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Friday, July 31, 2009

Humpback Heaven



It’s humpback heaven in Hervey Bay with the arrival of the whales to their favourite Australian holiday destination and the official opening of the local whale watch season on August 1.

The “Blessing of the Fleet” of whale watch boats at the Harbour on Saturday evening also signals the start of the week long Hervey Bay Whale Festival.

With the arrival of the whales come some great accommodation and whale watch packages for visitors in the coming months, including opening specials for the new Ramada Hervey Bay opening late August.

The Break at the Bay package starts at $AUD450 per person and include three nights accommodation in a luxurious studio room, a full-day whale watch tour aboard the Blue Dolphin catamaran and a full-day trip to Fraser Island. For full package details visit http://www.ramadaherveybay.com.au/break/

Breakfree Great Sandy Straits Marina Resort’s Total Experience Package starts from $AUD196 per night in a Studio Room and includes an half-day whale watching cruise for two people with Spirit of Hervey Bay. (On sale until October 31, 2009.)

Total Experience Package
From $AUD196** per night in a Studio Room.
Includes whale watching cruise for two people with Spirit of Hervey Bay.
Conditions apply, subject to availability. Block-out dates and minimum night stays apply. Not valid for conference or group business. Valid for new bookings only. *Valid for sale until 31/10/09, valid for travel from 01/07/09 until 31/10/09. **Valid for sale until 31/10/09, valid for travel from 01/08/09 until 31/10/09. Whale watching is a half day tour for two adults with Spirit of Hervey Bay. For full terms and conditions visit breakfree.com.au

It’s more than a fluke when the first pods of migrating humpback whales start passing the Queensland coast. For the professional whale watching fleet at Hervey Bay it’s time to get the boats primed for another busy season as the whale watching capital of Australia.

Whale season in Hervey Bay officially starts on August 1 with the blessing of the Whale Watching Fleet and is followed on August 8 with the Hervey Bay Whale Festival.

The range of whale watching tours includes dawn trips for the early risers, morning and afternoon half-days journeys and full day cruises for the real enthusiasts. The choice of vessels includes a large rigid inflatable and sailing and motor-powered catamarans.

Operators in the 2009 fleet include newcomer Freedom Whale Watching offering cruises on Freedom III, a 58’ catamaran previously owned by renowned documentary-maker Ben Cropp; Hervey Bay Whale Watch “Quick Cat II”, Mikat Whale Cruises, Awesome Adventures “That’s Awesome”, Blue Dolphin Marine Tours, Shayla Sailing Cruises, Spirit of Hervey Bay Whale Watching Cruises, Tasman Venture Whale Watching and Whalesong Cruises Hervey Bay.

Accommodation options are also extensive and this year will include the new Ramada Resort Hervey Bay which is scheduled to open for the start of whale watching season and has special packages for two adults including two nights accommodation and a whale watching tour from $AUD170 per person. Details of the tours and other accommodation packages can be found at: www.whalesherveybay.com.au.

Each year pods of the humpbacks make the 5000km migration from the Antarctic to the warm waters off the Queensland coast. The calm, protected waters of Hervey Bay are a favourite resting spot for the whales, and also for nature-lovers who can safely watch these lovely creatures as they frolick, mate and bond with their new babies in the warm waters.

The humpbacks can weigh up to 40 tonnes and reach 19 metres in length. They are also one of the more active of the species and love to show off with a range of activities ranging from a ‘blow’ to tail slapping, pectoral fin waving and breaching.

Hervey Bay is a three and a half hour drive north from Brisbane and QR offer regular services to Maryborough West with connections to Hervey Bay. Qantaslink flies direct to Hervey Bay from Brisbane; Virgin Blue flies direct from Sydney to Fraser Coast (Hervey Bay) Airport and convenient connections are available from Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart. For information about Hervey Bay visit www.frasercoastholidays.info
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