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Hervey Bay Whale Festival

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Frequently Asked Questions

Event Dates

Blessing of the Fleet – Saturday 20 July, 2024 

Whale Festival  - 1 – 4 August, 2024 

Event Times

See individual event pages for times 

Event Locations

Across Hervey Bay, see individual event pages for locations 

Event Overview

There is no other place in the world that compares to the awe-inspiring, soul-stirring, up-close whale watching encounters that you will find in Hervey Bay. 

Between July and November, thousands of humpback whales travel the ‘humpback highway’ and arrive in the calm, protected waters of Hervey Bay. 

This unique relationship gives reason to celebrate each year with the Hervey Bay Whale Festival. An eclectic event to recognise the importance of the ocean to Hervey Bay and promote the conservation of the marine environment and animals that are unique and important to our region. 

How long has the festival been running?

Program highlights of the Whale Festival have been running since 1989 


Fixed and portable toilets are available through the precincts including accessible toilets 

Parking, including accessible parking

Parking available in surrounding streets, any parking regulations on side roads will still apply.  

See individual event pages for nearby carparks 

Designated accessible parking is available at all carparks listed above. 



Wide Bay Transit will be running their regular services from Maryborough and across Hervey Bay. 

Timetable and route information: 


Seating is very limited – Patrons are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and camp chairs.   

How much are tickets?

Most events are free to attend, the Creating Waves is a $5 donation to the Turtle Rehabilitation and Research Centre payable at time of ticket registration 

How do I register?

Participation registrations for Creating Waves, Paddle Out and Downer Parade of Lights are available on the individual webpages 


Do I need to register?

Registrations are required for Creating Waves and Paddle Out.  

On the day registrations may be possible, but subject to availability.  

We encourage groups and individuals to register to the Downer Parade of Lights to assist with planning and coordination, and be updated with the latest information. 

Can I bring alcohol?

There is no BYO, all alcohol will be confiscated by security at the gate.  

Can I bring my dog/pet?

No pets allowed. Assistance animals are exempt.     

Children's Activities

A range of children’s activities will be available at the Blessing of the Fleet and City and Sea Celebrations 

Is food available

Food and beverages will be available from local food stalls & trucks.  

Will there be market stalls?



See individual event pages for entertainment line-ups 

How can I apply to be a vendor?

Visit, application links can be found below the contact form.  

I have feedback

Email [email protected]   

Who runs the Hervey Bay Whale Festival?

Hervey Bay Whale Festival is run by Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, the Fraser Coast’s Regional Tourism Organisation. A not-for-profit working across 4 portfolios with a focus on growing the region’s tourism economy.