|Eden Whale Festival|
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Eden Annual Whale Festival
This year's Eden Whale Festival will run over the weekend of November 3-4 with the theme being Whales and the Eden Community - every activity will be focused on the town's rich whaling history as well as its current ties to the marine giants.
"This year we are focusing on the importance of keeping our marine environment clean, for our future and the future of the whales," says Festival Chair Gordon Beattie.
"We felt we should follow this thought throughout the Festival and emphasise the enormous problem of marine debris. There will be a range of displays and presentations over the weekend, including whale researchers talking at the Marine Discovery Centre and educational tours of the Davidson Whaling Station, as well as stalls where visitors will be able to get more information about whales and the issues that face them."
While information is important, the Festival is also about having fun. Continuing the general theme of the need to keep the oceans clean, entrants to the annual street parade and the sculpture competition have been asked to make their creations from 'flotsam and jetsam' - recycled materials and marine debris.
A major new focus for the Festival this year will be local produce, with a subcommittee working with producers to ensure visitors discover the full range of produce available in the area, from land and sea.
Eden has had a long and colourful connection with whales, including the true story of the amazing cooperation between men and killer whales, where the killers would herd bigger whales into Twofold Bay and help the men kill them.
As far as historians can discover, there has been no similar pact between man and these marine mammals anywhere else in the world, and it's a collaboration that pre-dates European settlement - local Aboriginal history has similar stories of whales and men working together.
The Festival coincides with high season on the 'humpback highway', the annual southward migration of the humpback whales, from the warm northern waters where they give birth, to their home in the Southern Ocean - so, aside from all the fun on-shore, it's an ideal time to book a whale watching tour and get up close and personal with these fascinating animals.
Located on the far south coast of NSW, Eden is three hours' drive from Canberra via Cooma or a six/seven-hour drive from either Melbourne or Sydney. There are also regular daily flights from Melbourne or Sydney via REX Airlines into Merimbula, and regular inter-city bus services.
New information is constantly being added to the Festival's website: (http://www.edenwhalefestival.com.au) More information about the area, including accommodation bookings is available on the Sapphire Coast Tourism website (http://www.sapphirecoast.com.au) or by calling 1800 150 457.