Human whale draws more than 1200

Drone footage of the Human Whale 2023. Photo: Brent MAIL.

MORE than 1,200 people turned out this year for the ‘Human Whale’ photographic event on the picturesque shores of Fingal Bay Beach.

The Port Stephens community came together to celebrate a strong start to this year’s whale season.

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The Human Whale event pays homage to the ‘Humpback Highway’ where more than 30,000 whales pass our shores during their northern migration.

On Sunday 16 July from 10am onwards, 1,297 participants from local community to holiday-makers formed the outline of the 100-metre-long humpback whale along the beautiful Fingal Bay beach.

“To be able to bring the Human Whale event back after our COVID-affected years is amazing for the Port Stephens community,” said one of the organisers Sean Andrews.

“Fingal Bay is the perfect location to host the event, with space for families to interact with all our stall holders, play in the grounds, utilise the local cafes all while enjoying live music before heading to the beach to become part of the Human Whale formation said Sean Andrews, event organiser from Moonshadow TQC.

“The Human Whale event brought people together with a shared passion for marine life, fostering a sense of unity and a commitment to protect the precious oceans that surround us,” he said.

The event also made for a fun day out for the family; timed to once again coincide with the winter school holidays and the thriving whale-watching season.

The conservation theme at the event continued to play a key role with fun, interactive and educational displays from OCCI, Marine Parks Association, Sea Shelter, ORRCA, Eco Network Port Stephens, NSW National Parks and NSW DPI and Bill Knaggs Real Estate.

Fingal Bay Surf Life Saving Club hosted a barbecue, and Longboat Café, Saltwater Restaurant and Pirate Coffee kept the crowd fuelled throughout the event.

Amidst the camaraderie and enthusiasm, Northpoint Surveys and Imagine Cruises pegged out the shape of a humpback whale, coinciding perfectly with the arrival of an actual humpback whale into waters inside Fingal Bay.

Although the sky was a little grey, the rain held off until the human whale formation was complete.

Organisers thanked Brent Mail photography for providing the drone imagery and footage.

“The Human Whale was a huge success this year, bringing together the community and visitors to celebrate one of Port Stephens spectacular assets, the annual humpback whale migration,” said Mr Andrews.

“It was great seeing each and every participant walk away from the event with a smile on their face,” said Nikki Spillane, an event organiser from Destination Port Stephens.

At the heart of the Human Whale event was a simple, yet powerful message: respect our oceans and visit the whales.

The organisers wanted to remind everyone of the importance of safeguarding our oceans and marine life for future generations.

With the 2023 humpback whale migration already underway, the season has had a fantastic start with numerous sightings daily and active whales exhibiting their playful nature.

“This is a wonderful family event highlighting the recovery of Australia’s humpback whale population and the importance economically through tourism to coastal communities like Port Stephens,” said Frank Future, another event organiser, from Imagine Cruises.

The migration season is expected to last until October-November, and the community is hopeful for more extraordinary moments, especially with the early sightings of humpback whale mothers and calves as we embark on this season of migration.


Environmentalist Frank Future of Imagine Cruises with Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington. Photo: Bonita HOLMES_NU’U.

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