The star power of Hervey Bay’s famous humpback whales has proven impossible to resist for one of Australia’s most distinguished wildlife documentary makers who will showcase the gentle giants to a global audience in a new film.
Fraser Coast Opportunities (FCO) and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in partnership with Tasman Venture, announced today that award winning producer and presenter Greg Grainger had been secured to make a 50 minute documentary on the humpbacks of Hervey Bay.
FCO General Manager Leigh Bennett said the documentary entitled Smarter Than Your Average Whale would be based around the conservation efforts of ‘whale whisperer’ Vicki Neville, a marine biologist working for local whale watch operator Tasman Venture.
The film will also feature Wally Franklin from the Oceania Project, who has researched the Hervey Bay humpback whales for more than 25 years.
“We are very excited to be announcing details of this documentary project which is a major coup for the region,’’ Mr Bennett said.
“Uniting the skills of a documentary maker of the calibre of Greg Grainger, our own highly-regarded local experts and of course our incredible humpbacks will be an amazing opportunity to enhance the Fraser Coast’s reputation as the premier place in the world to view whales,’’ he said.
Greg Grainger said the documentary would focus on the interaction, emotion, intelligence and behavioural patterns of whales – showcasing why they are amongst the most intelligent and loved mammals alive.
“Humpback whales are awesome. I have swum with them and filmed them many times in my career, and I am always blown away. I have eyed them from only a metre away and felt that there was a real rapport with a highly intelligent animal seeking to communicate back with me, which is exactly what I am looking to showcase with this film,’’ Mr Grainger said.
The documentary will be filmed aboard the Tasman Venture and will be shot in 4K cinematic quality by a crew of four professional camera operators. Additional to whale-watching footage captured aboard Tasman Venture – and in some cases by their own high quality equipment – team member Vicky Neville will also feature in the film, interacting with the Hervey Bay humpbacks.
For Vicki, a marine biologist and passionate anti-whaling campaigner, the project is a powerful way of promoting whale conservation.
“Showing the beauty and power of these precious creatures to an international audience will not only benefit our region but increase awareness and public pressure to save the whales because their future is in our hands,’’ Ms Neville said.
TEQ CEO Leanne Coddington, said securing such a respected documentary filmmaker to focus on Hervey Bay whales would provide international exposure for the destination and its visitor experiences.
“This initiative forms part of a current marketing effort to promote the destination, home to some of nature’s biggest outdoor visitor experiences such as rainforests and lakes on the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, boating and fishing in the Great Sandy Strait,” Ms Coddington said.
Greg Grainger is an award-winning producer and presenter of topical travel and adventure documentaries, and wildlife programs, to remote and exotic locations.
His highly acclaimed adventures have captured on film activities as diverse as sky burials in Tibet to shark riding in Tahiti, expeditions across the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as along the Andes and Himalaya.
A winner of the prestigious Logie Award for Top News Report, Greg has worked for leading radio and television stations in Britain and Australia for the past 35 years.
Greg’s documentaries have been seen by tens of millions of viewers, from National Geographic and Discovery Channels to Channels Seven, Nine, Ten and the ABC in Australia.
Hervey Bay is not a typical “day trip” experience but an opportunity to gain an interactive, up close and personal experience with whales, while tying in other world-class eco-experiences such as World Heritage listed Fraser Island and the UNESCO recognised Great Sandy Biosphere.
Hervey Bay is unique as far as whale watching is concerned. It is the only place of its kind in the world where migrating whales stay up to ten days in the pristine waters between the mainland and Fraser Island. They interact, rest and learn in the Great Sandy Biosphere – the perfectly protected marine playground for mothers and their calves.
The Hervey Bay whale watch season is from July to November each year. To book your adventure to the ‘whale watch capital of the world’, head to whalesherveybay.com.au.