Search All Traveloscopy Sites

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Whales welcomed at North Stradbroke Island


Whales 'blow' tourism numbers skywards as North Stradbroke Island prepares for its biggest-ever "Welcome the Whales" festival – 29/30 July

 North Stradbroke Island – in Brisbane's Moreton Bay area – is looking to its best-ever winter season on the back of an early surge in the migration of humpback whales up the Queensland coast. The migration has gained world attention for the return of all-white humpback whale, Migaloo, this season.

North Straddie – as the island is known locally – is one of the premier locations to experience the whale migration, as they pass very close to the island and can be viewed easily from Point Lookout, along with dolphins riding the waves, and turtles and manta rays cruising through the waters.

The importance of whales to Indigenous Australians is recognised in the annual Quandamooka Festival, with this year's Yura Yalingbila (Welcome the Whales) comprising a weekend of traditional ceremonies, music, dance, interpretive tours – and the first ever Quandamooka Festival Gala Dinner.

The Yura Yalingbila weekend will be held on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July, starting with the official welcoming ceremony and festival on Saturday 29 July (11am – 3pm) at Headland Park at Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island.

The Festival is free to enter and will include traditional dance, arts, weaving, workshops, kids activities, food stalls, sand art and live music by Neil Murray (co-composer of My Island Home) and local female duo Blacksalt.

This year, for the first time, the Yura Yalingbila weekend will include the first-ever Quandamooka Festival Gala Dinner. A pop-up dining venue will be established for all-day dining on Saturday 29 July in a breathtaking cliff-top position at Point Lookout where fine dining will be complemented by views of humpbacks breaching and passing by the headland.

Breakfast and lunch will be served, with the award-winning team from Whales Way Restaurant providing the on-site catering.

The bookings-only Gala Dinner will begin at five to watch the whales as the sun sets, with sparkling wine and canapés served on arrival and on sunset there will be a performance of traditional dances of the land, sea and ancient Quandamooka Aboriginal culture on the cliff top stage. A string quartet will entertain as diners enjoy a three course Australian traditional bush food inspired meal accompanied by quality wines. Limited places at the Gala Dinner are available for $120 a head.

Whale Watch Cultural Tours will offer whale watch tours like no other. Experienced Quandamooka tour guide Matt Burns (aka 'Quandamooka Man') will conduct tours throughout the whale season to give visitors to North Straddie a unique insight into the local history and science of whales passing up the Quandamooka Coast during guided walks. Along the way, Matt gives an Indigenous interpretation of the whale migration, as well as insights into the local area, its history, and the bush tucker and medicine plants that grow naturally.  

The whale focus continues with the 'Marine Mammal Forum: Sharing Scientific and Traditional Knowledge' on Monday 31 July organised by the University of Queensland at the Moreton Bay Research Station at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island. The free open forum between 9am – 3pm will consist of  talks from both researchers and traditional owners over three sessions covering Whales, Dolphins and Dugongs.

Quandamooka Festival curator Avril Quaill said the weekend would celebrate everything that made the Quandamooka Coast region such a remarkable destination: "Yura Yalingbilla is a key event of the festival. We come together with the broader community to share culture and celebrate the majestic creatures that inhabit Quandamooka waters," she said.


A full range of accommodation options – camping, 'Flash Camping' and cabins – at a range of sires around North Stradbroke Island are available through Straddie Camping -

Full details and updates are available at and

Quandamooka Festival Indigenous / Aboriginal Culture ...
Yura! Welcome to the Quandamooka Festival 2017. The Quandamooka Festival – celebrating culture, country & people – is an annual three month calendar of events ...

No comments:

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places