Winter WhaleFest is going to pop this weekend
This long weekend starts with Victor Harbor’s annual festival and whale watching season officially returning to South Australia.
Southern Right Whale mother and calf were sighted in September 2021 and recorded in the Whale Center sighting log.
The mayor of Victor Harbor, Dr. Moira Jenkins, said Southern Right Whales have always been an important part of the environment and history of Victor Harbor. Encounter Bay has long been recognized as a breeding and nursery area and therefore plays a role in recovering endangered species.
“Several official whale sightings have already been recorded this year, and the Winter WhaleFest is a fitting way to embrace whale season,” Jenkins said.
The festivities kick off on Saturday with the Ramindjeri Whales Welcome and Smoking Ceremony in the theater next to Soldiers Memorial Gardens at 9:00 AM.
“The people of Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri have a deep connection to the land, and Southern Right Whales have tremendous spiritual significance, as told in the Kondoli dreams,” Jenkins said.
“The ceremony is important to recognize the people of Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri as the traditional owners of our beautiful land and surrounding waters and to recognize their connection to our marine life.”
Following the ceremony, there will be whale talks, workshops, whale-watching training, beach tours, a market, and live entertainment around Warland Reserve and Railway Plaza.
Jenkins said the opening events are all free and family-friendly.
“At this Saturday’s market, you can expect everything from healthy food to Afro-Brazilian bone throwing. There will also be local food and drink, live music, and plenty of handcrafted goods,” she said.
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The Winter WhaleFest continues with a NAIDOC march on Wednesday, June 22, and already proving popular is a Ngarrindjeri storytelling session at the Victor Harbor Library, weaving workshops at the Coral Street Art Space, and a music performance at the Victa Cinema.
‘Come on and bring your binoculars! Don’t forget to check the SA Whale Center’s online whale watching log, which is updated with live information, to see where whales have been spotted off our coast,” Jenkins said.
The last sighting recorded in the South Australia Whale Center’s sighting log was on June 4 in Victor Harbor of one or two humpback whales off the coast with several groups of dolphins.
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