Look out off the east coast at the moment and you’ll likely see them – whales. Come whale watching with us, on the edge of cliffs in Sydney, in 1850s Byron Bay, from the decks of the First Fleet and in a Melbourne theatre. But remember, all you’re looking at is big, sea dwelling mammals – the whale is only ever just a whale.
Writer and biologist Mary Gardener is piecing together stories and find an answer to the question – when someone looked off the coast at Byron Bay 300 years ago, what would they see? Closer to shore, as recent as 60 years ago, they would have seen a long jetty with whales being hauled in, harpoooned. Mary wrote about when Byron was a whaling town in the Byron Shire Echo. You can hear some more of Harry Roberton, whaling folk singer, here.
You don’t have to wait for the boom of a harpoon to see a whale these days – follow @WildAboutWhales or #WhaleOn to know when to rush to the shoreline.
Produced by Jess O’Callaghan
The Whale is Just a Whale
Moby Dick: Show Thyself combined humour, history and literature. A tumultuous, seasick production of Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick recently played at Melbourne University’s Union Theatre. The play, adapted for stage and written by Rohan Byrne, and performed by independent company Until Monstrous, is set to be reworked and reimagined for a follow-up performance run in 2015.
Produced by Bec Fary
Music Credits: ‘Overture’ by Liam Bellman-Sharpe, ‘Death to Moby Dick’ by Liam Bellman-Sharpe and ‘The Sea Claims Another’ by Liam Bellman-Sharpe
Stories of whaling in the Southern and Pacific Oceans with Laura’s dad – John Newton, the author of A Savage History. We had him tell all our favourite whaling stories – stories of sperm whales as far as the eye can see, whaling boats alongside the First Fleet, baby whales breaking hearts, killer whales being border collies.
Produced by Laura Brierley Newton
Music Credits: Sigur Ros – GlÃ³sÃ³li
Presenters: Michaela Morgan and Michael Brydon
Community Coordinator: Pip Rasmussen
Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo
Features Executive Producers: Heidi Pett & Jess O’Callaghan
Image Credit: Michael Dawes