching season, from July to November.
The Festival is traditionally held throughout the month of August, but Fraser Coast Opportunities has extended it into a season-long celebration in honour of the region’s visiting humpback whales.
FCO General Manager David Spear said the Hervey Bay Whale Festival would launch the whale watch season on Saturday 19 July, with a massive celebration combining the International Paddle Out for Whales event, an Ocean of Fun Fest, and fireworks over the ocean.
“Then throughout the whale watch season there will be a full program of events such as the Blessing of the Fleet early next month and an Illumination Lantern Parade and Whale Aid Concert in early October,” he said.
“Adding to the program will be a number of environmental and educational workshops and displays at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere throughout the season, including the Creating Waves Lectures,” he said.
“These activities are designed to celebrate the whales and also help to educate, with a key focus on the importance of protecting the whales and the environment.”
Mr Spear said with the whales arriving earlier in Hervey Bay and staying longer on their annual migration, it made sense to extend the Whale Festival celebrations to align with the full season.
“This way we can mark the start of the season with a signature event when the first of the whales come to Hervey Bay, and mark the latter stages of the season as well,” he said.
“This will also allow whale watchers more opportunity to coincide their visit to see these amazing creatures with one of the many Whale Festival activities that will be spread across July to October, enhancing the total visitor experience on offer.”
The 2014 Hervey Bay Whale Festival program includes:
Ocean of Fun – Saturday, July 19, Scarness Beach and Park, 10am – 6pm
Ocean of Fun is dedicated to little kids and big kids at heart with free workshops and activities throughout the day ranging from ochre sand art, sand sculptures and art installations to hands-on environmental sessions.
Paddle Out for Whales – 19 July, Scarness Beach, 2pm – 3pm
Join hundreds of paddlers as they take to the water in kayaks, canoes, outriggers and makeshift boats to form a circle and hold one minute silence. The event is Australia’s largest anti-whaling demonstration with 2014 a cause for celebration following the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice to uphold Australia’s bid to ban Japan’s Antarctic whaling program.
Participation is free, pre-register at www.whaleharveybay.com.au or simply register on the day and bring something safe to float on. Those not wanting to get fully immersed in the water can dip their toes on the shoreline in a mark of respect for the marine life.
Hervey Bay Whale Festival Fireworks Display, 19 July, Scarness Park around 6pm.
Nab a prime spot along the Hervey Bay Esplanade and enjoy an impressive fireworks display just after sunset to mark the start of the 2014 whale watching season. Fireworks will be launched from a pontoon in front of Scarness Foreshore Park with the best spots vantage points along the foreshore area.
Blessing of the Fleet – 9 August, Urangan Marina Precinct, 4 pm – 7.30 pm
Hervey Bay’s whale watch fleet will be blessed in a tradition that dates back centuries to ensure the vessels and their crew a safe and bountiful season. People can tour whale watch vessels, talk with the crews and learn about the majestic Humpback Whales. There will be live music and the evening will end with a spectacular fireworks display over the harbour.
Creating Waves Lecture – 15 August, Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere
Creating Waves provides a public forum to discuss and explore current issues in marine conservation and research. Hear from leading whale researchers, educators and campaigners including Matthew Collis, Marine Campaigns Manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Illumination Lantern Parade and Whale Aid Concert – 4 October, Seafront Oval
A stunning Illuminated Parade along the Hervey Bay Esplanade will end with a Whale Aid Concert, featuring a line-up of talented regional and Australian musicians with a focus on raising money for whale conservation.
For media enquiries contact:
David Spear, General Manager
Fraser Coast Opportunities Ltd.
Ph: 07 4191 2600 or 0427 524 215