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Australia

Why Don’t Humpback Whales Get Tired On Their East Coast Migrations?

The humpback whales never miss a migration cycle. Whale watchers witness this every year on the east coast of Australia. To start from the beginning, Australian humpback whales spend the entire summer feeding on small fish and krill in Antarctica. According to marine biologists, the whales start their migration, 10,000-11,000 km towards the north, around the month of June.

Younger male whales lead the procession, while the mothers and calves follow behind as they are the last ones to arrive in the northern waters of the east coast. This is because migration allows whales to be in more subtropical weather where they can mate. Remember that summers around the world, between May, June and July, are winters in Australia. Every year, whales travel here to give birth to calves too.

Humpback Whales

The humpback whale goes as far towards the northern area as the Coral Sea and Cairns. Whale watchers talk of frequent sightings near the Whitsunday Islands, the Moretan Bay, and Hervey Bay. The thriving whale watching industry has developed for 18 years now, thanks to these whale migrations. The female whales, in particular, make use of the protected bays to stop, feed their calves, and fatten them up before they have to head to Antarctica, which is freezing. The whales also migrate to bays along Pittwater Bay, Sydney Harbour, and New South Wales. They then commence their trip back south in late July and August, with most whales leaving the Queensland area in the middle of November. This migration is never easy; therefore, only the whales and calves which are in healthy condition are able to make the journey. On top of that, the trip is not easy as there are predators on the lookout for these beasts as they serve as their food source.

The truth is that the whales are not safe wherever they are. They make the trip along the east coast to escape the frozen waters of Antarctica in winters and even there, Japanese whalers have set-up camp for hunting whales. The other dangers to a humpback whale are the Orcas. Orcas are known to prefer eating the tongues of whales. Drag marks of the Orca are seen on the tails of many whales that make it through their migration. But, that is not all; sharks are known as predators of whales too. The Great Whites migrate the same time whales do, by following groups of whales and looking for their weakest link which would make for an easy prey.

Tiger sharks are commonly found in tropical waters. A number of these usually bite the whale so that as its swims and bleeds, more sharks start arriving to attack it. However, Orcas are not that common here. A humpback whale might also be struck by ships while migrating. Whales usually get tangled in fishing gear or get stuck in the cray pot ropes. The ships’ propellers may even scratch the skin of a whale.

Categories
Australia

Things to do in Sydney this Winter

Sydney is universally known for its good weather, and winter is no exception.

Snow is a thing of urban legends here, with only four recorded incidences since early European settlement. The climate here remains sunny and dry on most days, with temperatures usually sitting in the teens (Celsius). A wintry day in Sydney is therefore a poor excuse for staying under the covers and drinking hot cocoa.

Things to do in Sydney

For anyone looking to come here during the summer holidays in the northern hemisphere, you can be rest assured that there are plenty of activities to do in a Sydney winter!

Whale watch along Sydney’s coastline

Our pristine coastline might be chilly to swim in during winter, but they make great hikes for travellers still looking to enjoy the view.

During the winter months every year, whales also migrate past Sydney’s coastline for their mating season, coming back down again in spring with their newly born calves. Sydney is dotted with some of the world’s greatest whale-watching lookouts, primed for catching a glimpse of half the entire world’s population of whales and dolphins, which currently resides in Australian waters.

If you’re looking at taking a glimpse, make your way to some of the famous whale-watching locations. Two of my personal favourites are North Head and South Head, two headlands on opposite ends of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Both headlands are a short hike away from the wharves where a ferry from the city can dock, making them perfect as day trips from Sydney’s busy city area.

The walk for these headlands is truly breath-taking, even if you don’t spot any whales along the way.

Embrace the dramatic arts

Sydney might not be particularly famous for the arts, but with several world-class theatres including the Sydney Opera House, why not buy tickets to see a show on a rainy day?

As an incredible architectural feat, our iconic Opera House looks even more magnificent up close. Why not drop by and book a tour to learn its history?

The Capitol Theatre in anotherof Sydney’s historic theatres. Ornately decorated and with an atmospheric design that has the audience feeling as if they were seated in an open-air theatre. Some of the world’s most critically acclaimed shows have been brought here straight from New York’s Broadway, with the latest musical to be showed in August being Aladdin.

If you’re into something more alternative, check out the Enmore Theatre in Newtown, operating as the longest running live music venue in the state. When it’s not shining the spotlight down on local musicians, this theatre is home to comedians. With a much more intimate stage, jokesters and singers alike find this venue a great place to connect with their fans. One can’t-miss occasion is the Enmore Comedy Club on Tuesday Nights, where a rotating line of great comedians take turns in stealing the mike to tell their best jokes.

Visit a contemporary art gallery

If the weather has you feeling restless, why not spend the day indoors uncovering the stories behind contemporary exhibitions in art galleries?

The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW are considered Sydney’s two primary art galleries, both offering free guided tours every day with the occasional quirky exhibition.

On Thursday nights, the MCA holds Mystery Tours, where the expert guide explores a mystery theme, artist or exhibition.

If you’re interested in exploring smaller art collections scattered across the suburbs, a definite highlight is the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, the world’s most significant collection of contemporary Chinese art.

In the spirit of its name, the artworks here come together to evoke a magical sense of surrealism with the motifs sourced from traditional Chinese mythology. The gallery also comes with a teahouse stocked in Chinese teas, with teapots topped at no extra however many times you’d like.

Enjoy a quirky small bar

In recent years, Sydney’s small bar scene has well and truly boomed in response to our state government’s enforcement of strict alcohol laws. If the weather’s putting you off from doing the crazy pub crawl, why not spend the best part of your night exploring a bar lurking behind some nondescript door?

One local favourite that has gained a huge following lately is the Baxter’s Inn, voted one of the world’s best bars in 2015. Hidden behind a dark alleyway, this underground bar comes with an eyebrow-raising selection of whiskeys and even free pretzels.

Quirky food joints that double as a popular live music venue are also gaining traction, and these are perfect for winter nights when you just want to sit back and enjoy the food.

Soda Factory in Surry Hills makes a crazy-good selection of gourmet hot dogs – on Tuesdays, all hot dogs are just $1 each. On Mondays, the stage also turns into a huge theatre screen for movie night – the perfect way to start the week.

When it comes to winter in Sydney, you’ll find that there is plenty of activities indoors and out just waiting for travellers to enjoy. Whether it’s nodding along with the soulful melodies of young musicians at a live music venue, or mulling over questions of reality at an art exhibit, make the most of your time here in this beautiful city regardless of the season. You’ll surprise yourself with just how much more there is to a city than its obvious landmarks.

Categories
Australia

Top 5 Must Do Activities In Sydney

Sydney is one of the best places that you should go to if you want to unwind and see how wonderful the world is. Aside from man-made wonders, Sydney is also gifted with natural views such as the harbour islands, beaches, and public gardens. You will also enjoy the excellent transport system that will make it easier for you to explore the place.

Top 5 Must Do Activities In Sydney

So if you are travelling to Sydney, here are some of the activities that you should try.

1.     Visit the Opera House

This is the most recognizable figure that can represent Australia. It is a busy place where music and art performances are being held. You can explore the Opera House inside and out for you to see how perfect the structure is, making it one of the most photographed buildings.

2.     Travel in Sydney Harbour

If you want to see some of the greatest attractions in Sydney then riding on a cruise is a perfect idea. You can have various options when taking a cruise. You can choose from a romantic tour, speedy jet boats, dinner cruise, or vintage tall ship. The water can provide you a great view of the Opera House as well as the Harbour Bridge.

3.     Enjoy Whale Watching

Sydney is known for having plenty of beaches where you can do different water activities. But did you know that this body of water also serves as a home for impressive marine life? The easiest way for you to see a whale is to get on the water. Whale watching is getting popular in Sydney so you can expect lots of operators in the place that can help you see the whales at a closer look.

4.     Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney

Educational programs and scientific research are done on Royal Botanic Gardens. Your kids will surely enjoy the scenic train rides and the walking paths. You can have a picnic with your family while you enjoy the views of the Sydney Harbour. This can be a great way for you to relax when having a vacation in Sydney. Don’t forget to look for the souvenir shop so you can have something that you can give to your friends when you go home. This will also remind you of your memorable experience in Sydney.

5.     Dine at the Finest Restaurants in Sydney

Exploring the place will surely make you feel hungry. So before you continue to travel around in Sydney, it would be a good idea if you will stop for a while and try the foods offered in some of the finest restaurants in the world. You can try different cuisines that will suit your taste and will make you crave for more. Travelling is a lot more fun if you have a happy stomach.

Doing these activities while in Sydney will make your vacation unforgettable. There are indeed plenty of extraordinary things that you can try in Sydney in addition to the beautiful landscape. Given all these, you might even think of going back in Sydney in the future.