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Have a whale of a time
Straddie will stage the Yura Yalingbila (Welcome the Whales) Festival on 29 and 30 July as part of the Quandamooka Festival. The Yura Yalingbila will offer a weekend of entertainment and activities for visitors to North Stradbroke Island.
Wecome the Whale (organiser's website)
The Welcome the Whales Festival will start with the official welcoming ceremony and festival on Saturday 29 July (11am to 3pm) at Headland Park at Point Lookout. 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.
The event will be complemented by a pop-up dining venue located at a spectacular cliff-top position at Point Lookout, overlooking the ocean and the migrating whales. The alfresco venue will serve breakfast and lunch on the Saturday 29 July. The culmination is the inaugural Welcome the Whales Gala Dinner, with the award-winning team from Whales Way Restaurant providing the on-site catering. The bookings-only Gala Dinner will begin at 5pm to watch the whales as the sun sets, with sparkling wine and canapes served on arrival. At sunset, there will be a performance of traditional dances of the land, sea and ancient Quandamooka Aboriginal culture on the cliff top stage. Diners will enjoy a three course Australian traditional bush food inspired meal accompanied by quality wines and live music. Limited places at the Gala Dinner are available for $120 a head. Book at: www.quandamookafestival.com.au
Gala Whale Welcoming Dinner (organiser's website)
Whale Watch Cultural Tours will offer whale watch tours you won't forget. Experienced Quandamooka tour guide, Matt Burns, (known locally as "Quandamooka Man") will conduct tours throughout the whale season to give visitors to Straddie an insight into the local history and science of the whales passing up the Quandamooka Coast during guided walks. Along the way, Matt will give an indigenous interpretation of the whale migration, as well as share knowledge of the local area, its history, and the bush tucker and medicine plants that grow naturally on the island.
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. The free open forum between 9am and 3pm will consist of talks from researchers and traditional owners over three sessions covering Whales, Dolphins and Dugongs.
Pop-up Dining at Whale Welcoming
Quandamooka Festival curator Avril Quaill said that the weekend will celebrate everything that has 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.
Accommodation There is a range of accommodation options: from camping to glamping and cabins, at various sites around the island. These are available through Straddie Camping: www.straddiecamping.com.au
For further information: Festival curator: Avril Quaill on 0409 327166 or: email@example.com Festival organiser: Helen Groombridge on: 07 3415 2816 or 0487123417 or: firstname.lastname@example.org