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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

‘True magic’: First whale sighting of the year

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THE FIRST whale sighting of the year has ignited excitement amongst tourists, tour operators and locals, coming earlier than it normally does in the season.

SeaLink Whitsundays’ newest vessel to its fleet, the Osprey, had an unforgettable maiden voyage as guests and crew were treated to the Whitsundays’ first whale sighting of the year.  

The spotting of a mother whale and her calf, in North Mackerel Bay, on the north side of Hook Island, on Tuesday, May 21, has set an expectant tone for the upcoming tour season.

SeaLink Whitsundays general manager Asher Telford had a special surprise during a filming expedition, when he spotted the whales.  

“Witnessing these magnificent creatures up close on Osprey’s maiden voyage was truly special and really showcases the unique and awe-inspiring experiences our guests can look forward to on our tours,” Mr Telford said.

“It’s moments like these that remind us of the true magic of living in the Whitsundays.”

Mr Telford said there was friendly competition amongst the local operators to be the first to spot these majestic animals, each season.

“It is brilliant to be the first to spot the whales on their annual migration for the third season in a row, and on Osprey’s first voyage in the region made it extra special,” he said.

Whales of the Whitsundays president Olivia Broadhurst said the sighting was indeed early.

“We are proud that the Whitsundays is globally recognised as a Whale Heritage Site,” she said.

“This recent sighting marks the second earliest whale appearance since ‘Eye on the Reef’ began recording, in 2007.

“The Whitsundays serves as a crucial nursery for humpback whales, inspiring us all to continue our efforts in environmental preservation.”

Red Cat Adventures – part of the SeaLink Whitsundays family, following its acquisition in February this year – is a Bronze Sponsor of Whales of the Whitsundays (WoW).

WoW is a project that has placed the Whitsundays proudly on the map as an accredited Whale Heritage Site – the first within the Great Barrier Reef, and in a World Heritage Area.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Rick Hamilton said it was a ‘fantastic way’ to kick of the Whitsundays’ whale season.

“The whales have delighted us with an early arrival this year,” he said.

“If you’re looking to escape the winter chill down south, there’s no better place to be than the Whitsundays.

“These are our favourite months, and what a fantastic way to kick off the season.”

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