Conference dates: 7-12th October, 2019


The Beachhouse Hotel

344 The Esplanade, Scarness 

Why should I attend?


Journeys that inspire change will critically examine and celebrate the incredible voyages undertaken by both whales, the people who study them and all who depend on them. We will consider how to best prepare for future journeys. This conference will unite all stakeholders in cetacean welfare and conservation including the scientific, NGO and ocean advocate communities, educators, artists, students, travel and tourism industry, and the general public.

Together, and using the latest scientific research, conservation, tourism and cultural heritage, we will explore how our links with whales can drive positive change. We will examine how the incredible migrations of whales are fostering new local, national and international partnerships with the human communities on which these incredible animals will ultimately depend for their very future. This all within the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WWC2019 will focus on capacity development for attendees through the acquisition of knowledge and skills, and idea sharing by means of workshops, discussions and networking.   


Benefits for Attendees: 

  • Benefit from attending a conference and capacity building workshops on critical cetacean issues alongside national and international speakers and representatives from diverse perspectives
  • An opportunity to share or showcase projects or work
  • Excursions, dinners and cultural activities will foster networking and collaborative opportunities
  • Participate in activities with the aim of leaving a lasting legacy for Hervey Bay and surrounds
  • Experience Hervey Bay as a premiere global destination for responsible tourism and whale conservation
  • Further examine the cultural, economic, social and environmental value that cetaceans have worldwide

What can I expect, if I attend?

Each day (except for Thursday’s Community Day) will begin with a keynote speaker followed by a morning presentation session. Presentations will be short, with time for questions to keep the sessions lively and engaging.

Afternoon sessions will begin with a ‘Poster and Networking’ event. Posters on the ‘topic of the day’ will be presented and presenters will also be available to talk with delegates throughout the session. This session is timed to enable those needing a one-hour lunch break to take it without missing out on the main sessions. Late afternoon sessions will incorporate a workshop involving interactive learning.

The theme for each day will be linked to an award given on the final day of the conference. Presentations / poster presentations can be entered for the award. For example, presentations and poster presentations on the ‘Towards Responsible Tourism for Whales and Dolphins’ day will be entered for the ‘Responsible Whale and Dolphin Tourism’ award.

Art contributions will be displayed physically and on the main conference screen during intervals throughout the conference program.

Program at a quick glance:

Monday 7 October

18:00: Welcome drinks at Fraser Coast Cultural Centre

Tuesday 8 October

DAY 1: Journeys (human behaviour change, innovation)

Wednesday 9 October

DAY 2: Responsible tourism (ending captive entertainment, development of sanctuaries, responsible whale watching)

Thursday 10 October

DAY 3: The power of local and indigenous communities

Friday 11 October

DAY 4: Celebrating cetaceans (awards, Whale Heritage Sites, events, the arts, Hervey Bay initiatives)

Saturday 12 October

Stranding Skills Training Workshop


Click here to see the Conference Program!


Why choose Hervey Bay to host the 2019 World Whale Conference?

Hervey Bay, the best spot to watch the whales?

From late July to early November, there is no place like Hervey Bay for breathtaking, up close and personal encounters with majestic humpback whales. The stunning intimacy of a moment with these gentle giants will leave you with amazing memories you won't capture anywhere else.

So, why Hervey Bay you ask? The difference here is that the whales are not merely passing by when they reach Fraser Coast waters. Each year thousands of these 40-tonne mammals and their calves purposefully head to our backyard while on migration to relax, play and socialise in the sheltered waters between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.

Mothers take time to nurture and train their calves in our waters and because they are so relaxed the whales are just as inquisitive about the boats and the people as we are about them.

Whale watching vessels offer decks with 360-degree views, underwater viewing rooms, underwater cameras and hydrophones so you can listen in to the whales sing. It is extremely common for whales to come right up to each vessel, which is why we can guarantee you will need to go far to match this experience like this one. 

Whale Heritage Site

What are Whale Heritage Sites?

The Whale Heritage Site (WHS) initiative is an accreditation scheme established by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA). WHS are outstanding locations where cetaceans ¹(whales, dolphins, or porpoises) are embraced through the cultural, economic, social, and political lives of associated communities, and where people and cetaceans coexist in an authentic and respectful way. Their aim is to preserve cetacean species and their habitats on a global scale so that they are around for generations to come.

To learn more click here


Artwork by Burralangi