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The Garden of Eden makes me think of Heaven and Paradise. In Hebrew, Eden means ‘delight’; the perfect word to describe this natural paradise town. Eden sits on the shores of Twofold Bay and nestles between three National Parks on NSW’s Far South Coast.
Twofold Bay is the third deepest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere. Each Spring, between September and November, thousands of humpbacks stop to give tourists a show. They rest, play and fatten their calves before continuing migration. The plentiful krill in this area sustaining their journey home to Antarctica.
Nutrient Rich Diversity
The tropical waters of the East Australia Current warm Eden’s waters. Nutrient-rich colder waters from the Southern Ocean mingle to create a diverse marine habitat. A beautiful sight not often seen on the Australian coastline.
No wonder the baleen whales love to stop by on their journey!
The Eden Whale Festival, held in late October to early November, celebrates the Spring whale migration.
From the shore and from sea, locals and visitors alike enjoy the spectacular sight. Whales breach; lifting their bodies to expose up to 90% of their body above the water. The thunderous crash of their enormous bodies reaching the shore.
Eden Community Puts on a Show!
This year, just as in previous years, Eden Whale Festival was a spectacular success!
The town bustles with live shows, street theatre, music, art exhibitions, friendly competitions and tours.
The images below represent just some of the fun to be had this year. The Eden community is strong, welcoming and vibrant, much like the festival itself.
For more information, visit: https://edenwhalefestival.com.au/
Missed the migration and the festival this year? There’s still plenty to see in this popular, yet unspoiled holiday resort town all year. Dolphins, seals and penguins are amongst the other popular locals that greet regular tourists.
Eden Killer Whale Museum
The Eden Killer Whale Museum, situated off Middle Head, blends Eden’s whaling past with its whale watching present.
Amongst the ever-changing exhibitions and guided tours, the centrepiece attraction at the museum is ‘Old Tom’. Old Tom is a complete orca skeleton; there are no others on public display in the southern hemisphere.
Old Tom was the last killer whale to have worked alongside human whalers of the Yuin nation. The Yuin’s hunted baleen whales from the early 1800s, having connected with the orcas. The orcas would lure the whales into the bay. The Yuin nation would then share the catch with their cohorts.
Photos with kind permission from Eden Killer Whale Museum
On his natural demise in 1930, locals prepared to bury Old Tom’s corpse on the beach. One of the locals then suggested that people might want to pay to view this magnificent creature’s skeleton. From this, the Eden Killer Whale Museum was built by the community in 1931 before settling in its current location in 1939.
For more information, visit: http://killerwhalemuseum.com.au/
Ship Ahoy at Snug Cove!
A quick ramble from the museum down Warren’s Walk takes you to Snug Cove. Altogether, three wharves unite in this busy, working port.
First known as Weecoon by the Thawa people of the Yuin nation, it was renamed Snug Cove by explorer George Bass in 1798. He declared it to be ‘a snug and safe anchorage for any ship during a blow’.
In 1828, Thomas Raine set up the first shore based whaling station here. This was the first on mainland Australia. In 1860, the first wharf for shipping begun operations, with further growth of the port commencing in 1862.
A major expansion began in 1987 to satisfy demand of overseas and domestic visitors via sea. Today, the Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension Project will enhance access for larger cruise ships over the coming years.
Apart from the daily fleet of fishing trawlers, there are plenty of visiting yachts, cruise liners and tugboats to see. Enjoy watching local fishermen unloading and preparing their catches for the Sydney and Melbourne markets. This is also the perfect spot to indulge in local seafood at one of the eateries around the cove.
Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre
While down at the wharf building, you can learn more on the temperate marine environment of the Sapphire Coast. Take a visit to the Marine Discovery Centre; a ‘hot spot’ for the study of impacts into climate change.
Here, a touch-tank experience gets you up close and personal with the marine creatures from the local rocky shores. Eager to learn more about our oceans and coasts? There are marine education programs to try. Choose from the guided Snorkel Tour, Rocky Shore Ramble or Dune Tour.
For more information, visit: http://www.sapphirecoastdiscovery.com.au/
Photos with kind permission from Sapphire Coastal Marine Discovery Centre
Wander to Rotary Park
After taking in the sights and wonderful seafood by the water, ramble up to Lookout Point. Here you get a larger view of Twofold Bay headland which formed around 380 million years ago. Notice how the headland juts out into the bay, separating into two ‘folds’, hence the name ‘Twofold’.
In this area, you can visit the Seamen’s Memorial Wall. This memorial commemorates all seamen who perished at sea after sailing from the Port of Eden. Erected by the Eden Community following the loss of the fishing trawler ‘Shiralee’ and its crew in 1978.
The plaque on the front of the Shiralee Memorial reads:
Following The Loss Of the Trawler “Shiralee”
With All Hands On The 10th August 1978,
The People Of Eden Had This Wall Constructed
To Serve As A Memorial To All Seamen Who
Have Sailed From This Port, Were Lost At Sea,
And Have Never Returned.
There is so much more to see and do in and around Eden. We hope you have enjoyed reading about our favourite five in Eden itself.
Rob and I are planning to head back to Eden around January 2020. We’re looking forward to being able to discover more about this beautiful place. We will take some great images and video to share with you.
Rob and I would like to thank the organisers of the Eden Whale Festival, Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre and the Eden Killer Whale Museum for their kind permission to use their images throughout this article.