Our planet and the creatures that we share it with are nothing short of awesome and there are many good things that we should all endeavour to see at least once in our lives. I have a bucket list that includes whales, gorillas and sharks. How about you?
I remember visiting Sydney's Taronga Zoo decades ago, with the specific intention of seeing a gorilla and a shark. It was not to be. Sadly, the 'famous' gorilla had died a few short weeks before my visit... and the shark enclosure was closed for renovations! Cross, cross.
Whale watching has also been on my bucket list for way too long and I was fortunate enough to spot pods of migrating whales from the viewing platforms around Cape Byron lighthouse a couple of months ago. I could hear them and caught sight of a silvery-white tail. It was so awesome a sight that I was close to tears. But I want to get closer, to the whales that is.
*Fist pump* I think I might just be in luck. Eden, on the far south coast of NSW, is gearing up to host the 2014 Eden Whale Festival on November 1 and 2, 2014.
'Eden, on the Sapphire Coast of NSW, is Australia’s premier whale watching destination. And the Eden Whale Festival is when we all come together to celebrate the whales’ amazing annual migration,' says Debbie Richardson, Chair of the Eden Whale Festival.
'Right now our ‘Humpback Highway’ is packed with hundreds of whales migrating south, many stopping to play with their calves in Eden’s Twofold Bay. It really is a fantastic place to have a close encounter with our magnificent whales. The Sapphire Coast is wonderful for both sea and shore-based whale watching. As well as the many Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales, just last week we had pods of Orcas spotted off nearby Merimbula, Tura Beach and at Bermagui’s Blue Pool,' she added.
The Eden Whale Festival showcases the port’s rich maritime and whaling history and is also the time when locals and visitors get together to celebrate the whales along the stunning Sapphire Coast. Saturday’s program will include the spectacular street parade in the heart of the town, vibrant markets, live music, stage performances, diverse artisans and great food and wine. Sunday’s ‘Discover Eden’ is about guided tours, on and off the water, and self-guided discovery of the port’s unique whaling history.
Visitors to the festival can sail with pirates, take part in the great oyster shuck-off, enjoy a fabulous art or photography exhibition, pay their respects at the Seaman’s Memorial Service and enjoy an impressive fireworks display to close off the Saturday night.
As an extra special treat this year, Eden is welcoming the HM Bark Endeavour (pictured below) to port for the festival. She will be one of the major attractions as festival goers are invited to climb on board the famous replica and explore the cabin where botanist Joseph Banks and his scientists would have worked…and no doubt documented their many whale sightings in the area too. The HM Bark Endeavour will be open to the public on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 November from 10am to 4pm. Members of the public can also book a spot on the Endeavour on its five day whale-themed journey south from Sydney to Eden for the festival. Whale expert, Geoffrey Ross from New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, will be on board conducting an important whale count.
This year’s Whale Song SunSet music event will be headlined by Australia’s longest running Aboriginal band – Coloured Stone. Snug Cove is the perfect outdoor venue to watch the sun go down, enjoy some tunes and watch the fireworks.
From all reports, this year’s Eden Whale Festival will be truly extraordinary. The whales will be having fun frolicking in the ocean, while the town will be having fun putting on Australia’s best whale celebration. I'm so there!!!
The Eden Whale Festival runs from 1-2 November 2014. For more information visit the Eden Whale Festival web site. To make enquiries about accommodation on the Sapphire Coast, pop in here. so
Images in this post appear courtesy of Eden Whale Festival. Stay tuned for my upcoming postcards and morsels from the Good Things whale watching adventure. Coming soon!
Tell me dear readers, have you ever wanted to see something so badly, but missed out? And have you been whale watching? Where? Do please tell. And thank you for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you!
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.