The winter school holidays mark the half-way point of the school year, and they also herald the arrival of Humpback whales, Southern Right whales and even the occasional pod of Orca in our coastal waters as they make their way north to their winter breeding grounds.
The Island Whale Festival celebrates the arrival of these majestic creatures with an immersive three day event on Phillip Island from 7th to 9th July, featuring a range of free or low cost activities right across the island and the entire weekend.
Festivities kick off with the launch of the new Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, which includes some of the finest whale lookouts in the Bass Coast region. The Trail stretches from the Bunurong Coastal Reserve between Inverloch and Cape Paterson to a number of prime viewing locations on Phillip Island such as Cape Woolamai and Pyramid Rock.
Of course, whale-spotting will be a highlight of this weekend, and visitors will have the option to do this from either land or sea. Meet a marine biologist at one of the many whale lookouts right across the island and learn how to spot the tell-tale signs of whales cruising along the coast, or join one of the whale watching boat tours to circumnavigate the island and search for both whales and dolphins.
For the landlubbers amongst us, there are some great info sessions on marine research and plastic reduction, marine wildlife movie screenings, Boomerang Bags craft activities, and an exhibition of artworks created by local school children highlighting marine wildlife conservation issues, as seen through the eyes of our future environment protectors and ambassadors.
Kids of all ages will enjoy the Whale out of Water activity which involves climbing inside a 19 metre inflatable whale for a fun and unique learning experience.
A selection of our most talented marine and wildlife photographers will share their works at exhibitions across the weekend, while aspiring shutterbugs can also learn some great tips, tricks and basics from professional educators and photographers at an enlightening workshop.
For detailed program information on these and many more great activities, visit islandwhales.com.au or find the Festival on Facebook and Instagram at @islandwhalefestival.