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Whale Festival - FREE Event

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Share and preserve special Vaucluse Estate history
Djaadjawan Dancers on Vaucluse Beach. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Sydney Living Museum's Whale Festival celebrates the unique connection between Aboriginal culture and whale migration.

Held on Sunday 7 October 2018 at Vaucluse Estate, this FREE event coincides with the annual Gawura (whale) migration season and offers a day of interpretive stories and dance for all to enjoy.

The Whale Festival is inspired by a series of distinctive engravings of whales, carved thousands of years ago into the Vaucluse landscape.

The Gawura migration signifies revitalisation and rebirth of a new generation and the enduring narrative of the engravings tell a unique story of Aboriginal connection to country.

Sydney Living Museums' annual Whale Festival invites visitors on a journey of interpretation to help understand this special story shared by many different Aboriginal communities.

The day begins at 11am with food, activities, tours and storytelling at Vaucluse House.

Then gather at 12.30pm at the Vaucluse Estate beach paddock for the traditional Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country.

As the tide of Sydney Harbour slowly begins to subside, experience the significance of the whale to Aboriginal culture through dance performances from Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness.

Inside the Vaucluse House kitchen, Sydney Living Museums' own colonial gastronomer, Jacqui Newling, will be cooking up some whaler's 'pot luck' seafood chowder, referencing Sydney's early whaling industry. Visitors can also take a whale-themed tour of the historic Vaucluse House.

Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a selection of food in the Vaucluse House Carriage Loop. Entry is FREE.

For more information on the festival program, please visit

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this festival takes place, and pay respect to Elders both past and present.

Share your Whale Festival experience on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use #WhaleFestival and @sydlivmus.

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When: Sunday 7 October, 11am–3pm
Where: Vaucluse House, Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030
Cost: Free entry
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