The fleet will be blessed again this year.
The fleet will be blessed again this year. Alistair Brightman

Whale Festival kicks off at the end of this week

A TALK on how seaweed could be used as a possible treatment for obesity will precede the traditional start of the Hervey Bay Whale Festival on Saturday.

Professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Southern Queensland Lindsay Brown will present his research on seaweed at the Creating Waves short lectures at the University of Southern Queensland Fraser Coast Campus on Friday, August 2.

Other speakers include associate professor of climatology and head of USQ's Department of Biological and Physical Sciences Joachim Ribbe who will talk about the marine environment and climate of south-east Queensland and USQ senior lecturer in ecology and sustainability Andrew Le Brocque who will speak about biodiversity.

After the lectures, people will be able to enjoy nibbles and drinks and have a chat with the speakers.

On Saturday, August 3, the traditional start of the month-long Whale Festival and the whale watch season, the Blessing of the Fleet, will be held at the Urangan Harbour from 5-8pm.

Whale Watch Operators and harbour businesses host the free evening of arts, water activities, markets and music which culminates in fireworks at 7.30pm.

Visitors can tour whale watch vessels from 6.15pm, talk with the crew and learn about humpback whales. 

Enjoy wine tasting, beer and prawns from local businesses and jazz music for an enjoyable evening. 

A highlight of the evening is the sail past and blessing of the whale watch fleet at 5.40pm to ensure the safe passage of the vessels, its crew, visitors and whales they come to see.

During the afternoon, the VMR headquarters will be open for tours and available to discuss how to navigate in local waterways. 

Every dollar donation to the Whale Festival's charity gives people a chance to win prizes such as whale watching passes, accommodation, a day away at Kingfisher.

Visitors to the Tasman Venture will go into the draw to win a piece of whale-inspired jewellery from Nick Thorpe's A World Treasure Collection.

During the afternoon, the Tasman Venture will host talks by Sea Shepherd crew members Michael May and Alistair Alan outlining their experience aboard the Bob Barker in the Antarctic as part of efforts to disrupt the taking of whales for scientific research in the Southern Ocean.

Finish the weekend with the Sunday in the Park fun day on August 4.

The free event, at Scarness Park on the Esplanade, starts at 10am and showcases the best budding local musical talent thanks to the Hervey Bay Council for the Arts.

Fantastic tales of whales storytelling will run throughout the day with whale-themed activities and workshops.

Sunday in the Park is free, starts at 10am and finishes at 3pm.

Take a rug or chair and settle in for a relaxing day of music.

Food stalls will be operating.

For more information on the full list of events, visit or like the festival's Facebook page and receive festival updates.

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