Whale Festival 2017

Celebrate the annual Gawura (Eora word for whale) migration season with a day of interpretive stories and dance inspired by a series of distinctive engravings, carved thousands of years ago into the Vaucluse landscape.

The Gawura migration signifies revitalisation and birth of a new generation, a unique and ongoing story of Aboriginal connection to country. Sydney Living Museums’ annual Whale Festival invites visitors on a journey of interpretation to help understand this special story shared by many different Aboriginal communities.

Join us from 10am on Vaucluse Estate Beach Paddock for the traditional Smoking Ceremony by Dwayne ‘Naja’ Bannon-Harrison and Welcome to Country by Aunty Vivienne, both from Yuin Country, to set the scene.

As the tide of Sydney Harbour slowly begins to rise, experience the significance of the whale to Aboriginal culture through dance performances from Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness and the Djaadjawan Dancers.

Fred's Bush Tucker will cook up local fish which provides a cultural connection to the harbour for the local Birrabirragal people, while inside the Vaucluse House kitchen, Sydney Living Museum's own colonial gastronomer, Jacqui Newling will be cooking up some some traditional whaler’s ‘pot luck’ seafood stew referencing Sydney’s early whaling industry.  

Children can create their own scratch art inspired by the whale engravings or handle a piece of whale baleen. Visitors can also take a whale themed tour of the historic Vaucluse House.

Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a selection of food in the Vaucluse House Carriage Loop including Fred's Bush Tucker, Kallico Catering and coffee from Cafexpress. You can also enjoy breakfast, lunch or high tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms. Open from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Reservations recommended, call 02 9388 8188.

We acknowldge the traditional custodians of the land on which this meeting takes place, and pay respect to Elders both past and present. 

Whale Festival Program [PDF 1.6MB]

Share your Whale Festival experience with us on our Facebook event, Instagram and Twitter. Use #WhaleFestival and @sydlivmus.

Whale Dreaming Ceremony performed by members of Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness on the Vaucluse Estate Beach PaddockWhale Dreaming Ceremony performed by members of Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness on the Vaucluse Estate Beach Paddock. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums 

The Djaadjawan dancers performing Nangmbi Muryira as part of the Whale Ceremony on the Vaucluse Estate Beack Paddock. The Djaadjawan dancers performing Nangmbi Muryira as part of the Whale Ceremony on the Vaucluse Estate Beack Paddock. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums 


Fred, from Fred's Bush Tucker, displays the prepared fish ready for cooking.
Fred, from Fred's Bush Tucker, displays the prepared fish ready for cooking.  Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums


 

Sydney Living Museums resident gastronomer, Jacqui Newling, with one of her volunteers, preparing a traditional seafood chowder in the kitchen of Vaucluse House.Sydney Living Museums' resident gastronomer, Jacqui Newling, with one of her volunteers, preparing a traditional seafood chowder in the kitchen of Vaucluse House. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums


 

Free event

When & Where

Saturday 11 November 2017 10AM–2PM

Vaucluse House

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse, NSW 2030
House: 02 9388 7922
Tearooms: 02 9388 8188

Register now