The research says Hervey Bay is the main hop off point for Fraser Island, however sadly our timetable didn’t allow for that excursion. Hervey was mainly scheduled in to break up an otherwise long journey on the Greyhound bus.
Only having four hours to spare whilst in town we relied on the receptionist at the hostel / campsite to advise us on the best use of that time. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude. Originally plans were to ensure no holiday activity or experience was duplicated and whale watching was scheduled in for New Zealand / Aotearoa.
Once we chatted with the locals we decided to squeeze in a whale watching boat trip of half a day. We didn’t hold out much hope, after all why should we be so arrogant as to expect wild life to pander to our pathetic half a day time frame, if nothing else we’d have a boat trip. I also had concerns about the ethics of ‘chasing’ a spectacular animal whilst they just peacefully moved through the seas. The boat we chose had a marine biologist on board so we hoped that gave it credibility. This later proved to be acceptable to us as we did back off from each whale promptly and didn’t approach too close. I have seen horrific shark and dolphin watching where up to 30 boats and divers totally encircle and ‘hound’ the animals, surely that shouldn’t be legal.
Anyone who has seen animals in the wild will know that I can’t describe the thrill and privilege of watching a whale feed her baby, our biologist advised us she assumes a ‘tail up’ position for the young one. I was torn between watching and photographing. Life should be seen directly not through a lens but I wanted to capture the magnificence too. Apparently the mother’s ‘wave’ as they watch the boats, I really hope we didn’t stress her out.
Just to reassure you I have zoomed in on these images, the joys of my new Tamron 16-300mm lens.
Top 5 things I learnt in Hervey:
Speak to the locals
Don’t waste a moment, if you have a spare hour, use it
Choose the ethical option wherever possible
We MUST start respecting our oceans
(OK, sorry such a predictable title for today’s blog)