Migaloo Starlight Swing

I need to share this before I go any further….


Yes, it’s true. I assumed that the final event of the The Whale Festival involved an actual swing. I didn’t quite flesh-out the image in my own mind… but some sort of fairy-lit giant swing actually seemed and sounded quite romantic. And fun.

However, I soon discovered that the aforementioned ‘swing’ had little to do with the things-found-in-parks, and more to do with music and dance. #Woteva!

As Pier Park is a short wander from my place I decided it was a Must-Do and made arrangements with a friend.

I have to admit that I hadn’t seen a lot of publicity beforehand – other than stuff on Facebook, which I shared – but it was there I discovered that those keen to get in the mood should dress up: white frocks (in honour of Migaloo) for the ladies and bow ties and so forth for the gents.


I was both pleased (and frightened*) to see that some swing-night goers did take heed of the dress code and we did get to watch some dancing.

Pier Park looked absolutely gorgeous. It’s lovely at the best of times, but with additional tables and a picket fence and pretty lighting, the scene was quite magical.

My friend(s) and I discussed the need for a blanket to sit on but decided to take our chances. Indeed we were there early but missed out on tables and chairs (though probably could have invited ourselves to join those at tables with some empty chairs).

But… as we were Migaloo Starlight Swing virgins, we hadn’t realised there were no food stalls. Our diabolical plan was to eat, drink and listen to some music before waddling home. The Bayswater wine and beer stall had small antipasto platters, but (until Mr Whippy showed up) there were no other food options other than (very busy) nearby cafes.

We contemplated heading into Pavilion by the Pier, but it was closed for a private event; so we left the event a lot earlier than planned in search of dinner.

Again, it’s just a lesson for new-players and like my learnings from the Seafood Festival, something we’ll know for next year (ie. make own food / take picnic / order from local cafes earlier for easy pick-up).

I think there were to be some other musicians later in the night, but the big band we heard playing was fabulous and the music great – particularly if you’re into swing / jazz etc.

sunset camera

Best of all, the Bay had turned on its charm and offered up a lovely evening… farewelling the Whale Festival and winter in spectacular fashion.

* I know this will make me sound like a biatch, but there were a few scary Bride of Frankenstein types. I’m all for raiding the local Op Shops, but some of the dresses / looks were reminiscent of Great Expectations’ Miss Havisham, resplendent in her decaying wedding dress and holed up in her dilapidated mansion! I wouldn’t be surprised if some peeps didn’t pull out their 40yr old debutante dresses! Fun but slightly tragic.

Any other suggestions for Migaloo Starlight Swing newbies?

Fraser Coast – home of the humpback

I realise I’m a bit late to the party but just in case you hadn’t realised… the whale-watching season is upon us here on the Fraser Coast.

Picture from herveybaywhalefestival.com.au

Picture from herveybaywhalefestival.com.au

Over the past 25ish years, Hervey Bay has become the playground to humpback whales as they migrate to the warmer waters in winter and spring. (To see how it all started, check out this post!)

I first went whale watching in the early 1990s with my father. We only saw the barest glimpse of a whale but I had a fabulous day. In fact, I committed to returning with friends to make a day of it. My dad was a non-drinker so didn’t really partake in the lunchtime drinks and I felt like it could have been more of an event.

A year or so later I went out again, with a couple of friends this time. The weather wasn’t great. In fact, it was almost impossible to be out on deck as waves were crashing over the sides of the boat. The whales were scarce again that day however, I wasn’t particularly worried as I spent the entire time in the toilet throwing up.

So… my memories of whale watching are very mixed, but as my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with AMAZING pictures I realise that it’s time to try again.

I must confess that they scare me a little. I have a morbid fear of sharks (I read Jaws at a very young age!) and when I see pics of the whales frolicking near people I imagine them leaping out of the water to bite the heads of the unsuspecting spectators. (And yes, I know, I’ve watched too many horror films!)

The bay’s busy at the moment as we’re in the throes of The Whale Festival. We’ve Paddled Out for Whales, the whale watch fleet has been blessed, we’ve had events for kids and the Seafood Festival. There’s stacks more to come, with the Illumination Parade this coming Saturday (17 August), a Whale Aid Concert, Migaloo Starlight Swing and many MANY more events.

Picture from herveybaywhalefestival.com.au

Picture from herveybaywhalefestival.com.au

I’m aiming to get to as much as possible but next on my agenda is to head out and see these bloody majestic creatures (sans visuals of them baring their teeth and eating onlookers whole!).

I know there are a myriad of wonderful companies hosting excursions, so I’m up for suggestions?