After a false start in 2021 due to the NSW COVID-19 lockdowns, the special event to mark the opening of the whale season and Whale Trail 2022 is coming to Bermagui on August 13th.
The town will host Walawaani Muriyira-Waraga, an event connecting people to place and celebrating the relationship between whales, Yuin culture and the community of Bermagui.
Walawaani Muriyira-Waraga which means ‘safe journey whale – many’ in the local Dhurga language will encompass an official opening ceremony including a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, dance performance and talks about Yuin cultural connections to whales.
Following the opening ceremony, a community paddle out will welcome the whales as they pass Bermagui on their annual journey south to the Antarctic, followed by special talks and presentations by local whale experts, historians and more.
It is the first of what the tourism industry hopes will be an annual community event.
Rhys Treloar, Tourism Manager at Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing, said the event was the first initiative of the Sapphire Coast Whale Trail 2022 project, which has carried over after the last-minute cancellation of the event in 2021.
“We are excited to see this event come to life this year as a celebration of Aboriginal culture and connection to our rich history with whales,” Mr Treloar said.
“It will be an amazing event and the perfect way to open the whale season.”
Member of the organising committee, and local Yuin man Gordon Campbell, is looking forward to the event and sharing local Aboriginal stories with business members and the community at the opening ceremony.
‘’This is a great way to start the celebration of our whales travelling in Bermagui. I look forward to seeing the community and engaging as we share our local Aboriginal culture, language and watch the whales,’’ Mr Campbell said.
Sapphire Coastal Adventures (formerly Merimbula Marina) are back operating whale watching charters out of Bermagui with a special community offer for the event with $50 whale watching tours throughout the day.
For full details, to register for the charters or paddle out, and to learn more, click HERE.
Image Credit: David Rogers / Sapphire Coastal Adventures