For the southwest WA coastal town of Albany, whale hunting represents the area’s oldest industry, stretching back as far as the 18th Century when as many as 850 whales met their grisly end per season.
The last whale to be killed at the site of the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company – incidentally, Australia’s last commercially operating whaling station – was on November 20, 1978. It was only two years later that Whale World was established on that very spot, making it the only museum of its kind in the world to be housed in a formerly fully operational whaling station.
Today, Whale World is a superb historic repository for all aspects of the commercial industry now banned in Australian waters, as well as being a very thorough and entertaining source of information on whales and other sea life.
There’s an original whaling ship (the Cheynes IV whale chaser) to clamber all over, four massive entire whale skeletons on display, including WA’s largest (a 22m pygmy blue whale) and the last whale to be captured in ’78, the world’s first 3D animated whale movie and much more – as well as a free guided tour
Where // Frenchman Bay Rd, Albany, WA. (08) 9844 4021, www.whaleworld.org
Did you know? // A baby whale – a calf – weighs usually about five to six percent of its mother’sbody weight at birth. So a newborn Humpback, for example, is around 4m in length and weighs around two and a half tonnes.
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