PAGE 102 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE EDEN Get set for the 2023 Eden Whale Festival After three years of cancellations – due to bad weather and the Covid-19 pandemic – the annual Eden Whale Festival is back, and will be held in Eden over the weekend of 13-15 October 2023. Eden is one of the few places in the world where Humpback Whales feed while on their migratory route down to Antarctica. Seeing whales from shore is a part of everyday life in Eden during spring, which is one of the reasons Australian Geographic named Eden Australia’s best whale-watching destination. Ideal place The fact that so many species of whales can be seen in these waters – and that they travel close to shore – makes Eden an ideal place for whale watching. Imagine having the unique experience of being out on a whale-watching cruise and having the opportunity to look into the massive mouth of a whale! Festival fun Each year, Eden celebrates its rich whale history – and the annual whale migration – with The Eden Whale Festival. One of the biggest events on the whale-watching calendar, the Festival begins with a spectacular street parade, followed by family-friendly entertainment and vibrant markets to showcase the work of local artisans. Eden’s Aslings Beach will host some amazing sand sculpting, while the blue skies will make the perfect backdrop for watching a colourful kite display. Festival-goers will also have an opportunity to sample a wide array of local food and artisan products, from oysters and abalone, to arts, crafts and organic skincare. Get planning If you’re thinking of heading to Eden for the Festival, now’s the time to start planning. Start by checking-out camping and accommodation options in the area, and don’t forget to book a whale-watching cruise with local tour operator Cat Balou Cruises. Shore-based whale watching For onshore vantage points, drive south of Eden to Green Cape and South Head in the southern section of the Beowa National Park. Within Twofold Bay there are viewing platforms at the Rotary Park Lookout and at the eastern end of Bass Street. To the north, it’s absolutely worth a drive to Haycock Point, as the whales are often seen breaching close by. Killer Whale Trail You can also take the self-drive Killer Whale Trail, an intriguing trip into the past, to a time when, sadly, whales were hunted almost to extinction for their oil. The trail includes a must-see stop at Davidson Whaling Station, the longest-operating shore-based whaling station in Australia, and the last of its type to close down. To stay up-to-date with the latest 2023 Eden Whale Festival news, check out the Festival’s Facebook page or visit the festival website at edenwhalefestival.com.au Pictured clockwise from top left: The Eden Whale Festival begins with a spectacular ‘whale-inspired’ street parade. The Festival also features a colourful display of giant-sized sea-creature kites. Even the local schools get involved in the Eden Whale Festival, which is a fantastic event for visitors and the local community. The street parade typically features some weird and wonderful contraptions!