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					               eASTeRn AUSTRALIA                                                                                                                                              The Humpback
                                                                                                                                                                             Whales of Eastern                                                                              AUSTRALIA

                                                                                                                                                                           Each year between April and November, Australia’s Eastern
                                                                                                                                                                           coastline comes alive the spectacular aerobatic displays
                                                                                                                                                                           of humpback whales. After a summer of feeding on krill in
                                                                                                                                                                           Antarctic waters, these charismatic animals migrate north to
                                                                                                                                                                           sub-tropical waters where they mate and give birth. During                                              HOW YOU CAN HELP
                                                                                                                                                                           their annual migration of up to 10,000 kilometres, humpbacks                                           PROTECT WHALES AND
                                                                                                                                                                           attract thousands of visitors to coastal towns such as Eden,                                                DOLPHINS
                                                                                                                                                                           Byron Bay and Hervey Bay.                                                                             Please don’t litter – rubbish that

                                                                                                                                                      Tourism Queensland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ends up in our oceans can be deadly
                                                                                                                                                                           The exact timing of the migration period can vary from year to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to marine animals.
                                                                                                                                                                           year depending on water temperature, sea ice, predation risk, prey
                                                                                                                                                                           abundance and the location of their feeding ground. The majority               ANTARCTICA              Always stay at least 100 metres
                                                                                                                                                                           of humpbacks in Australian waters migrate north from June to                                         away from whales and never touch or
                                                                                                                                                                           August, and back towards the Southern Ocean from September to                                        feed them, even if they approach you.
                                                                                                                                                                           November. Group of young males typically lead the migration while                                      Report any injured or stranded

                       Whale watching
                                                                                                                                                                           pregnant cows and cow-calf pairs bring up the rear. Adult breeding                                    whales to your environment agency.
                                                                                                                                                                           animals form the bulk of the migration in the middle stages.
                                                                                                                                                                           At a maximum length of 16 metres, the humpback is not the
                                                                                                                                                                           largest whale found in Australian waters but it is arguably the most
                                                                                                                                                                           iconic. Recognised by Australians Today as more valuable alive,             whales as vulnerable and state legislation of Victoria, New South
                                                                                                                                                                           both environmentally and economically, this species was once                Wales and Queensland provides similar protection.
                                                                                                                                                                           valued only when it was dead – mainly for its oil and baleen, or            It is estimated that when the Australian east coast whaling industry
                                                                                                                                                                           ‘whalebone’.                                                                ended in 1963, the east coast population of humpbacks had been
                                                                                                                                                                           Beginning in Australia shortly after European colonisation, whaling         reduced to a little over 100 individuals. Thankfully, this population
                                                                                                                                                                           and the export of whale products became Australia’s first primary           has shown steady recovery of around 10-11% a year, and in 2006
                                                                                                                                                                           industry. Australian whalers of the early 19th century hunted from          was estimated at around 8000.
                                                                                                                                                                           small boats, towing their catch back for processing at shore stations.      The recovery of the humpback population has contributed
                                                                                                                                                                           The development of harpoon guns, explosive harpoons and steam-              significantly to the rapid growth of Australia’s whale watching
                                                                                                                                                                           driven whaling boats later that century made large-scale commercial         industry. The Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin
                                                                                                                                                                           whaling so efficient that many whale species were over-exploited in         Watching 2005 have been developed to minimise impacts on
                                                                                                                                                                           the 20th century and came very close to extinction.                         whales, dolphins and porpoises and to give people the best
                                                                                                                                                                           When southern right whales and blue whales became scarce,                   opportunity to enjoy and learn about them. Everyone in Australian
                                                                                                                                                                           Australian whalers began to target humpback whales, killing                 waters must follow regulations on how to behave around these
                                                                                                                                                                           approximately 8300 off the east coast between 1949 and 1962. By             animals, for example, touching or feeding them is not allowed.
                                                                                                                                                                           the time the International Whaling Commission banned humpback               Vessels must travel carefully at low speed and stay at least 100
                                                                                                                                                                           whaling in the Southern Hemisphere in 1963, over-exploitation had           metres away, although a closer look is sometimes possible if curious
                                                                                                                                                                           already reduced the population to an estimated 3.5-5% of pre-               whales choose to approach the vessel.
                                                                                                                                                                           whaling abundance, leading to the collapse of Australia’s east coast        Individual humpbacks still face threats – they can become entangled
                                                                                                                                                                           whaling industry. Whalers from the Soviet Union continued to whale          in fishing gear or be struck by ships. Scientific whaling, pollution,
                                                                                                                                                                           illegally throughout much of the Southern Ocean, killing 48,702             climate change, ocean noise and unsustainable tourism may also
                                                                                                                                                                           humpbacks between 1947 and 1973. More than half of these were               affect the population. Humpback calves stay with their mothers for
                                                                                                                                                                           taken in the two whaling seasons of 1959-60 and 1960-61.                    11-12 months before becoming independent. During this time, the
                                                                                                                                                                           Whaling in Australia, though mainly targeting sperm whales,                 biggest threat they face is attack by killer whales or sharks.
                                                                                                                                                                           continued until 1978, by which time the industry was no longer              Despite our fascination with humpback whales, we still know
                                                                                                                                                                           viable. A change in public attitude against whaling encouraged the          surprisingly little about them. Where exactly in the Great Barrier
                                                                                                                                                                           Australian Government to hold an Inquiry into Whales and Whaling            Reef do they mate and calve? How much do the east and west
                                                                                                                                                                           in 1979. Following this the government, with bi-partisan support            coast populations interact with each other in the southern feeding
migaloo                                                                       presumed to be an albino whale, but until this can be confirmed he is known
                                                                              as a “hypo-pigmented” humpback. Migaloo is part of the east-Australian                       adopted a permanent ban on further whaling.                                 grounds? The Australian Government continues to fund non-lethal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       research and other activities to promote whale conservation. The
The only all-white
Photos courtesy of Tourism                                                    humpback population which migrates north from Antarctica each year to
                                                                              1. Blue Dolphin Whale                                                                        The Whale Protection Act 1980 has now been replaced by the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       more we understand about these animals, the more we are able
NT                                                                            give birth in tropical waters. Due to his unique status, special Queensland                  Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the
Humpback Whale                                                                and Commonwealth Government legislation is enacted each year to protect                      EPBC Act). The Australian Whale Sanctuary, established under the            to recognise their intrinsic value and improve their chances of
                                                                              Migaloo from harassment. For this reason, all vessels including jet-skis are                 EPBC Act, includes the entire Commonwealth marine area, beyond              recovering further from the impacts of whaling.
Migaloo was first photographed passing Byron Bay on 28th June, 1991, and
is to date the only documented all-white humpback whale. “Migaloo” was so     prohibited from approaching closer than 500m and aircraft no lower than                      the coastal waters of each state and the Northern Territory. Within         For more information and to download the Australian National
named by Australian Aboriginal community elders from the Hervey Bay area      2,000 feet. The penalty for breaching this law is AU$16,500.                                 the Sanctuary it is an offence to kill, capture, injure, harass, chase or   Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2005 go to
in Queeensland and describes a White Fella. Migaloo is an adult male and is   Picture of Migaloo courtesy Hervey Bay Whale Watch                                           herd whales, dolphins and porpoises. The EPBC Act lists humpback  
32                Winter – Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Winter – Spring 2009 33
        Whale watching
         on Australia’s
         Fraser Coast
Hervey Bay, on the Fraser Coast, has become an important

                                                                                                                                                                                        Picture: Blue Dolphin Marine Tours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Picture: Spirit of Hervey Bay
resting area for whales and on the Great Barrier Reef you
can dive and snorkel with the Dwarf Minke whales – a unique

                                                                           Pictures: Hervey Bay Whale Watching
experience as this is the only destination within Australia that
allows swimmers to get up close and personal with these
playful giants.
Hervey Bay is renowned as a destination for backpackers and is the
main access point to Fraser with its amazing landscapes, including
ocean and estuarine beaches, cliffs and gorges, dense rainforest,
tall open forest and pristine lakes. Lady Elliot Island, on the southern                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hervey Bay …
tip of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, is just a 40-minute flight                                                                                                                                                       Blue Dolphin Marine Tours                                              Where the whales choose to holiday
away. You can visit for a day or stay at the island’s resort and enjoy                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From late July to early November the mighty humpback whale
some of the best snorkelling, diving and birdlife in Australia.                                                                                                                                                              Blue Dolphin Marine Tours is Hervey Bay’s longest running and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    reaches the sanctuary of Hervey Bay for some well earned rest,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             leading sailing tour operator. Peter Lynch (owner/operator) has over
Whales holiday in Hervey Bay, why                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   relaxation and fun interaction with whale watchers. The brand new
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             24 years experience with marine life. 14 years with Seaworld, a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fast-Cat “Spirit of Hervey Bay” takes you cruising to view these
don’t you!                                                                                                                                                                                                                   summer season with the Australian Antarctic Division and 10 years
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    friendly giants up-close and personal in their aquatic playground.
Humpback whales migrate along the coast of Australia                                                                                                                                                                         as a dolphin and whale watch operator here in Hervey Bay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jump aboard the “Spirit” for unparalleled whale watching
each year and rest and play in the calm waters                                                                                                                                                                               Dolphin Cruise 8.30am – 12.30pm                                        opportunities both above and below the waterline.
of Hervey Bay inside of Fraser Island, the largest                                                                                                                                                                           Bottlenose and Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins, Dugongs, Turtles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With no hazardous bar to navigate we take you from the harbour
sand island in the world, between mid July and end                                                                                                                                                                           and Sea birds. A half day cruise of the Great Sandy Strait including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    straight out into the sheltered waters beside Fraser Island and up
October. This is the only place you can view these                                                                                                                                                                           morning tea. 95% success rate of seeing the dolphins.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    into the safe haven of Platypus Bay to enjoy the amazing antics
magnificent creatures “up close and personal” every                                                                                                                                                                          Champagne Sunset Sail 5.15pm – 6.45pm Summer                           of the humpback whales. Experience their enormous size and
                                                                                                                 day over the season with                                                                                    Perfect way to enjoy Fraser Island and the spectacular sunsets         strength as they roll and wallow, wrestle and breach (jump out
                                                                                                                 guaranteed sightings.                                                                                       across the Great Sandy Strait. 90 minute sail all inclusive of         of the water), performing a variety of behaviours to excite and
                                                                                                                 Humpback whales are                                                                                         champagne, beer or soft drink. A light platter of cheese, vegetables   delight our passengers. The whales have a very curious nature
                                                                                                                 the sixth-largest and most                                                                                  and dip.                                                               and muggings are a common occurrence. This is when the whales
                                                                                                                 active of the great whales.                                                                                 Full Day Whale Watch                                                   come so close to the boat you can almost touch them. So close
                                                                                                                 They grow to around 15m                                                                                     High quality – low numbers – multi-lingual crew. An intimate whale     in fact that you may get the chance to feel the exhilaration of eye-
                                                                                                                 and have no teeth, just                                                                                     watching experience awaits you. Tour includes morning tea, lunch       balling one through our large underwater viewing windows. Are we
                                                                                                                 baleen plates which they                                                                                    and afternoon tea and a complimentary beer or wine with lunch.         watching them … or are they checking us out?
                                                                                                                 use to filter small fish and                                                                                                                                                       For information and bookings visit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             For more information, email or
                                                                                                                 krill. Their lungs are the                                                                                  visit                                     or freecall 1800 642 544.

                 NG        EY                                                                                    size of a small car and
                                                                                                                 they have the longest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Spoil yourself and cruise in luxury aboard the
     whale w
                                                                                                                 pectoral fins at around
                                                                                                                 4m long. Whales are air breathing mammals just like humans and
                                        All cruises depart                                                       give birth to live young. Their calves are born without blubber, so
                                    Great Sandy Straits Marina,
                                      Urangan Boat Harbour,                                                      they use the warm Queensland waters to fatten up before their long
                                            Hervey Bay                                                           journey back to Antarctic waters for the summer.
                                                                                                                 Hervey Bay Whale Watch offers five cruises daily from their two
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             WHALE WATCHING
                                                                                                                 vessels, Quick Cat II and that’s Awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great fun
     Quick cat ii half-day whale                 that’s Awesome
             watch cruises                   Dawn patrol 7am-10am.                                                                                                                                                                                               Exclusive whale watch
                                                                                                                 Quick Cat II is a large luxury catamaran operating two cruises daily                                                                          10.7m Sailing Catamaran
      Morning cruise 7am-12.30pm            Day patrol 10.30am-1.30pm

                                                                                                                 with light breakfast and morning tea on the morning cruise, and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         for all age
      Light breakfast and morning tea       Dusk patrol 2.30pm-5.30pm                                                                                                                                                                                              Only 20 people max
       Afternoon cruise 1pm-5pm                 No frills, just thrills!
                                                                                                                 light lunch and afternoon tea on the afternoon cruise.                                                                                     Lunch, morning and afternoon tea
         Light lunch & afternoon tea                                                                             That’s Awesome operates three 3-hour patrols daily and as the                                                                                          Licensed
     Whales & Fraser Superpass now                                                                               name suggests, is AWESOME. No frills, just thrills!                                                                                          Departs 7.30am from marina
        available in 1, 2 or 3 days                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Includes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Also Dolphin tours Nov-Jul
      Multiple Tourism Award Winners,                                                                            You can also purchase a Whales and Fraser Superpass in one, two                                                                                                                       Free whale DVD • Guaranteed sightings • Kids activities
        Advanced ECO certification,                                                                              or three day options.                                                                                                                                                                   Hydrophone equipped • Waterline viewing platform
      wheelchair access. Available for                                                                           Join Captain Sarah, the youngest female skipper, for the experience                                                                       BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES                        ½ Day Cruise – late Jul to Sep                    ¾ Day Cruise – Oct
      charters, weddings and parties.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Includes morning & afternoon tea              Includes morning tea & lunch
                                                                                                                 of a lifetime voted in the top-five Must Do’s in Queensland.                                                                                  (07) 4124 9600                                       email:
      For bookings or enquiries call 07 4128 9611 or 07 4128 9387                                                For information and bookings call 07 4128 9611, 07 4128 9387 or                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Freecall 1800 642 544 or 07 4125 5131                                                                             visit

34                   Winter – Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Winter – Spring 2009 35
                                                                                                                                                                                                  COUNTRY HOSPITALITY AT ITS BEST
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy a break from the backpacker treadmill and
                                                                                                                                                                                                  enjoy all that Susan River Homestead has to offer . . .
                                                                                                                       Susan River Homestead
                                                                                                                                                                                                  RELAXATION, EXCITEMENT, FULFILLMENT . . it could
Picture: Susan River homestead

                                                                                                                       Situated approximately half way between Hervey Bay and
                                                                                                                       Maryborough on the main Highway joining the two cities is a taste of
                                                                                                                       the “Outback on the Coast”. The Susan River Homestead Adventure
                                                                                                                                                                                                  be the highlight of your holiday.
                                                                                                                       Resort is a 1,660 acre rural retreat with adventure activities that will
                                                                                                                       please the most discerning holiday seeker.
                                                                                                                       Established in 1978 by the McLean family especially for the tourist
                                                                                                                       industry with horse riding trails, tennis courts, Olympic size in-ground
                                                                                                                       trampoline, swimming pool and spa being the initial attraction, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ✯Water Ski
                                 Fraser Coast Backpackers                                                              resort now has facilities that cater for water skiing and parasailing
                                                                                                                       on the resorts own 17 acre lake, paint ball fields, high and low-
                                 When visiting the Fraser Coast, do yourself a favour and stay at                      rope courses and an abseiling tower which is operated by Oz
                                 Fraser	Coast	Backpackers!	With	beds	starting	from	$15	and	tent	                       Adventures. The resort offers fully-accommodated holidays with
                                 sites	from	$8,	Fraser	Coast	Backpackers	is	the	best-priced	hostel	                    all meals catered or guests can book in on a bed-only basis and use
                                 on the Fraser Coast! Ideally located 100 metres from the beach and
                                 Esplanade, and close to shops, bars and restaurants.
                                 Choose from the shared dorms that sleep six people (some with their
                                                                                                                       the resorts specially built communal kitchen to prepare their own
                                                                                                                       meals. There is a communal dining room also for this purpose.
                                                                                                                       The resort is where the well-known horseman Guy McLean, the
                                 own kitchen and bathroom) or a private room for two complete with                     youngest of the five McLean boys, honed his skills and is now
                                 kitchen and bathroom. If you prefer the outdoors, we have a number                    renowned as one of the worlds best horse educators. Guy performs
                                 of tent and van sites for you to set up camp. Communal bathroom                       under the name “The Horseman from Susan River”.
                                 and kitchen facilities are available, including two FREE BBQs. One
                                                                                                                       Two of Guy’s brothers, Cameron and Travis, are integral parts in
                                 on the bar deck and another undercover in the gardens.
                                                                                                                       the daily operation of the resort together with Cameron’s 11-year-
                                 After a tough day visiting Fraser Island or whale watching, drop by                   old daughter Abbie and nine-year-old son Nicholas, who are most
                                 the air conditioned bar for a drink, a game of pool, some relaxation                  valuable members at weekends and school holidays.
                                 time in the TV and DVD lounge or hire a bike and explore Hervey
                                                                                                                       The McLean family and their staff will have pleasure in welcoming
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Clean and comfortable air
                                 To assist in your stay and planning of tours and activities, we have
                                                                                                                       you to their fun resort.                                                   conditioned guest rooms with
                                                                                                                       For more information visit www.susanriver. com or call
                                 a tour desk, Internet access and telephones. If you get hungry,
                                                                                                                       (07) 4121 6846.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ensuite. Meals that will please
                                 stumble next door to the take away shop and indulge in some
                                 tasty food!                                                                                                                                                      your taste buds or self cater in
                                 If you venture out for the night, you will be pleased to know that                                                                                               our well appointed communal
                                 there is no curfew and no lockout, so you can enjoy the night without
                                 watching the clock!                                                                                                                                              kitchen and dining area.
                                 For more information, call 1800 663 287 or email reservations@
                        and visit our website at                                                                                    The courtesy bus
                                 We look forward to meeting you soon!
                                                                                                                                                                           will drop you right
                                                                                                                                                                           at the door                 PACKAGES TO SUIT ALL BUDGETS
                                             BEDS FROM $15                                                                                                                                        SUSAN RIVER HOMESTEAD You’ll find us mid way between
                                   - Tent & van sites            - TV & DVD library                                                                                                                                                        Hervey Bay and Maryborough on
                                   - Dorms and private           - Pool tables & bike hire
                                     ensuites available          - Internet cafe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the fabulous Fraser Coast. Why
                                   - 100m from beach             - No curfew & no lockout                                                                                                                                                  not use us as your home away
                                   - Self catering and laundry   - Air conditioned bar
                                     facilities                  - Take-away next door                                                                                                                                                     from home while you check out
                                   - Free storage and BBQ        - Friendly staff                     HERVEY BAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ADVENTURE RESORT                         the Fraser Island or the whales?
                                                                                                         Freecall: 1800 663 287              Book online or call 1800 663 287
                                                                                                  Ph: (07) 4124 6237 F: (07) 4128 1484
                                                                                                       Whale watching, Fraser Island tours, sailing,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (07) 4121 6846 —
                                                                                              21 Denmans Camp Rd Scarness QLD 4655                       skydiving and much more!

                                 36                 Winter – Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                       Winter – Spring 2009 37

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